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What Are Hives and How Long Do They Last?

What Are Hives and How Long Do They Last

If you are looking down at your body and see a bunch of red welts showing up, this can be a cause for alarm. You might be wondering if you have touched something recently, gotten sick, or if you have burned yourself. However, it’s more likely you might be looking at hives. 

What are hives, and how long do they last? There are a few points to keep in mind.

What Are Hives?

Hives are relatively large red welts that show up on your skin. They look like giant blisters; however, they are usually not filled with liquid. If you have small red dots all over your body that are raised, you might have hives. Hives vary in size; however, they are usually about the size of a quarter or a half-dollar. In some cases, you might only have hives at one location on your body. In other situations, you might have hives from head to toe. If you have hives, this means that your immune system is reacting to something. The only question is, what is it reacting to?

What Causes Hives?

In general, there are two broad categories of causes when it comes to hives. The first cause of hives is an allergic reaction. For example, if you are allergic to peanuts and you are exposed to peanuts, you might develop hives in response to them. Or, if you are allergic to cats and you come into contact with cat hair, you may develop hives this way as well.

In other situations, your immune system may be reacting to an infection. For example, if you are wondering what viruses cause hives, this depends. The common cold, mononucleosis, and even certain forms of hepatitis can cause hives. Importantly, just because one infection causes hives in one person doesn’t necessarily mean it will cause hives in someone else.

How Long Do Hives Last?

Some hives will come and go within a few hours. In other cases, hives will last for a few days. It depends on the immune system of the individual and the cause. In general, hives caused by an allergic reaction will show up and disappear more quickly than hives caused by an infection, such as a virus. Anyone concerned about hives should make sure to see a doctor.

When to See a Doctor When You Have Hives

There are a few warning signs that indicate someone should see a doctor for hives. First, anyone who is seeing hives for the first time should see a doctor to determine what caused the outbreak. Second, anyone who has had hives for a few days that are not getting better should also see a doctor. Finally, anyone who is having trouble breathing in association with their hives should see a doctor immediately as this may be a sign of anaphylaxis. If you are looking for help with hives, request an appointment with the best provider in town! Contact Valley Skin Institute to learn more about hives!

Dr. Leslie Storey | Valley Skin Institute

Dr. Leslie Storey is a board-certified physician specializing in medical and surgical dermatology. Her mission is to find and remove skin cancer, which she does more than 2,000 times a year. An expert in Mohs Surgery, Dr. Storey’s patients often comment that they are amazed at how minimal their scar is after they have healed from surgery. If you notice anything suspicious on your skin, request an appointment with Dr. Storey to have it checked out.

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