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Hives are a common skin rash often caused by an allergic reaction to a substance such as dust mites, certain foods, stress, viruses and medications. They can also be caused by sunlight, cold, pressure, vibration or exercise. 10-20% of all people will experience hives at some point in their lives. Hives usually are not long lasting and can often be treated at home.

Types of Hives

Cholinergic Urticaria can be caused by sun, sweating, exercise, hot baths, blushing or anger. It is sometimes referred to as heat bumps or heat rash. The rash is composed of very small (1-4mm) bumps surrounded by bright red flares.

Hives Urticaria

Chronic Idiopathic Urticaria If new outbreaks happen for almost every day for 6 weeks or more, they are considered to be chronic idiopathic urticaria (CIU). In about 95% of chronic hives case there is no discernible cause. Unlike regular hives, chronic hives are hard to treat and especially frustrating for sufferers.

Some Causes of Hives

  • Food Allergies
  • Dust Mite Allergy
  • Pollen Allergy
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Tight clothing
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) like aspirin and ibuprofen
  • Exercise and Sweating
  • Cold
  • Heat
  • Strong Emotions

Medications Used to Treat Hives

Hives are mainly treated with antihistamines like Benadryl. Cortisone, clyclosporin and a several other medications such as Xolair may be useful in stubborn cases.

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AMA AAD ACMS National Psoriasis Foundation