Hives (urticaria) are a skin condition characterised by outbreaks on the skin. Hives are usually short-lived and they resolve within 2-4 hours. Most hives are caused by allergic reactions and correspond to the release of histamine and other pro-inflammatory mediators by an allergen. The best mode of prevention is to limit or inhibit all exposure to the allergen that triggers the hives.
Triggers: pesticides, shampoos, dry cleaning chemicals, drugs (e.g. penicillin, aspirin, barbiturates), plants, preservatives, fungal infection (Candida albicans) and moulds.
Symptoms: red itchy welts on the skin.
Who to consult: Allergist, dietician, GP, herbalist, homoeopath, naturopath, pharmacist.