The information in this website is intended only for healthcare professionals. By entering this site, you are confirming that you are a healthcare professional.
The information in this website is intended only for laboratory professionals. By entering this site, you are confirming that you are a laboratory professional.
With or without insurance, you can get a quick, personalized allergy test when it’s convenient for you.Read more >
This 4-year-old recently ate some ice cream without having a reaction—did she outgrow her milk allergy?Read more >
Everyone has their own unique combination of allergic triggers and not all of them are obvious.Read more >
Anaphylaxis, also called anaphylactic shock, is an acute, life-threatening allergic reaction.Read more >
Digestive and gastrointestinal issues are closely tied to what you eat.Read more >
Does this 4-year-old run the risk of having a severe reaction to peanuts?Read more >
Food allergies are the body’s immune system reacting to something that is normally harmless to most people–like milk or eggs.Read more >
If you suspect allergies are the cause of your symptoms, it is important to consult with your healthcare professional to get properly diagnosed.Read more >
There are options when it comes to testing to identify allergic triggers.Read more >
After eating a bowl of fruit and nut cereal, this 8-year-old was covered in large hives—what caused her reaction?Read more >
Get answers to some of the most common questions about allergy.Read more >
Hives usually start as an itchy patch of skin that turns into swollen red bumps—they can sometimes be mistaken for bug bites. They are also known as nettle rash or urticaria. Although hives usually itch, they can also burning or stinging and can appear anywhere on the body, alone or in groups. Hives usually appear suddenly and go away just as quickly. They can also move around, disappear and reappear. Hives can be annoying, but are not considered contagious.
Hives fall into two main categories: acute and chronic. Acute hives resolve quickly—most in a couple of hours to a day; chronic hives continue for six weeks or longer.
There are many causes of hives. A lot of everyday things can cause hives, including extreme temperatures, sun, exercise, viral infections, or stress. Occasionally, hives can point to a more serious, rare condition known as mastocytosis.
Medications, latex, animal saliva and bee/wasp/hornet stings can also cause hives.
So, how do you know if your hives are caused by an allergy or not? If you think you or a loved one has allergies, don’t try to manage the problem on your own. A simple blood test – together with your medical history – can help identify underlying allergen triggers, if you have an allergy. A blood test can be done even if hives are present or if you’re taking antihistamines. Be sure to consult with your healthcare professional because knowing if you’re allergic and what you’re allergic to can help you, or a loved one, avoid or minimize symptoms.