The most common symptom of hives is itching.
Itching may be severe enough to interfere with daily activities. A hive is a small to large, raised, itchy bump (wheal) that usually clears up within a few hours. Hives may be small bumps or large, irregularly shaped areas. Hives are typically asymmetrical, meaning that one half of the body does not mirror the other half of the body. Hives can occur on any part of the body. If hives occur in some areas, such as the eyelid or ear, they can appear to be very swollen. A deeper swelling of the skin may also occur with hives. This deeper swelling is called angioedema.