Reviewed by Eugene Choo, MD

Most of us have heard about hives (known scientifically as urticaria) because many people develop them at some point in their lives. A hive is a small to large, raised, itchy "wheal" of skin that lasts no longer than a day and usually clears up within a few hours. Hives may be small bumps or large, irregularly shaped areas.

Most people experience what is called acute urticaria where the hives are short lasting, of a known origin, and do not recur. However, a small percent of people have hives of unknown origin all the time and are diagnosed with chronic urticaria. Urticaria is classified as chronic when it is recurrent for at least six weeks.

Typical Hives Patients


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