Last Updated: February 4, 2021
Hives, also called urticaria, break out when your body tries to fight a threat by releasing histamines. The release prompts the itchy red welts that range from mild to maddening and last for hours or months. The standard treatment is antihistamine medication. It works well for many people, especially if the hives are short-term, or acute. Most cases of acute hives clear up within 24 hours. For those with chronic hives, which last for six weeks or more, standard treatment may not be enough. Learn about treatment advances that put more alternatives for hives relief within reach.
Different types of hives are caused by different types of triggers or an unknown trigger.
Acute urticaria is usually caused by an infection, an insect sting, or a reaction to food or medication.
Chronic physical (inducible) urticaria is usually caused by something in your physical environment that can be changed, such as tight clothing or exposure to extreme temperature.
Chronic idiopathic (spontaneous) urticaria, or CIU, is caused by something that can’t be identified.
When the trigger can be identified and eliminated, hives symptoms usually clear up relatively quickly. Unfortunately, 95% of chronic hives are of the CIU type. Since the cause can’t be pinpointed, more time may be needed to determine the best tre
Treatment advances for relieving hives
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