How Long For Hives To Go Away – At The Most

HivesHow Long For Hives To Go Away - At The Most

Hives are ring-shaped patches that can appear anywhere on the body. This condition can be caused by an allergic reaction to food, medications, infections or stress. How long for hives to go away?

It takes around a day or two, but the duration might vary depending upon the type of hive one has. It is mainly associated with hot weather, high temperatures, sun exposure, insect bites, pollen and heat. This common condition usually flares up during the summer season.

How Long For Hives To Go Away 

How long for hives to go away is not an uncommon question considering the fact that 20 percent of the population have been infected by this condition at some point or other in their lives. Hives, also known as Urticaria, are a type of skin rash consisting of pale red bumps of swollen red welts. The rash can be triggered by a reaction to medicines, certain foods, emotional stress, or other irritants. The swelling associated with hives is called angioedema. Additionally, allergic reactions, alcoholic beverages, sunlight, or insect stings can also cause hives.

Hives may affect each individual differently. An outbreak of hives can appear suddenly and can last a variable amount of time, depending on the type of hives. Having sufficient knowledge about hives helps in timely treatment and, avoids complications in the long haul. Listed below are the different types of hives, their causes, and how long they last:

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Acute hives

Acute hives appear suddenly and fade away on their own usually within 24-48 hours. They are also referred to as acute spontaneous urticaria and in some cases may last for several weeks. Individual weals fade away in about an hour, but new ones may appear in other places, giving you the impression that the rash may be moving around the body. The occurrence is mostly noticed on your hands, feet, lips, eyes, or genitals. In some cases, individuals experience swelling in the deeper layers of the skin.

Acute episodes are known to be caused mainly due to:

how long for hives to go away

  • Infections
  • Foods such as nuts, eggs, and shellfish
  • Medications such as antibiotics (such as penicillin and sulfa) and aspirin
  • Insect stings
  • Blood transfusions

Chronic hives

As the name suggests, these hives last for more than 6 weeks. Your symptoms may come and go intermittently and you may have itchiness and a rash on most days. They gradually disappear over time. Seeing a doctor can help identify possible causes and triggers. In many cases, there isn’t an obvious trigger or cause. In some cases, chronic hives cannot be identified even with testing. Chronic hives should be evaluated by an allergist who takes a detailed family medical history, personal medical history, and medication in general.

Below are some identified causes of Chronic hives

  • In cases of chronic episodes, it has been noticed that half of the patients have antibodies that attack the mast cell (allergy cell). This leads to the release of histamine which causes hives and itching. 
  • Chronic hives are also linked with autoimmune diseases like thyroid disease and viral hepatitis. 

Physical urticaria

Physical urticaria is usually a result of physical causes. They generally develop in minutes and fade away in about an hour. Taking antihistamines is useful when you break out in a rash, however, a doctor’s visit is recommended if you intend on continuing the medication for a longer period. These hives appear within a few minutes of scratching and the rash is often linear in the manner scratched.

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Here are a few types and causes of physical hives:

how long for hives to go away

  • Delayed pressure urticaria (a result of constant pressure from belts and constricting clothing like sock bands)
  • Cold urticaria (from exposure to low temperature followed by high temperature)
  • Sun-induced urticaria (Exposure to sunlight)
  • Cholinergic urticaria (Increase in body temperature with sweating, hot showers, or during exercise)
  • Dermographism (exaggerated flare response following your skin being scratched or stroked)
  • Sweating, rubbing your skin, and/or anxiety
  • In some rare cases, water could also trigger an outbreak

Final words

Hives last for not more than 24 hours in most individuals and are generally not harmful. In cases of allergic reactions, where the symptoms are severe such as swelling of the tongue, shortness of breath, and closing of throat, the patient should be immediately brought to the emergency department. In most cases, extensive testing may be required to identify the type of hives and their causes, including analyzing blood and urine. Antihistamines are commonly used in the treatment of hives. Hives cannot be cured, however, medication may help control the outbreaks. As and when the medication is discontinued, the hives may return. It is advisable for patients to monitor progress every other month.

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