Hives

Trunk of woman's body covered in hives, with close-up of hives

Most hives (urticaria) are an allergic skin reaction that appears as raised, red, itchy bumps of different shapes and sizes. Patches of hives may combine to form raised, reddened skin over large areas of the body. Hives are often minor, but they can also be the first sign of a life-threatening allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) that requires emergency care.

Current as of: October 7, 2019

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Rohit K. Katial, MD - Allergy and Immunology

Is it an emergency?

If you or someone in your care has chest pains, difficulty breathing, or severe bleeding, it could be a life-threatening emergency. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately.
If you are concerned about a possible poisoning or exposure to a toxic substance, call Poison Control now at 1-800-567-8911.

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