Hives are raised, itchy rashes that appear on the skin. The rashes can appear on just one part of the body, or over large areas.
Also known as urticaria, hives can be caused by stress, infections, insect bites, changes in temperature, or allergic reactions to a range of substances and chemicals, including alcohol, pollen, latex, caffeine or certain foods. In many cases, the exact trigger is not found.
HOW TO TREAT AT HOME
- Move to a cool room to work or sleep
- Apply an ice pack (wrap a bag of ice in a towel) to the affected areas
- Wear light and loose-fitting clothes
SEE YOUR GP IF:
- Your hives persist or worsen after a few days
GO TO THE A&E IF YOU EXPERIENCE:
- swelling of the eyes, lips, tongue or throat
- difficulty in breathing or swallowing
- abdominal pain or diarrhoea