Hives

Hives are itchy, red, puffy patches on the skin. Hives may change in size and shape. They may also show up in new places on the body. Hives may be a reaction to something that was eaten, touched, or put on the skin. Hives can also be a reaction to cold, heat, infections, medicine, insect bites, or stress. Hives cannot spread from one person to another.

HOME CARE

  • Stay away from what caused the hives, if this applies.

  • To relieve itching and rash:

  • Apply cold packs to the skin. A cool bath may also help. Do not take hot baths or showers. Warm water makes the itching worse.

  • Take medicine to shrink the hives as told by your doctor. This medicine can make you sleepy. Do not drive if you take this medicine.

  • Only take medicine as told by your doctor.

  • Wear loose-fitting clothes and underwear.

  • Follow up with your doctor.

GET HELP RIGHT AWAY IF:

  • You have a fever.

  • Your lips or tongue puff up (swell).

  • Breathing or swallowing is hard to do.

  • Throat or chest tightness develops.

  • Belly (abdominal) pain develops.

These may be the first signs of a life-threatening allergic reaction. This is an emergency. Call your local emergency services (911 in U.S.).

MAKE SURE YOU:

  • Understand these instructions.

  • Will watch your condition.

  • Will get help right away if you are not doing well or get worse.