ZocdocAnswersHow much time does it take for hives to disappear?

Question

How much time does it take for hives to disappear?

An hour? Two? My legs look horrible.

Answer

Hives are a sensitivity reaction of the skin in which inflammatory cells in the skin release chemicals which cause blood to rush in and cause the typical itchy, red spots. Generally speaking, hives are not a serious medical problem. They usually are provoked by a viral infection (like a common cold) or by contact with some allergen. In people with a history of allergies, hives can be serious because they can be a sign that worse allergic symptoms are on the way, such as swelling of the face and mouth and tongue or difficulty breathing. If you have a history of severe allergies, or if you are experiencing symptoms such as face swelling, wheezing, or shortness of breath these could be signs of a serious allergic reaction and you would need to seek immediate medical care. On the other hand, if your symptoms are only hives, these tends to be self limiting, although they usually take several days to go away completely. The usual pattern is that you will have several episodes of hives per day, which come and go, but gradually diminished over this period of days. You can take an over the counter anti histamine medication to help with the itch and appearance.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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