Hives Symptoms: What They Look Like

Some cases of hives last for more than six weeks and can last months or years. This condition is known as chronic hives.

People who have had COVID-19 can develop a skin rash. The rash may be hives with itchy bumps. A healthcare provider can help a person determine if their rash is from a COVD-19 infection or from another source.

In some cases, the trigger is obvious – a person eats peanuts or shrimp, and then breaks out within a short time. Other cases require detective work by both the patient and the physician because there are many possible causes. If the hives have gone on for a long time, the cause is not usually identified.

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A single episode of hives does not usually call for extensive testing. If a food allergy is suspected, consider keeping track of what you eat. This will help you discover whether there is a link between what you’re eating and when you break out with hives.

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Hives Management and Treatment

In cases where vasculitis ( inflammation of the blood cells) may be the cause, your allergist may conduct a skin biopsy and send it to a specialist to examine under a microscope.

Also, check out the welts up close. “If the welts are filled with clear fluid, pus, or are brownish in color, it is likely not hives,” says Dr. Palep.

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Chronic hives should be evaluated by an allergist, who will ask about your and your family’s medical history, substances to which you are exposed at home and at work, exposure to pets or other animals and any medications you’ve taken recently. If you have been keeping a food diary, show it to your allergist.

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Researchers have identified many – but not all – of the factors that can cause hives. These include food and other substances you take, such as medications. Some people develop hives just by touching certain items. Some illnesses also cause hives. Here are a few of the most common causes:

“Hives will usually have an area of skin that welts up, goes away in a few hours, and then reappears somewhere else,” he says. Other skin issues that are often mistaken for hives tend to last for more than one day in the same location, he explains.

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Fleas are tiny brown bugs the size of a pinhead. They feed on the blood of warm-blooded animals, including humans. Typically found on household pets like cats and dogs, the fleas can jump from the pets to humans.

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Chronic hives

Inflammation of the blood vessels, or vasculitis, can also cause hives. These hives are more painful than itchy, may leave a bruise on the skin and often last more than a day.

Dyshidrotic eczema , also known as pompholyx , is a skin condition that causes small, incredibly itchy bumps on the hands or feet. The bumps are fluid-filled blisters that usually last for three to four weeks.

Hives Symptoms: What They Look Like

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Antihistamines – available either over the counter or by prescription – are a frequently recommended treatment for hives. They work by blocking the effect of histamine , a chemical in the skin that can cause allergy symptoms, including welts. Antihistamines that don’t make you drowsy are preferred. They are effective and long-lasting (may be taken once a day) and have few side effects. Your allergist may recommend a combination of two or three antihistamines to treat your hives, along with cold compresses or anti-itch balms to ease the symptoms.

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Guttate Psoriasis

Guttate psoriasis is a type of psoriasis (an autoimmune skin condition) that typically affects children. However, it can be seen in people of all ages. It appears as small, red, round raised patches on the skin. These patches can be itchy.

Angioedema – swelling of tissue beneath the surface of the skin – can be mistaken for, or associated with hives. It can be caused by allergic reactions, medications or a hereditary deficiency of some enzymes. The following symptoms may indicate angioedema:

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