What are the different types of hives and/or angioedema?
- Acute urticaria and/or angioedema are hives or swelling lasting less than six weeks. The most common causes are foods, medicines, latex or infections. Foods that commonly cause hives are milk, eggs, soy, wheat, fish, shellfish and peanuts. Medicines that can cause hives include penicillin, sulfa medications, anti-seizure medications and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs, such aspirin and ibuprofen).
- Chronic urticaria and/or angioedema are recurrent hives, lasting longer than six weeks. The cause is usually more difficult to identify. Causes may be similar to acute urticaria, but may also include autoimmunity, viral infections and malignancy.
Physical urticaria is hives caused by direct physical stimulation of the skin. Common causes are exposure to sunlight, heat, cold air or water, vibration, pressure, sweating and exercise.
- Dermatographism is hives caused by scratching the skin, continual stroking of the skin or wearing tight-fitting clothes that rub the skin. These hives may be found in conjunction with other types of hives.
- Hereditary angioedema is a rare form of angioedema passed on in families. It can cause painful, non-itchy swelling of the skin, and it may involve the face, extremities, genitals, tongue and throat.