Urticaria, commonly referred to as hives, is a kind of skin rash notable for pale red, raised, itchy bumps, which can cause a burning or stinging sensation. Lesions are frequently caused by allergic reactions; however, there are many nonallergic causes, such as autoimmune disorders like thyroid disease.
Most cases of hives lasting less than six weeks (acute urticaria) are the result of an allergic trigger. Chronic urticaria (hives lasting longer than six weeks) is rarely due to an allergy. Treatment for urticaria typically involves identifying and avoiding triggers, as well as taking medication to relieve symptoms. Antihistamines are often prescribed to block the release of histamine and reduce itching and swelling. In severe cases, oral or injectable corticosteroids may be prescribed.