You may feel embarrassed, self-conscious and want to avoid social gatherings, work or school. And unlike other parts of your body you cannot cover hives up when they are on your face.
Hives on the face can occur in both acute and chronic forms of urticaria. When the trigger is not known, as is the case with chronic spontaneous urticaria, they can appear at any time and are itchy and often painful.1,2
The individual hives usually resolve in 1-24 hours and swollen areas such as lips or eyes may take up to 72 hours to disappear. However, new hives can appear and in the case of chronic hives this can go on for many weeks, months or years.1
Picture of hives on face and associated angioedema (swelling). Image used with permission from DermNet NZ
There aren’t any scientifically-proven magic creams that will clear hives on the face. Anti-itch, cooling skin lotions such as calamine lotion or 1% menthol in aqueous cream may help to relieve itching, but they won’t make the hives disappear any quicker.2 Depending on your diagnosis, there may be other medications that can help relieve symptoms.1
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.
Assess the impact that hives is having on your life and take the results to your doctorSYMPTOM CHECKER
Explore on this siteUrticaria (hives) symptoms What are the symptoms of hives in children? What does hives on arms and legs look like?
Locate a specialistAustralasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA) Skin & Cancer Foundation Australasian College of Dermatologists
- 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.
- Deacock SJ. Clin & Exp Immunol 2008; 153:151–161.