Overview

Hives (urticaria) are red, itchy welts that result from a skin reaction. The welts vary in size and appear and fade repeatedly as the reaction runs its course.

The condition is considered chronic hives if the welts appear for more than six weeks and recur frequently over months or years. Often, the cause of chronic hives is not clear.

Chronic hives can be very uncomfortable and interfere with sleep and daily activities. For many people, antihistamines and anti-itch medications provide relief.

July 06, 2017
References
  1. Hives. American Academy of Dermatology. http://www.aad.org/dermatology-a-to-z/diseases-and-treatments/e---h/hives. Accessed April 25, 2017.
  2. Hives (urticaria). American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. http://www.acaai.org/allergist/allergies/Types/skin-allergies/hives/Pages/default.aspx. Accessed April 25, 2017.
  3. Khan DA. Chronic urticaria: Standard management and patient education. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 25, 2017.
  4. Goldsmith LA, et al., eds. Urticaria and angioedema. In: Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine. 8th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com. Accessed April 25, 2017.
  5. Khan DA. Chronic urticaria: Treatment of refractory symptoms. https://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 25, 2017.
  6. Bernstein JA, et al., eds. The diagnosis and management of acute and chronic urticarial: 2014 update. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 2014;133:1270.
  7. Darlenski R, et al. Chronic urticaria as a systemic disease. Clinics in Dermatology. 2014;32:420.
  8. Casale TB. Omalizumab for chronic urticaria. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice. 2014;2:118.