Is it Hives or something else?

Hives happen when welts develop that itch, swell, are red or white, and have no recognized cause. Chronic idiopathic hives are characterized by welts that persist for at least six weeks. The truth is that many skin conditions might be mistaken for chronic hives, even though any skin rash may appear to you to be an allergic reaction or hives.

How to Detect Whether it is Chronic Hives?

A dermatologist visit is an excellent initial step to confirm a diagnosis and find relief if you discover a persistent, itchy skin rash. The best ways to identify what's causing the hives and if there is a grave skin disorder behind it are to provide a complete medical history and to have a physical exam.

Hives can appear anywhere on the body, and they can quickly change appearance, move, disappear, and reappear. Additionally, hives can take the form of lumps, inflated red or skin-colored welts, or "wheals," with clear edges and a crimson center that becomes white when squeezed. While the exact cause of persistent hives is frequently unknown, particular foods, medications, insect bites, pet dander, viral or bacterial infections, and reactivity to environmental factors like temperature and sunlight exposure are some of the main triggers.

What Skin Problems are Confused With Hives?

Hives can be confused with other skin conditions, including −

  • Heat rash − This skin problem develops in hot, humid weather and can be made worse by friction-causing or sweat duct-blocking garments. Itchy and sensitive people may get fluid-filled blisters and bumps rash. Heat rash can range in severity from mild to severe, depending on whether the lumps are pus-filled or reach the deeper layers of the skin. Heat rash normally goes away on its own, unlike chronic hives, and can be managed by chilling the skin and lowering sweating.

  • Contact Dermatitis − In this widespread ailment, everything that touches the skin will result in a red rash. The response could be brought on by an allergy to a component of cosmetics or a specific metal used in jewelry, or it could be brought on by prolonged contact with an irritant like soap or bleach. But unlike hives, which are an itchy reaction, contact dermatitis typically causes a stinging or burning reaction. The reaction manifests itself when the skin comes into touch with the trigger.

  • Rosacea − Rosacea is only found on the face and is characterized by redness on the cheeks, nose, chin, or forehead. In contrast to hives, which can appear everywhere on the body. Other typical symptoms include watery or irritated eyes, lumps on the cheeks that resemble pimples, and small, visible blood vessels. Rosacea cannot be healed completely, although various drugs can help regulate the condition.

  • Eczema − Eczema symptoms are felt all over the body and often differ from person to person. Eczema can be hard to tell apart from hives since both conditions result in red, inflamed, dry, scaly, and extremely itchy skin. The specific etiology of eczema is unknown, just like with persistent hives, although it's thought to be related to dry, irritated skin and an overactive immune system. It is crucial to have a doctor identify the skin condition and suggest appropriate treatment because the course of action differs from that for hives.

  • Pityriasis Rosea − A red, splotchy rash occurs on the body due to this common skin condition. It lasts six to eight weeks. It can occasionally last much longer. Unlike persistent hives, pityriasis rosea typically goes away on its own without treating it.The dominant characteristic separating chronic hives from more severe skin conditions is whether the welts are fluid-filled or not. It is most certainly hives if the red pimples are itchy, inflammatory, and filled with fluid.

Treatment of Hives

Hives frequently vanish on their own. But it's beneficial if you can figure out what makes you break out in hives.

Your hives should go away and stay away if you can limit your exposure to the allergen that is triggering the reaction. Unfortunately, things are rarely that easy.

There are various at-home remedies to get rid of hives if they persist. These consist of −

  • Taking antihistamines orally

  • Using a cortisone cream on the affected region

  • Rubbing calamine lotion on the affected area

  • Applying a cool witch hazel compress after bathing the region

  • Wearing loose, non-irritating clothing

  • Applying a cold water compress to the area

  • Avoiding sun exposure


Hives are quite frequent and have a wide range of causes. Although not all rashes resemble hives, they are all a type of rash. Acute or chronic skin problems can both exist.

It's crucial to make an effort to identify the underlying cause of your hives because this will assist you to select the most appropriate course of action. Hives treatment can be done at home.

Hives might need to be treated by a doctor immediately if they have additional symptoms like difficulty breathing.

Updated on: 20-Apr-2023


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