Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors


Nearly 20% of people will get hives at some point in their lifetime. While they may not be life-threatening, hives can potentially cause both physical and emotional issues, particularly if they occur frequently.
Consult Us Now!
Table of Contents

Why am I suddenly experiencing hives?

Nearly 20% of people will get hives at some point in their lifetime. While they may not be life-threatening, hives can potentially cause both physical and emotional issues, particularly if they occur frequently.

Hives are predominantly caused by allergies. Hives can either be classified as acute urticaria or chronic urticaria. Whereas acute urticaria develops suddenly and lasts about 24-48 hours, chronic urticaria can last more than six weeks. Most people experience recurring bouts of acute urticarial. However, non-allergic hives, also referred to as idiopathic urticaria, are independent of any allergens. Research shows that non-allergic hives tend to affect more females than males.

What do hives look like?

It’s usually very easy to identify hives, thanks to their highly distinctive symptoms:

  • Swollen plaques or welts
  • Pinkish-red bumps
  • Symptoms often appear suddenly
  • The welts are usually itchy and have a striking resemblance to mosquito bites and nettle rashes
  • Can appear across your body in either lines or large upraised skin surface areas
  • More likely to appear on your throat, ears, face, tongue, and lips
Consult us today!

What are the potential causes of hives?

Hives will appear on your skin when your body releases histamine. The production of histamine can be caused by a number of factors, including;

  • Changes in temperature
  • Exercise
  • Dust mites
  • Infection
  • Animal fur and hair
  • Medications
  • Food allergens such as coloring agents and preservatives
  • Alcohol
  • Exposure to the sun and water
  • Sweating
  • Tight-fitting garments

What conditions look strikingly similar to hives?

There is one particular condition that looks strikingly similar to hives. This condition is known as Angioedema.

With Angioedema, the swelling happens right beneath your skin. The term edema is used to describe a deep swelling that appears around your eyes, hand, lips, genitals as well as feet.

Angioedema symptoms usually stay longer than urticaria, even though the swelling may subside within 24 hours.

How is urticaria/hives diagnosed?

Your doctor will conduct a physical exam. Depending on the outcome of that particular exam, your doctor may recommend additional skin tests as well as blood tests to determine the primary cause of your hives.

Some persistent hives may warrant a skin biopsy to help establish the root cause. If the cause of the hives is identified, such as an allergen trigger, you might need to undergo further tests.

As already explained, the majority of urticaria cases will clear up on their own within a day or so. And episodes of hives should stop disappearing and reappearing within a few weeks.

What treatment options are available for hives in Singapore?

  • Antihistamine tablets: Antihistamines are usually the first line of treatment against hives.
  • Oral steroids: If your hives symptoms don’t subside even after taking an antihistamine medication, your doctor may recommend steroids, such as prednisone.
  • Injection biologics: There is another treatment option, an injectable prescription medication.

If your hives symptoms persist for more than six weeks, it could be a sign that you have a chronic condition. It’s highly advised to schedule an appointment with your doctor if your hives continue for this long.

How can I manage my hives at home?

  • Keep track of your flares or hives episodes
  • Try to figure out the potential causes or triggers – because hives are majorly caused by allergies, you can easily prevent them when you know the exact triggers
  • Wear loose-fitting clothing to allow air to freely circulate all over your skin
  • Ensure your environment is always cool
  • Lower your stress levels
  • Do not scratch your hives


Are there any complications associated with hives?

Hives generally clear up on their own without the intervention of any treatment. However, in some cases, some people may experience a few complications such as anxiety, depression, and anaphylaxis, which can be a life-threatening condition.

When should I consider making an appointment with my doctor?

You are strongly advised to seek immediate medical attention if you:

  • Are not certain about the exact cause of your hives or rash.
  • Experience intense itching or the appearance of the rash is suspicious or alarming.
  • If your hives symptoms persist for more than 24 hours.
  • Experience painful hives that also have bruised appearances.
  • Experience angioedema-like symptoms such as wheezing and difficulty breathing.

