Related Terms:

Urticaria; Prickly Heat; Angioedema

Hives are small, itchy, red swollen areas on the skin. They tend to fade after a few hours, but new ones can appear. Most cases go away within a few days. However, some last a few weeks or longer. Chronic hives last longer than 6 weeks. It is caused by an allergic reaction. What causes the reaction is different from person to person.

The best way to manage hives is to stay away from what causes it. Medicine can help to ease hives that do appear. Chronic hives may be treated with regular allergy medicine. Some may need medicine that calms the immune system.

Natural Therapies

Evidence of natural therapies for hives is very limited. These options may help to manage chronic hives. They are more successful when combined with standard treatment.

Possibly Effective

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Herbs and Supplements to Be Used With Caution

Talk to your doctor about all herbs or supplements you are taking. Some may interact with your treatment plan or health conditions. Toxicities and side effects of traditional Chinese herbal vary depending on the herb, the amount used and its source.


A. Acupuncture

A1. Yao Q, Li S, Liu X, Qin Z, Liu Z. The effectiveness and safety of acupuncture for patients with chronic urticaria: a systematic review. Biomed Res int. 2016;2016:5191729.

B. Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine

B1. Zhong J, Xian D, Xu Y, Liu J. Efficacy of Tripterygium hypoglaucum Hutch in adults with chronic urticaria. J Altern Complement Med. 2011;17(5):459-464.

Last reviewed March 2019 by EBSCO NAT Review Board Richard Glickman-Simon, MD

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