Urticaria - Western SummaryWestern Medicine Summary

Western Medicine

Western Summary

Urticaria is commonly known as hives and can occur for many reasons such as food, temperature, heat, and medications.


Urticaria refers to a red, raised, and swollen area of the skin. This is also known as hives. Hives frequently move from one location on the body to another. 


Hives form due to the release of histamine in the skin, which causes blood vessels to dilate and become leaky. A hive appears swollen due to a local reaction in the skin that results in inflammation and fluid accumulation on account of the dilated vessels. Often the trigger for the rash is in the environment or in something that was ingested, such as a medication or food, that results in the localized reaction. 


  • Antihistamines are the most common treatment for urticaria because histamine is often involved in the appearance of hives. In severe reactions that involve other parts of the body besides the skin, it may be necessary to take a steroid medication by mouth or as an injection into muscle. This should always include evaluation by a physician. 
  • There are other non-antihistamine medications that can be used in long-standing or recurrent cases of hives that can be discussed with your medical provider.