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Dr Andrew Baker - Immunologist and Allergy Specialist - North Shore Auckland

Private Service, Allergy and Immunology, Internal Medicine

Causes of Urticaria Hives Itch and Treatment- Waitemata Allergy Clinic Takapuna

Urticaria (hives) is an itchy rash which comes and goes.  It can cause small bumps or large patches over 15 cm.  Causes of urticaria hives include not only allergy but also non-allergic causes. 

Causes of Hives Urticaria

Carefully listening to a patient's symptoms and history is the key to distinguishing what causes hives, and is essential for proper management.  Stress, low mood, illness, fever, exercise, temperature change and anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) are a few of the non-allergic causes, and testing for allergy is necessary in some cases but not others.

Hives can be associated with dermatographism (also known as skin writing) in which a raised red itchy line appears on scratching the skin.

Hives is actually quite common with one in four people getting hives in their lifetime.

Sometimes hives is associated with angioedema (swelling of the lips, tongue and eyes).

Treatment of Hives Urticaria

Treatment of urticaria involves addressing the underlying cause and this is different in each case.  Antihistamines are often necessary, as well as minimising precipitants

This page was last updated at 1:09PM on September 7, 2021.