Urticaria, commonly known as hives, are red, very itchy swellings that usually occur rapidly and eventually disappear with or without treatments.
Hives can vary in size and occur in groups or any part of the skin, before fading and appearing on another area of the body.
Hives can be a sign of an allergic reaction, however there are many other common causes of hives, including viral infections, some medications such as codeine and morphine, and physical triggers, such as heat, cold, pressure, vibration, and scratching.
Chronic urticaria, hives which come and go for months or years, are not a sign of an external allergy, but are instead an autoimmune phenomenon. They are usually controllable with safe and effective medications, and allergists at Snö Asthma & Allergy have a great deal of experience managing acute and chronic hives.