Urticaria, or hives, is a condition in which red, itchy, raised areas appear on the skin. The cause is usually an allergic reaction from eating certain foods or taking certain medicines. Sometimes the cause is unknown. Hives vary in size and may come and go. Hives can affect most of the body or just a small area.
Hives are a common reaction to allergies to the following foods:
Hives are a common reaction to allergies to the following medications:
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen or naproxen
Antibiotics, especially penicillin and sulfa-based drugs
Anticonvulsant or antiseizure drugs
ACE inhibitors for high blood pressure, such as lisinopril or enalapril
Drugs for treating cancer, such as monoclonal antibodies
Dermatographism. Hives caused by scratching or pressure on the skin
Cold-induced. Hives caused by exposure to cold air or water.
Solar hives. Hives caused by exposure to sunlight or other light.
Exercise-induced hives. These are brought on by physical activity.
Chronic urticaria. Recurrent hives with no known cause.
Angioedema is an allergic reaction that causes swelling in the deeper layers of skin. It sometimes occurs with hives. It's most common on the hands, feet, and face (lips, tongue, and eyes).