The urticarial rash is also known as hives. This is a red spot that suddenly appears and feels very itchy.

The most common reason for this rash is allergies and heat. These spots aren’t anything too severe and would only last for twenty-four hours to thirty-six hours.

You usually don’t need any treatments, but it depends on the severity of the condition.

They are red, raised, and often itchy rashes that appear on the surface of the skin. They are usually an allergic reaction to some food or medicine. They can also come without a cause.

Urticaria is a reaction of the flesh characterized by the presence of small elevations, hives, lighter in color or reddish than the rest of the skin that surrounds them.

They are usually pruritic and of a reduced size, less than 1.5 cm in width.

The term urticaria comes from the Latin Urtica which means nettle and refers to that cutaneous process that occurs with intense pruritus or burning sensation.

It comes along the appearance of soapy lesions on the entire skin surface and, sometimes, also in mucous membranes.

The characteristic of this process is that the lesions tend to disappear in a few hours. Anyone can have urticaria, and it can manifest at any age, although it is rare to appear in children and the elderly.

The most common symptoms of the urticarial rash

Many signs can help to identify this condition. The most common symptom is itchiness.

This rash itches a lot. Other symptoms you can have with the itchiness are:

  • In some cases when you have the urticarial rash, you might also have Angio-edema. With this condition, there might be fluid leaking into the deeper tissues under your skin that can cause the muscles to swell.
  • Your tongue and throat can also be affected and start to swollen.
    The condition can also become painful, maybe dark red and may leave red marks when the rash is going away.
  • Pruritus and Inflammation of the skin surface with hives similar in color to the skin or reddish with clearly defined borders

The rashes can be enlarged, spread and join forming more extensive areas of flat and raised skin.

They can also change shape, disappear, and reappear within minutes or hours. You may know that you have hives when you press the center of a rash and it becomes white. This is called pallor.

Dermographism is a type of hive caused by pressure on the skin

When you have an allergic reaction to a substance, the body releases histamine and other chemicals into the bloodstream. This causes itching, swelling, and other symptoms. Urticaria is a typical reaction.

People with other allergic reactions, such as hay fever, often have urticaria.

When inflammation or hives appear around the face, especially the lips and eyes, it is called angioedema. Swelling due to angioedema can also occur around the hands, feet, and throat.

Many substances can trigger hives, including:

  • Animal dander (especially cats)
  • Insect Bites
  • Medicines
  • Pollen
  • Seafood, fish, nuts, eggs, milk and other foods

Urticaria can also develop as a result of:

  • Emotional Stress
  • Extreme exposure to cold or sun
  • Excessive perspiration
  • Illness (including lupus, other autoimmune disorders, and leukemia)
  • Infections such as mononucleosis
  • Exposure to water

In some cases, the cause of urticaria remains unknown.

Tests and exams.

Your healthcare provider can determine if you have hives looking at the skin. If you have a history of an allergy, the diagnosis is even more precise.

Occasionally, a skin biopsy or blood test is performed to confirm that you had an allergic reaction and to evaluate the substance that caused that allergic response.

Treatment for the urticarial rash

For most of the urticaria conditions people don’t need any treatment, but there might be severe cases when you need to go to a doctor for some procedure to solve the issue.

But, when the condition lasts longer than two days, you can try one of these treatments.

  • A cold bath or shower may ease the itchiness,
  • Calamine lotion will also help to relieve some of the itchiness.
  • There are also some Antihistamine tablets that you can take to relieve some of the symptoms of the urticarial rash. You can buy the antihistamine tablets in most pharmacies.
  • Prevent the formation of rashes by finding the allergy and avoiding it in the future.
  • In severe cases, you may need a short treatment of steroid to relieve and cure the condition.

The urticarial rash usually isn’t something dangerous, and in most cases, you don’t need to go to a doctor for treatment.

But, there are some cases where the condition is a bit more serious, and then you need to visit your doctor for the adequate procedure to relieve the symptoms and to cure the disease.

If hives are mild, treatment may not be required. It may disappear on its own. To reduce pruritus and inflammation:

  • Avoid hot baths or showers.
  • Avoid tight clothing, which can irritate the area.

Your care provider may suggest that you take an antihistamine such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl). Follow the instructions of your care provider or those on the package on how to take medicine.

If the reaction is severe, especially if the inflammation compromises the throat, you may need an urgent injection of epinephrine (adrenaline) or steroids.

Urticaria in the throat can clog the airways, making it difficult to breathe.

Expectations (prognosis).

Urticaria can be annoying, but in general, it is harmless and goes away on its own. In most cases, it is not possible to identify the exact cause of this disease.

When the condition lasts more than six weeks, it is called chronic urticaria. Even for experts is challenging to find a cause in this cases.

Possible complications.

  • Anaphylaxis (a generalized and life-threatening allergic reaction that causes difficulty breathing)
  • Inflammation of the throat can lead to life-threatening airway obstruction

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call your local emergency number if you have:

  • Fainting
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Throat tightness
  • Swelling of the tongue or face
  • Wheezing
  • Severe hives, unresponsive to personal care.


To help prevent hives:

Avoid exposure to substances that cause allergic reactions. And do not wear tight clothing and avoid hot baths or showers right after an episode of urticaria, as they may cause recurrence.