Reviewed by Eugene Choo, MD
Chronic hives can be caused by both allergic and non-allergic processes. Uncovering the source or types of chronic urticaria is of critical importance for effective management of this condition. Though not life-threatening in and of themselves, hives can be a serious, debilitating nuisance. Hives can also accompany anaphylaxis, which is a life-threatening condition. These are the two types of hives:
 
  • Allergic Hives (Urticaria): This is a hypersensitivity disease that results when the immune system mistakenly overreacts to something that is otherwise harmless, otherwise known as an allergen (such as a food or drug).

  • Physical Hives (Urticaria): In other cases, the cause of the hives is some physical stimulus such as cold, heat, sunlight, water, pressure, or vibration.

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