Hives or urticaria are an allergic or hypersensitive response of the immune system. They are fairly common and tend to resolve on their own. Hives are classically pink raised itchy bumps. New bumps may come and go, but each "spot" lasts less than 24 hours. They are usually responsive to over the counter antihistamines, such as diphenhydramine, cetirizine, loratidine, or fexofenadine. If you have hives for longer than six weeks, you may wish to consult a physician.
Heather Lampel, MD
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