Hives (also known as urticaria or welts) are an itchy skin rash that is often triggered by an allergic reaction. They can suddenly appear anywhere on the body, and it is not uncommon for them to start without warning. The welts themselves can be quite small or as large as several centimeters. Most of the time, the hives will fade away within 24 hours. There are some people have a chronic form of this condition, where hives can appear daily even over many months. Chronic urticaria is defined as hives that last over 6 weeks.
But not all hives are caused by an allergic reaction to foods or medications. Hives can also be triggered by a viral illness for example. Other times, even the extreme cold weather we experience during Chicago winters can trigger these symptoms. The challenge with hives are that the cause is often very hard to identify. Contact Chicago Allergy & Asthma today to learn more about hives and urticaria, receive a diagnosis and begin expert treatment that is right for you.