What are hives?

Hives are red, itchy, raised areas on the skin that often result from an allergic reaction. Hives are very common and may change size rapidly and spread all over the body, often in a matter of hours. Hives may appear due to a reaction to allergens such as food, medications, or insect bites. Stress also causes hives.

What are the symptoms of hives?

Histamine, a chemical produced by your body, is released and causes the redness, swelling, and itching that causes hives which vary in size and shape. The hives may appear on any part of the body, but are most common on the arms, legs, and trunk. The skin rash may last for a few minutes or up to several days. Hives may appear as a reaction to an allergen: including food, medicine or an insect bite. Hives may also occur as a reaction to emotional stress.

How are hives diagnosed?

An Our Urgent Care professional will take a look at your hives and discuss your history of sensitivity to the following:

  • Foods (milk, peanuts, and eggs)
  • Medicines
  • Plants
  • Animals
  • Heat exposure
How are hives treated?

The treatment for your hives will depend on the seriousness of your situation. Your Our Urgent Care provider may suggest using a cool compress, avoiding heat, or taking an antihistamine medicine. Antihistamines are the most common treatment for hives.

Hives are rarely considered an emergency, but sometimes they cause throat swelling and trouble breathing. Walk into any of the five Our Urgent Care locations to treat your hives.