Urticaria, also called hives, are red, itchy, swollen areas of the skin that can range in size and appear anywhere on the body.
Usually, the cause is readily identifiable—often a viral infection, reaction to drugs, food, or latex. Hives usually go away spontaneously or by avoiding the allergic trigger. In some cases, medicine is needed to increase comfort or prevent recurrence.
Some people have chronic urticaria that occurs almost daily for months or, in some cases, years. For these individuals, scratching, pressure or stress may aggravate hives. An allergist/immunologist can diagnosis the problem and prescribe treatments for this bothersome condition.