Who Gets Hives?

Anyone can get hives. It’s estimated that about 20% of people develop hives at some point during their lifetime. 

The red, itchy welts usually appear suddenly and disappear within a few hours. However, it’s not uncommon for new hives to appear as old ones fade, causing an itchy rash that may last a few days, weeks, or months.

At Associated Skin Care Specialists, our team of board-certified dermatologists specializes in diagnosing hives, finding the underlying cause, and providing treatment to alleviate your symptoms.

When your hives last longer than expected, you may wonder: why me? 

About those hives

Hives, also known as urticaria, are a type of rash that causes itchy, raised welts. These welts may vary in size and appear anywhere on the body. 

Though your initial rash may disappear, new hives may form. It’s not uncommon for hives to come and go for a few days or a few weeks. In some people, hives may return every day or every few days for months or years.

Hives that last six weeks or less are known as acute hives, while hives that last longer than six weeks are known as chronic hives.  

Who gets hives?

Hives are common and can affect anyone. Though researchers are still investigating what causes someone to develop hives, they theorize it may have something to do with your immune system.

You develop hives when something triggers your immune system to release high levels of histamine and other chemicals into your skin, which causes your blood vessels to open up and leak. 

Those red itchy welts are the result of the excess fluid that collects under your skin from this reaction. 

Why do I have hives?

Histamine is often released by your immune system to protect your body from an allergen, which is a substance your body considers harmful even though it’s not in most people. This immune system reaction may affect any part of your body, including your skin. 

Common allergens that trigger hives include:

Allergens aren’t the only cause of hives. An infection, underlying health condition, stress, exercise, or the sun may also trigger hives. 

When exposed to the trigger, you may develop a reaction within minutes or hours.

In many cases, the exact cause of hives is unknown, especially in people with chronic hives.

Treating hives

For hives, our medical dermatology experts focus on relieving your immediate symptoms and preventing future flare-ups by helping you identify and avoid your hive triggers.

For symptom relief, we prescribe antihistamines or a topical corticosteroid. We also work with you to help identify the allergens or other factors that trigger your hives and design a plan so you can reduce your risk of flare-ups. 

We may take a skin biopsy and have the tissue sample evaluated by our dermatopathology team to better understand the underlying cause of your hives. 

In most cases, hives aren’t a serious medical issue, but the symptoms can affect your quality of life. Let us help you get relief from your hives. 

Call the office nearest you — Blaine, Eden Prairie, Coon Rapids, Maple Grove, New Brighton, or Fridley, Minnesota — or use our new online scheduling tool to make an appointment today. We even offer telemedicine appointments to help manage skin problems. 

You Might Also Enjoy...

Help! I Think I Have Poison Ivy

First the itch, then the rash, and finally the blisters. Is it poison ivy or something else? Click here to learn more about poison ivy and to get help.

How to Prevent Eczema Flare-Ups

The itchy, inflamed, and irritated skin from your eczema can make life miserable. But you can take steps to prevent these eczema flare-ups and the uncomfortable symptoms that come with them. Click here to learn more.

What to Do About Head Lice

Being told your child has head lice can send you into a panic that leads to impulsive decisions. Before you start clearing out your house to get rid of the infestation, read on to learn what you need to do about head lice.

Choosing Your Ideal Dermal Filler

From wrinkles to acne scars, when it comes to dermal fillers, there’s no “one size fits all.” How do you know what dermal filler is right for you? Click here to learn how to choose your ideal filler.

The Many Benefits of CoolSculpting®

Diet and exercise may not be enough to get rid of the jiggly fat from your abdomen and thighs. But with CoolSculpting®, you can trim away those stubborn pockets of fat to improve your body shape without surgery or downtime.