Hives are red and sometimes itchy bumps on your skin. An allergic reaction to a drug or food usually causes them. Allergic reactions cause your body to release chemicals that can make your skin swell up in hives. People who have other allergies are more likely to get hives than other people. Other causes include infections and stress.
Hives are very common. They usually go away on their own, but if you have a serious case, you might need medicine or a shot. In rare cases, hives can cause a dangerous swelling in your airways, making it hard to breathe - which is a medical emergency.
- Genetics Home Reference: vibratory urticaria (National Library of Medicine)
- Photos & Graphics: Urticaria (Hives) and Angioedema (American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology)
Health Check Tools
- Skin Allergy Quiz (American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology)
Videos and Tutorials
- Virtual Allergist (American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology)
Statistics and Research
- Simplifying Effective Treatment of Chronic Hives in Children (American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Urticaria (National Institutes of Health)
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Autologous whole-blood or autologous serum acupoint injection therapy for chronic urticaria:...
- Article: Acupoint catgut embedding for patients with chronic urticaria: A systematic review...
- Article: Consensus on the diagnostic and therapeutic management of chronic spontaneous urticaria...
- Hives -- see more articles
Find an Expert
- American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology
- Find a Dermatologist (American Academy of Dermatology)
- Find an Allergist/Immunologist (American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology)
- National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases