Urticaria / Hives

What is urticaria?

Urticaria, or hives, is a condition in which red, itchy, and swollen areas appear on the skin - usually as an allergic reaction from eating certain foods or taking certain medicines.

What foods commonly cause hives?

  • nuts
  • tomatoes
  • shellfish
  • berries

What medicines commonly cause hives?

  • penicillin
  • sulfa
  • anticonvulsant drugs
  • phenobarbital
  • aspirin

Other causes of hives:

  • dermatographism - hives caused by scratching the skin, continual stroking of the skin, or wearing tight-fitting clothes that rub the skin.
  • cold-induced - hives caused by exposure to cold air or water.
  • solar hives - hives caused by exposure to sunlight or light-bulb light.
  • exercise
  • chronic urticaria - recurrent hives with no known cause.

What is angioedema?

Angioedema is an allergic reaction that causes swelling deeper in the layers of the skin. It most commonly occurs on the hands, feet, and face (lips and eyes).

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