There is a lot of misinformation on what urticaria (hives) is and what it is caused by. It can be shortlived or occur for many months or years. Sometimes the cause is known but more often there is no known trigger.1
Urticaria, pronounced Urr-Tick-Area is a group of skin conditions that are characterised by itchy or sometimes burning, persistent hives, painful swelling or both. They may feel like an itchy mosquito bite. The hives last between 1 hour and several days and the affected skin remains unbroken and they do not leave a permanent mark.1 The hives are always itchy and may also have a burning sensation or be painful. Angioedema, or swelling within the deeper layers of the skin can also be present.
Hives alone occurs in about 40% of people, hives and swelling (angioedema) occurs in 40% of people and swelling alone occurs in about 20% of people.2
Explore on this siteWhat is hives (urticaria)? The different types of hives (urticaria) Chronic hives (urticaria) causes What is urticaria multiforme? What is urticaria pigmentosa?
- Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy. ASCIA Chronic Spontaneous Urticaria (CSU) Guidelines. 2015. (accessed 9 October 2018).
- Kaplan AP. N Engl J Med 2002; 346:175–179.