Knowing the cause of hives can help you to manage the condition. Even when the cause is not known, it can be effectively managed.
Infection is a common cause of acute hives, especially in infants and children. Allergy to plants, animals, food, medication or insect stings can also be a cause.1 Hives usually occur within 1-2 hours and disappear after 6-8 hours.1 Allergic hives are suspected if the episodes are short-lived and occur under specific circumstances – e.g. within 2 hours after a meal. Allergy can also affect other parts of the body and can involve stomach pain, vomiting, difficulty breathing or dizziness.1
Chronic hives can be spontaneous, with the hives appearing anywhere on the body at any time, or they can be triggered by physical factors.
- The causes of chronic spontaneous hives may involve an underlying infection or the immune system; the triggers are usually not known1,2
- Chronic inducible urticaria is triggered by physical factors such as pressure, temperature or light; hives usually appear on the area of skin that was exposed to the trigger1
- Treatment involves avoiding or reducing exposure to the trigger (if known) and medications to relieve symptoms.3
For some of these treatments you need to be in the care of an immunologist or dermatologist. Speak to your GP about a referral to an urticaria specialist.You deserve more – don’t let hives control your life. Ask your doctors about clear skin and zero itch.SYMPTOM CHECKER
Explore on this siteWhat are the causes of hives (urticaria)? Chronic urticaria (hives) causes – what are they? What are common allergy hives causes?
Locate a specialistAustralasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA) Skin & Cancer Foundation Australasian College of Dermatologists
- Asero R et al. F1000Research 2017; 6:1095.
- 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.
- 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.