Related Articles

Hay Fever

Hay Fever is also medically termed as rhinitis. It can be divided into Allergic Rhinitis and Non-Allergic Rhinitis.

Continue Reading →
February 23, 2023

Drug Allergy

The same medication may not cause any reaction to a person, yet may cause unforeseen allergic reactions to another person.

Continue Reading →
November 16, 2020

The Change of Allergy Paradigm

The concept of early avoidance as prevention of future allergy has been challenged over recent years.

Continue Reading →
October 20, 2020

Allergy Immunotherapy

Allergy Immunotherapy modifies a person’s body immune response towards allergens, hence easing allergy symptoms.

Continue Reading →
October 20, 2020

Anaphylaxis: All I Need to Know

Recognizing the signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis are important. This can be life-saving.

Continue Reading →
October 20, 2020

Sublingual Immunotherapy (SLIT)

It is useful in allergic respiratory diseases such as allergic rhinitis and asthma.

Continue Reading →
October 15, 2020

Pet Allergies

Furthermore, the fur of pets can act as a reservoir for pollen and mould spores.

Continue Reading →
October 9, 2020

Latex Allergy

This allergy is common among healthcare workers, people who have undergone multiple surgeries

Continue Reading →
October 9, 2020

Insect Sting Allergy

Common insect stings in Singapore come from yellow jackets, hornets, wasps, and honey bees.

Continue Reading →
October 2, 2020

Related Services

Wood Lamp Skin/ Hair Screening

Checking the skin or nail lesion with wood lamp involves shining a hand-held wood lamp device on the area of concern by your physician.

Cryotherapy Services

Cryotherapy or colloquially known as ‘cold therapy’ is a procedure that uses liquid nitrogen to deliver freezing cold temperature locally to destroy and remove abnormal skin lesion.


Electrocautery is a bedside procedure where your doctor will use an ‘electric pen’ to deliver high frequency electric current onto the skin to generate heat in order to stop bleeding or remove abnormal skin cells

Steroid Injections

A steroid injection is simple bedside procedure where your doctor will inject minute amount of steroid onto the skin.

Skin cancer screening/Mole check

Skin cancer screening is usually performed by your physician using a dermatoscope. Dermatoscope is a medical magnifying glass that allows your physician to visualize the size and shape of the mole that you are concerned of.

Skin Scrape Test (Fungal Scrape Test)

Fungal scrape and bacterial culture tests allow physician to confirm or debunk fungal/bacterial diagnosis of skin condition

Skin Tag Removal

Skin tags are benign. They are also known as acrochordons medically. They are small, soft overgrowth of the skin commonly located among the face, eyelids neck, armpit, groin, breasts and buttock folds.

Excision Biopsy

An excision biopsy is a bedside procedure where your doctor uses a surgical blade to remove the entire skin lesion under the use of local anaesthesia.

Shave Biopsy

A shave biopsy a bedside procedure where your doctor uses a surgical superficial shaving blade to remove the skin lesion under the use of local anaesthesia.

Skin biopsy /Punch biopsy

A skin biopsy, or punch biopsy, is a bedside surgical procedure where your physician will use a small knife ‘puncher’ to obtain a small skin sample under local anaesthesia.


Herpes zoster, commonly referred to as shingles, is a painful blistering rash caused by the varicella-zoster virus— the same virus that causes chickenpox.

Seborrheic Dermatitis

Seborrheic Dermatitis is a common chronic inflammatory condition of the skin. It is categorized as a type of chronic eczema, affecting the body area that has more sebaceous glands. characterized by red, greasy scaly patches.

Skin Fungal Infection

Living in a hot humid climate of Singapore, fungal infection of the skin is common. The fungus thrives and favors body areas that are moist and warm such as the armpit, breast folds, groin, buttocks, feet, toes or even nails.


Eczema is a common inflammation condition of the skin. Although eczema can occur any time in one’s life, it typically starts presenting when one is a child.


Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin condition. It is a common skin disease that can affect 1 in 50 people.

Keloid Scars

Your body’s natural reaction to pokes, cuts, and trauma to your skin is to heal. On most occasions, skin injuries heal up without any problems.