Hives

Hives (urticaria) are red bumps or welts that appear on the body. The condition is called acute urticaria if it lasts for no more than six weeks, and chronic urticaria if it persists beyond six weeks. Acute urticaria is most commonly caused by exposure to an allergen or by an infection. The cause of chronic urticaria is largely unknown.

Treatment for acute urticaria includes non-sedating antihistamines taken regularly for several weeks. Antihistamines, such as cetirizine or fexofenadine, help by blocking the effects of histamines and reducing the rash and stopping the itching. Various antihistamines can be purchased in pharmacies or online.

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