Hives can occur on any part of your body and can have a big impact on your life. In people with chronic spontaneous urticaria hives can occur at any time and often there is no known trigger.
Hives are red, itchy bumps that can feel a bit like a mosquito bite. They vary in size from very small (e.g. the size of a pinhead) to very large (e.g. the size of a dinner plate) and can join to cover large areas of the skin.1 They can also have a burning or painful sensation and be accompanied by angioedema (swelling) in the deeper layers of the skin.1,2 The hives will disappear within 1-24 hours, but new hives can appear during this time, making it appear as though they are travelling across the skin.1 Angioedema can take up to 72 hours to disappear.1
Hives symptoms appear as red itchy bumps. Image used with permission from DermNet New Zealand.
Hives symptoms can also appear as swelling or angioedema. Image used with permission from DermNet NZ.
Hives symptoms such as itch and pain can severely impact your quality of life, making it difficult to concentrate, wear clothes and sleep.3,4 The redness and swelling can also affect how someone feels about themselves, their relationships with friends and family, and whether they can work or go to school.3,4 It is a very stressful condition, especially in people with chronic hives, with many people becoming anxious or depressed.4
Hives can impact many aspects of your life
Do you know that not all hives are allergy related? Take the test to find out how hives are impacting your life.SYMPTOM CHECKER
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- Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy. ASCIA PCC Hives Urticaria 2021. Available from https://allergy.org.au/patients/skin-allergy/urticaria-hives Accessed August 2021.
- Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy. ASCIA HP Position Paper Chronic Urticaria Guidelines 2020. Available from https://allergy.org.au/images/stories/pospapers/ASCIA_HP_Position_Paper_CSU_2020.pdf Accessed August 2021.
- Maurer M et al. Allergy 2011; 66:317–330.
- Maurer M et al. Allergy 2017; 72: 2005-2016.