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What You Need to Know About Hives

Chronic hives can be caused by many factors including stress, infection, temperature, or even an immune issue.

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Transcript

00:00
Having hives can be uncomfortable. They can be itchy. Like, really itchy. They can make it hard to sleep and disrupt your daily life.
00:08
[UPBEAT MUSIC] For most, hives tend to go away pretty quickly on their own.
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But for others, like those with chronic hives, they can stick around for weeks on end. Sometimes even longer, like months or years.
00:23
But what is a hive, anyway? TANIA ELLIOTT: Put simply, they're a type of swelling on your skin. MONICA SANDHU: They may be itchy,
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but they might also burn or sting. TANIA ELLIOTT: Some are small, like the size of a pinhead, while others can be much larger.
00:35
You might hear your doctor refer to them as urticaria. That's another name for hives. It comes from the Latin words meaning nettle and to burn.
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Generally, hives occur when your body is reacting to an allergen. Your body's immune system senses something
00:50
it doesn't like. And in response, it releases chemicals called histamines to get rid of the allergen. All those histamines can cause your body
00:58
to have an allergic reaction. In turn, causing hives and swelling. For chronic hives, doctors still
01:05
aren't exactly sure what causes them in most cases. In fact, when we aren't sure what the cause of chronic hives
01:11
is-- The condition is then referred to as chronic idiopathic urticaria. Idiopathic is a fancy way of saying, unknown.
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It could be from any number of things. An immune issue, stress, an infection, the heat
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or the cold, or an underlying illness, just to name a few. If you have hives that are severe or that have stuck around for days,
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you should consult an allergist. Together, you can develop a plan to help you find relief. [UPBEAT MUSIC]

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