Medical Q&As

Hives - causes?

What causes hives?

Papular urticaria is the medical term for hives. An attack of hives usually begins with pruritus or itch and progresses on to reddening of the skin accompanied by wheal formation. The condition is usually triggered by an allergic response to insect bites, medication or some other factors in the physical environment. Hives due to insect bites predominantly occur in children especially during the summer months when biting insects are most prevalent. The biting insects include such species as fleas, mites, mosquitoes, bedbugs and animal lice. Certain foods can also trigger papular urticaria such as eggs, shellfish, peanuts or fruit. Occasionally swelling of the face and throat can occur, which is known as angioedema.