Hives are itchy, red or skin-colored welts on the skin also known as urticaria. They are not contagious. Often caused by an allergic reaction to a food or drug, they usually resolve within about 24 hours. In cases where hives occur daily or regularly for more than 6 weeks this is called Chronic Idiopathic Urticaria (CIU).

Food, medications, pets, certain infections, temperature, fabrics, pollen are all common triggers.

Antihistamines can be prescribed to help with some symptoms. In acute cases, Chelsea Skin & Laser might suggest allergy testing or blood work to identify the cause, therefore eliminating the reaction. Reactions associated with breathing function or swallowing could be serious. Patients should seek immediate emergency room attention.