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Photo of Hives (Urticaria) Skin Rash

Hives (Urticaria)

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© Scott Camazine / Phototake -- All rights reserved.

Urticaria, also known as hives, is an outbreak of swollen, pale red bumps or plaques (wheals) on the skin that appear suddenly -- either as a result of the body's adverse reaction to certain allergens, or for unknown reasons.

Hives usually cause itching, but may also burn or sting. They can appear anywhere on the body, including the face, lips, tongue, throat, or ears. Hives vary in size (from a pencil eraser to a dinner plate), and may join together to form larger areas known as plaques. They can last for hours, or up to one day before fading. Read more about hives (urticaria and angioedema).

Reviewed on November 07, 2014

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