How long can hives last? Healing times and treatment

person hives can appear and disappear fairly quickly, with each hive only lasting around 2–3 hours. however, depending on the cause, they might reappear and continue affecting person for days, weeks, or longer. People can have acuate hives, which occurs due to a particular trip and resolves within 6 weeks. alternatively, they can have chronic hives, which recur at least doubly per week for longer than 6 weeks. This article looks at how long hives end, factors that influence their duration, and treatment.

Duration of acute vs. chronic hives

A silver analog alarm clock falling into a black body of water. partake on PinterestLebazele/Getty Images Each beehive lasts entirely 2–3 hours, but for some people, they continue to appear and disappear for longer. The duration of hives can depend on whether they are acute or chronic. Acute hives appear cursorily and do not last long. Doctors classify hives as acute if the overall duration is less than 6 weeks. however, around 25 % of people go on to develop chronic hives. This is when hives regularly reappear over 6 weeks or more. For many individuals, chronic hives finally clear on their own, but this can take months. According to the american Academy of Dermatology Association ( AAD ), around half of people with chronic hives spontaneously recover within 1 year.

What causes acute hives?

Acute hives often occur in response to an allergen or irritant. When the immune system perceives a kernel as a threat, it releases histamine and other chemicals. This causes bantam blood vessels under person ’ sulfur clamber to leak fluid, which accumulates and causes the find. Some common substances that can result in hives include :

  • food allergens, such as milk, eggs, tree nuts, peanuts, or shellfish
  • contact allergens, such as latex or animal dander
  • insect bites or stings
  • medications

Any drug can cause hives, but some of the medications most normally associated with this symptom include :

  • antibiotics, such as penicillin
  • non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin
  • thiazide diuretics
  • opiates, such as codeine and morphine

acute hives can besides occur in reaction to viral infections, parasitic infections, or during times of stress. According to a 2018 review, doctors are uncertain of the campaign of acute hives in around 50 % of individuals. These cases are known as acuate ad-lib urticaria ( ASU ).

What causes chronic hives?

chronic hives may have the lapp campaign as acute hives, but with symptoms lasting longer than 6 weeks. however, chronic hives are often not due to an allergen and rather have a physical lawsuit. There are two subcategories of chronic hives : inducible urticaria and chronic idiopathic urtication .

Chronic idiopathic hives

Chronic idiopathic urtication has no clear cause and is the most coarse form of chronic hives. Researchers are working to understand why this type of hives occurs, but a leading theory links it with autoimmunity. Autoimmunity occurs when a person ’ second immune system mistakenly attacks healthy weave, and respective autoimmune conditions are associated with chronic hives. The most coarse is thyroid disease, which is award in 9.8 % of cases. This suggests that the hives may result from person ’ mho immune system not functioning as it should. other conditions that can occur aboard chronic hives include type 1 diabetes, lupus, and arthritic arthritis. Infections can besides be associated with the onset of chronic hives. This includes bacterial, viral, and parasitic infections. Again, this may result from autoimmunity — an infection may trigger a change in how the person ’ second immune organization works .

Inducible hives

Inducible or physical urtication is less common than chronic idiopathic urticaria. With this subtype, it is potential to intentionally induce the hives by a person exposing their skin to certain triggers, which could include :

  • Scratching or pressure: The most common type of inducible hives is known as dermatographia. This condition involves developing hives as a response to scratching or “drawing” on the skin.
  • Cold: Cold hives occur on someone’s skin or mouth after exposure to cold temperatures. Triggers include consuming iced drinks, touching cold water, or going outside in cold weather.
  • Heat: Cholinergic hives occurs when an individual’s body becomes hot or sweaty. Hot baths, exercise, and spicy food can be triggers.
  • UV light: Solar hives occur in response to UV light from the sun and certain light bulbs, such as those in tanning beds.
  • Water: Some people develop hives if their skin comes into contact with water. This is known as aquagenic urticaria and is very rare.


