Hives Pictures. Hives, also known as urticaria, is an outbreak of swollen, pale red bumps or plaques (wheals) on the skin that appear suddenly, either as a result an adverse reaction to certain allergens, or for sometimes for unknown reasons.
Some people will use the terms “hives” and “rash” to describe the same condition. Hives are however, different than a rash. In most cases hives look more like “welts” where the skin is raised, red, and itchy. Rashes tend to be more patches of little bumps which are usually also red and itch. Hives can be caused by an allergic reaction to food, drugs or inhaled allergens such as mold spores.
Some people under conditions causing a lot of stress or anxiety will break out with hives. Most of the time hives will go away in under 3 weeks, however chronic hives last more than 3 weeks and they can occur anytime. The following hives pictures show the condition:
Hives normally cause itching, but they may also burn or sting. They can appear anywhere on the body, including the face, lips, tongue, throat, or ears and can vary in size and they may join together to form larger areas known as plaques. They usually last for a few hours up to one day before fading.
What Are The Causes Of Hives?
Hives form (in response to histamine) when blood plasma leaks out of small blood vessels in the skin. Histamine is a chemical released from specialized cells along the skin’s blood vessels.
Allergic reactions, chemicals in foods, insect stings, sunlight exposure, or medicines can all cause histamine release. Sometimes it’s impossible to find out exactly why hives have formed.
There are several different types of hives, including:
Acute urticaria are hives that last less than six weeks. The most common causes are foods, medicines, or infections. Insect bites and internal disease may also be responsible. The most common foods that cause hives are nuts, chocolate, fish, tomatoes, eggs, fresh berries, and milk. Fresh foods cause hives more often than cooked foods. Certain food additives and preservatives may also cause hives.
Medicines that can cause hives include aspirin and other non steroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen, high blood pressure medications (ACE inhibitors), or painkillers such as codeine.
Chronic urticaria is hives that last more than six weeks. The cause of this type of hives is usually more difficult to pinpoint than those causing acute urticaria. For more than 87% of people with chronic urticaria, the cause is unknown. Chronic urticaria can affect other internal organs such as the lungs, muscles and gastrointestinal tract. Symptoms include muscle soreness, shortness of breath, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Physical urticaria are hives caused by direct physical stimulation of the skin. Cold, heat, sun exposure, vibration, pressure, sweating, and exercise can all be causes. The hives usually occur on the spot where the skin was stimulated and generally do not appear in other areas. Most of the hives appear within one hour after exposure.