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What causes hives?

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Posted on Mon, 1 Dec 2014
Question: What causes hives?
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Answered by Dr. Vivek Chail (1 hour later)
Brief Answer:
Hives occur due to release of chemical below skin.

Detailed Answer:
Hi XXXXXXX
Thanks for writing in to us.

I have read through your query in detail.
Hives are a natural response by the immune system of the body to the ingestion of harmful substances and a kind of hypersensitivity reaction.

When you are exposed to or take in a possible allergy causing substance, the whole body gets alerted and the immune system becomes responsive. It assumes that there is a potential threat due to the allergy causing substance and a cascade of events are triggered and certain white blood cells called mast cells in the body start releasing chemicals like histamines which cause an inflammatory response.

This inflammatory response is seen as the development of hives. This is essentially due to the chemicals causing inflammatory reaction below the skin.

On the first occasion the hives are less and if you ingest the allergy causing substance on repeated occasions then the hives become more severe each time.

Hope this answers your question. Please feel free to correct any oversight in my interpretation of your problems and discuss them in detail as per your requirements.

Hope your query is answered.
Do write back if you have any doubts.

Regards,
Dr.Vivek
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Shanthi.E
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Follow up: Dr. Vivek Chail (19 minutes later)
How long can it take for hives to go away?
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Answered by Dr. Vivek Chail (11 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Duration of hives depends on allergy causing agent

Detailed Answer:
Hi XXXXXXX
Thanks for writing back with an update.

The time duration of hives depends on the allergy causing agent.

For example if the jives appear due to physical agents like light then it will go away after an hour. Hives due to stings can stay for few hours to days.

In food related allergy the hives can stay from 24 hours to under six weeks. This is usually due to consumption of nuts, chocolate, fish, tomatoes, eggs, fresh berries, soy, wheat, and milk. Fresh foods cause hives more often than cooked foods.

Hives can also be due to chronic conditions like autoimmunity, hormonal conditions and can last for more than six weeks.

Hope your query is answered.
Do write back if you have any doubts.

Regards,
Dr.Vivek
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Shanthi.E
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Answered by
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Dr. Vivek Chail

Radiologist

Practicing since :2002

Answered : 6707 Questions

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What causes hives?

Brief Answer: Hives occur due to release of chemical below skin. Detailed Answer: Hi XXXXXXX Thanks for writing in to us. I have read through your query in detail. Hives are a natural response by the immune system of the body to the ingestion of harmful substances and a kind of hypersensitivity reaction. When you are exposed to or take in a possible allergy causing substance, the whole body gets alerted and the immune system becomes responsive. It assumes that there is a potential threat due to the allergy causing substance and a cascade of events are triggered and certain white blood cells called mast cells in the body start releasing chemicals like histamines which cause an inflammatory response. This inflammatory response is seen as the development of hives. This is essentially due to the chemicals causing inflammatory reaction below the skin. On the first occasion the hives are less and if you ingest the allergy causing substance on repeated occasions then the hives become more severe each time. Hope this answers your question. Please feel free to correct any oversight in my interpretation of your problems and discuss them in detail as per your requirements. Hope your query is answered. Do write back if you have any doubts. Regards, Dr.Vivek