Doctors diagnose hives by performing a forcible examination. There is no test to determine whether the person ’ mho hives are acute or chronic, so they will use the distance of clock they recur to do this. The doctor of the church may besides ask an individual :

  • when the rash began
  • the shape, size, and distribution of the rash
  • where on the body they first noticed the rash
  • if they have had any insect bites
  • if they live or work with common hive triggers, such as chemicals, animals, or latex gloves
  • if they have bone or joint pain, fever, or abdominal pain
  • if anyone in their family experiences hives
  • if they take any medications or supplements

The doctor may use a clamber incision test and serum-specific IgE test to check if the acute hives result from a particular substance, such as food, dust mites, or chemicals. alternatively, they may refer person to an allergy clinic for these tests. however, in cases of chronic hives, allergy screen is rarely utilitarian. A doctor may check for other underlying health conditions by performing extra tests, such as :

  • a complete blood count
  • thyroid function tests
  • an erythrocyte sedimentation rate test to assess immune function
  • a stool sample to rule out parasites
  • skin biopsies


The most suitable treatment depends on whether the person has acute hives or chronic hives .

Acute hives

Doctors typically recommend second-generation antihistamines as the first-line discussion for acute hives, such as :

  • loratadine (Claritin)
  • desloratadine (Clarinex)
  • fexofenadine (Allegra)
  • cetirizine (Zyrtec)
  • levocetirizine (Xyzal)

They may prescribe a standard acid or increase by up to 4 times if the individual does not respond. If these medications do not improve symptoms, the doctor may recommend an extra antihistamine, such as cimetidine ( Tagamet ), famotidine ( Pepcid ), or ranitidine ( Zantac ). They may recommend a 3–10-day course of corticosteroids to help control the symptoms in hard cases. The doctor may prescribe an epinephrine auto-injector if they think the individual is at gamble of anaphylaxis, which is a severe allergic reaction that restricts breathing. This provides hand brake medicine to treat anaphylaxis quickly. The doctor will then reassess the individual in 2–6 weeks .

Chronic hives

Doctors may recommend a four-step treatment plan for chronic hives. This set about involves using an antihistamine daily, which may be astir to 4 times the regular dose depending on how the individual responds.

If necessary, they may prescribe a second antihistamine or another medication, such as montelukast ( Singulair ). With persistent hives, they may suggest a high potency antihistamine, such as hydroxyzine hydrochloride or doxepin. The final footfall is for a doctor to refer the individual to a specialist for immunomodulatory therapy. This may involve taking medications such as omalizumab ( Xolair ) or cyclosporine ( Sandimmune ). once symptoms are under control, a doctor of the church may gradually reduce the dose of these medications. If the hives have an identifiable induce, such as cold or heat vulnerability, adopting changes to avoid the triggers wherever possible is besides important.

Home treatment

The AAD suggests the follow methods for people to reduce pique and itch in hives :

  • applying topical anti-itch medications, such as calamine lotion
  • wearing loose-fitting clothing
  • moisturizing with fragrance-free lotion to prevent dry skin
  • using cold compresses several times per day

however, it is important for individuals to try to determine whether the hives have a specific trip, in addition to relieving symptoms. If person has cold hives, for exemplar, a cold compress may make them worse. consequently, it is a good idea for people to keep a symptom diary, recording when the hives occur and any factors that might have contributed. symptom diaries are besides utilitarian to refer to at medical appointments. A person can take note of :

  • the date and time the hives appear
  • what they were doing just before they developed
  • what they have had to eat or drink

If any common factors emerge when the hives occur, a person can try to temporarily avoid these to see if it helps. It is crucial for people to do this with the guidance of a repair, allergist, or dietician if person has food-related hives. Learn more about remedies and treatments for hives here.


Hives do not last long, taking only 2–3 hours to fade. however, more can appear, which makes the symptoms concluding longer. acute accent hives can develop and resolve on their own within 6 weeks, while chronic hives can last much longer. Doctors treat acute and chronic hives differently, so it is advisable for people to speak with a aesculapian professional about this symptom, particularly if the hives final longer than 6 weeks. If hives or swelling happen in the mouth and airways, making it unmanageable to breathe, dial 911 or the count of the nearest emergency department immediately .

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.