Hives are also known as urticaria. They can be polymorphic and take on many different forms. An individual hive often goes away within 24 hours. If these hives had lasted less than six weeks, they are acute hives but if they persist then they are characterised as chronic urticaria.

There are over 20 identified triggers for urticaria and can include pollen, mold, foods, insects, fragrances or dyes, medicine and other substances are more prone to developing hives.

Infections, including colds, can also cause hives; hives can also be associated with certain illnesses such as lupus and thyroid disease. Other triggers for hives can include heat, cold, sun exposure, exercise, stress, alcohol, chemicals, excessive scratching or pressure on the skin.

Sometimes swelling of the area occurs. Hives can accompany angioedema where the eyelids and mouth can swell; if this happens or if you have trouble breathing or swallowing, you should head to an emergency room.

Antihistamine therapy can help alleviate the symptoms of urticaria. Allergy testing is also available at Sand Dermatology to test for potential triggers.

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