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Hives (Urticaria) Treatments Include:


Hives, also known as Urticaria is an immunologically driven skin condition which presents as itchy, red raised patches on the skin or a rash of red spots. The rash is often itchy and sometimes may feel like it is stinging or burning. Hives can appear anywhere on the body in both adults and children and can be different shapes and sizes, ranging from a pencil eraser to a dinner plate. It may also be associated with swelling of the eyelids, tongues or the lips. Urticaria can be acute or chronic depending upon the duration, with the typical bout of hives lasting between a few hours to a day.

Hives are caused by a trigger which causes high levels of histamine and other chemicals to be released into the skin. Common triggers include:

  • Food
  • Pollen
  • Chemicals
  • Latex
  • Dust mites
  • Emotional stress
  • Infections
  • Medicines
  • Heat
  • Sunlight

Alternative names: Urticaria, welts, wheals, nettle rash.


Hives are usually caused by an allergic reaction. Triggers can be identified which often include allergies, environmental temperature changes, pollen, insect bites, animal fur, emotional stress and food. Even though the rash of urticaria is identical in appearance to that caused by an allergic reaction, in most cases no obvious cause can be found. This is classed as ‘idiopathic urticaria’. Hives can also be experienced as a result of stress, tight clothes, exercise, illness or infections.

People who have allergies are more likely to have hives and other health conditions may make you more vulnerable to developing hives.


This is where hives last less than six weeks and is most commonly caused by food, medication or infections.

Hives lasting more than six weeks. This is unlikely to be caused by foods or irritants and is more likely to be caused by a disease however for some the cause may be impossible to identify. If you’ve experienced symptoms for more than two days, it is important to get your condition checked out.

These are caused by direct physical stimulation of the skin such as temperature, sun exposure, vibration, pressure, sweating or exercise.


Hives usually appears as a series of raised, red bumps that come up within minutes and can resemble mosquito bites or nettle rash. It can be limited to a small area or span large expanses of the body. Sometimes there is swelling of the face and eyes (angio-oedema). The rash often resolves over a period of an hour or two, but might last as long as 24 to 36 hours. There are a number of different types of Hives:

Hives can be caused by an allergic reaction to a common irritant you may be sensitive to such as foods, animal fur, medications, pollen, and insect bites.

If the source of hives can’t be identified and the hives are seen for long periods of time, they are known as chronic and idiopathic. About 75% if hives cases are idiopathic which can make them harder to treat and symptoms are experienced for longer.

Changes in temperature caused by cold or hot weather, water, sunlight and exercise can cause hives in some people.


Whilst over the counter antihistamines are perfectly suitable for many patients with self-limiting urticaria, some patients will need expert dermatological help for investigation and treatment of their urticaria. If your symptoms are not improving after two days, the rash is spreading, you have a high temperature or swelling under the skin, you should see a specialist who can diagnose your condition and provide treatment options for you.


If you are suffering from a hives rash, the following can help to alleviate symptoms:

  • Put a cold compress on the rash
  • Take a cool bath
  • Apply aloe vera
  • Avoid irritants
  • Avoid scratching the rash as this can cause them to spread and become more inflamed

In acute cases, the rash will appear suddenly and then fade away on it’s own, usually within 24-48 hours. In chronic cases of hives, the rash can last for much longer, often weeks or months. If your rash is persisting it is a good idea to see a dermatologist who can assess your condition and advise the most appropriate treatment.

Symptoms of Hives include:

  • Red, raised patches on the skin
  • Rash of red spots
  • Itchy rash
  • Rash that feels like it is stinging or burning
  • Different size and shapes of rash
  • Rashes can appear anywhere on the body in both adults and children

Hives can be caused by a trigger that causes high levels of histamine to be realised to the skin, common triggers include:

  • Food
  • Pollen
  • Plants
  • Insect bites/stings
  • Chemicals (often in cleaning products)
  • Latex
  • Dust mites
  • Heat
  • Sunlight
  • Exercise/Sweat
  • Medicines
  • Infections
  • Emotional Stress


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dermatology specialists



At Everything Skin Clinic™, we have a team of highly trained Consultant hives dermatologists, who have completed specialist training in Dermatology and are on the specialist register of the General Medical Council. All our consultants hold substantive contracts with the best Dermatology centres in leading NHS hospitals. Therefore, you can be certain of the highest quality private care.

We offer a range of treatments and can offer one, or a combination of treatments to achieve the best results. Unlike many other clinics, we can offer diagnosis and treatment all under one roof by expert consultant dermatologist, so you know you’ll be in safe hands.


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