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Hives (Urticaria)

Hives (also known as urticaria) are itchy welts, or bumps, on your skin. They often arise from an allergic response to food or another substance. Hives usually disappear on their own, without medical attention, so the cause sometimes remains unknown.

Hives: what you should know

  • When you have hives, the welts, also called wheals, are usually either red or the same color as your skin. You can be sure they are hives if the centers turn white when you press on them.
  • In most cases, hives are not serious and disappear on their own. Sometimes, they can be a sign of a more serious illness.
  • If you suspect you might have hives, doctors at Rush can evaluate you to help figure out which substances you should avoid.

How can I get help for hives?

Often hives will go away on their own. But if your hives are severe and persistent, you should see a doctor.

If your hives are accompanied by any of the following, you should go to the emergency room or call 911:

  • Fainting
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Tightness in your throat
  • Swelling of your tongue or face

Care for hives at Rush

If your primary care doctor recommends further evaluation and testing to determine what allergies are causing your hives, Rush has many specialists who can help find the cause of your distress.

Why choose Rush for hives care

  • Through the Section of Allergy and Immunology, you can get comprehensive allergy testing to determine which substances might be causing hives.
  • Dermatology specialists at Rush offer comprehensive care for skin conditions, whether common or rare.

Departments and programs that treat this condition