Hives/Urticaria is a skin condition in which weals develop with intense itching that last less than 24 hours in each given spot.
Hives or urticaria is driven by a molecule called histamine that makes the blood vessels dilate and become leaky, thus explaining the symptoms of swelling, redness and itch. Urticaria can be classified in acute or chronic depending on the duration of the condition. Acute urticaria has no evident explanation in over 50% of cases. Common causes include viral conditions, environmental allergens or sensitizers, medications, insect bites and some food. It last less than 6 weeks.
Chronic urticaria can be related to metabolic health problems like diabetes, thyroid hormone abnormalities, parasitic and chronic bacterial infections, autoimmune conditions and cancer.
Triggers for developing urticaria can be multiple including temperature changes (heat or cold), anxiety or stress, anxiety, exercise, sun or even water (aquagenic).
Treatment options are tailored based on the type of urticaria and its triggers. Multiple therapies are available.