Hives are a skin reaction that causes red or white itchy welts. The welts vary in size and appear and fade repeatedly as the reaction runs its course.

Chronic hives are a condition in which the welts last more than six weeks or recur over months or years. Chronic hives usually aren't life-threatening. But the condition can be very uncomfortable and interfere with sleep and daily activities.

Often, the cause of chronic hives is not clear. In some cases, chronic hives are a sign of an underlying health problem, such as thyroid disease or lupus.

You can try various treatments to relieve your symptoms. For many people, antihistamine and anti-itch medications provide relief from chronic hives.

Chronic hives are also called chronic urticaria (ur-tih-KAR-e-uh).

Jun. 13, 2014

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