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Hives, also known as urticaria are red, itchy, swollen areas of the skin that can range in size from small to large and appear anywhere on the body.. Hives can migrate on the body, appearing in different areas throughout the course of the reaction.
Usually the cause of urticaria is readily identifiable. Often the culprit is a viral infection, seasonal allergies or an allergic reaction to drugs, food or latex. Hives usually go away spontaneously by avoiding the allergic trigger. However, in some cases medical intervention is needed to increase comfort or prevent recurrence.
Chronic urticaria is diagnosed when hives continue to reoccur lasting more than 6 weeks.
An allergist can perform tests to diagnose the cause of urticaria and prescribe treatments for this bothersome condition.