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Hives, also known as urticaria, are skin welts that are usually accompanied by itching and can appear anywhere on the body. These welts can range in size from very small to quite large and may eventually merge to form a larger welt. Hives usually disappear within 24 hours or less, but new hives may continue to appear as old ones fade. Acute hives typically last less than six weeks, whereas chronic hives last longer than six weeks.


  • Allergies: Hives can be caused by an allergic reaction to a food, medication, insect sting, or other allergen.
  • Medications: Some medications, such as antibiotics, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), or opioids, can cause hives as a side effect.
  • Infections: Hives can be a symptom of an infection, such as a viral or bacterial infection.
  • Physical triggers: Exposure to heat, cold, pressure, or sunlight can cause hives in some people.
  • Stress: Emotional stress can trigger hives in some people.
  • Autoimmune disorders: Hives can be a symptom of autoimmune disorders, such as lupus or thyroid disease.
  • Idiopathic urticaria: In some cases, hives may occur without an identifiable cause, and this is known as idiopathic urticaria.


We offer consultations to evaluate your skin and determine the underlying cause of your hives. Treatment for hives depends on the specific type and cause and can range from medication to dietary changes. If you are experiencing hives, give us a call at 202-737-6800 to schedule an appointment with one of our providers.