What do hives look like? We’ll show you some pictures of hives so you can see for yourself. Keep in mind the fact that the appearance of hives can vary quite a bit, depending in part on how many hives you have as well as on what part of the body they appear, but these photos will help you know what to watch for.
As you can see from these pictures of hives, they are raised reddish spots or welts on the body. Sometimes they are very red, while sometimes they are more flesh-toned. Often the center appears lighter or whitish in color. They may appear round or oval or oddly shaped. Hives can range in size from a few millimeters to several inches across.
Hives can appear anywhere on the body. You may have hives in just one area or you may get them all over. You can have just a single hive (such as from an insect sting or bite), or a few hives, or too many hives to count. If you have many hives very close together, it may be hard to tell where one hive ends and another begins.
Hives often itch, sometimes quite a bit, but they don’t always. Of course, you can’t tell by looking at them how itchy hives are. What looks like a minor case of hives might itch constantly while what looks like a severe case of hives might not itch much at all.
As the Mayo Clinic website explains, hives usually go away within 24 hours. New hives may take their place, though, so a bout of hives can last for days or even weeks. Hives that last longer than six weeks are considered chronic, but those are less common.
Note that the appearance of hives is very similar regardless of what causes them. For instance, hives that are caused by an allergic reaction to food look a lot like hives caused by stress. Hives caused by a viral infection look a lot like hives caused by an allergic reaction to medication. You can’t tell what caused hives just by looking at them.
If you’ve got a skin condition but aren’t sure if it is hives or something else, see a physician for a diagnosis. Some skin problems are contagious and some are symptoms of serious illnesses, so it’s best to see a doctor if you have any doubt.
See these pictures for examples of what hives may look like on different parts of the body.
If you’re not sure if your skin condition is hives or not, of if you can’t figure out what’s causing your hives, see your doctor. In general, hives are treated by avoiding the trigger if possible (for instance, avoiding any food or medications that trigger a reaction) and with antihistamines to relieve itching and discomfort. Antihistamines are available over the counter at any drugstore and include products like Zyrtec and Benadryl. Stronger medications are available by prescription if over-the-counter medications don’t provide sufficient relief.
Some people prefer to try natural remedies for hives because they are concerned about the possible side effects of over-the-counter and prescription drugs. For instance, antihistamines often cause drowsiness and may also cause tremors, blurred vision and impaired coordination, all of which can interfere with your ability to drive a car, go to work and do other things you need to do each day. We like OxyHives, a natural homeopathic remedy for hives that relieves itching and discomfort quickly. To find out more and see if this product can help you, follow this link to the OxyHives Website.
Mayo Clinic: Hives