Urticaria, commonly referred to as hives, will affect up to 20% of the population at some time during their life. It can be triggered by many substances or situations and usually starts as an itchy patch of skin that turns into swollen red welts (wheals). Lesions are generally found in clusters and can range from the size of a pea to the size of a dinner plate. It can affect any part of the body but is often found on the torso, throat, arms and legs. Hives is most commonly suffered during childhood. Aside from providing treatment for hives and urticaria, we also help Canberrans treat and manage acne, eczema, rosacea, psoriasis, and more.


Understanding urticaria and hives

Most wheals disappear within a few hours, only to be replaced by new ones elsewhere on the skin. Wheals that persist in the same location for more than 24 hours often indicate another skin condition. Those suffering from acute hives may experience wheals appearing and disappearing for a few days or even weeks. In rare circumstances, sufferers experience lesions for months or years. This is known as chronic urticaria.

Symptoms of hives include:

  • Raised itchy bumps, either red or skin-coloured

  • “Blanching” (when pressed, the centre of a red wheal turns white)

Lesions appear on any area of the body; they may change shape, move around, disappear and reappear over short periods of time. Very few skin diseases occur and then resolve so rapidly, making this quality a good diagnostic marker.

Common triggers of hives include:

  • Medications, such as antibiotics, aspirin and ibuprofen

  • Foods like, milk, eggs, nuts and shellfish

  • Viral and bacterial infections

  • Underlying medical conditions such as vasculitis, lupus and thyroid disease.

  • Emotional stress

  • Contact with animals or plants

  • Exposure to sun, heat or cold.

  • Exercise and sweating

  • Insect bites and stings


Urticaria treatment options

Hives is normally not a serious health condition, but if a person starts to develop a fever, wheezing or shortness of breath it is imperative to seek medical attention.


Tell us about your experience with hives and urticaria

Most cases of hives resolve in a short period of time but chronic hives can seriously affect the sufferer’s quality of life. At Healthy Skin Solutions we can help you identify the triggers of your disease and reduce or resolve the aggravating symptoms. Call us today on 6295 6040 to find out more.