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Urticaria 

Allergies; Allergy/Allergies; Anaphylaxis 

Urticaria or hives is a relatively common form of allergic reaction that causes raised red skin welts that range upwards from 5 mm (about a 1/4 inch) in diameter, itch severely, and often have a pale border. Urticaria is caused by direct contact with an allergenic substance (generally a plant, such as poison ivy), or an immune response to food or some other allergen. Hives can also be caused by stress.

An allergy is a immune malfunction whereby a person's body is hypersensitised to react immunologically to typically nonimmunogenic substances. When a person is hypersensitised these substances are known as allergens. The word allergy derives from the Greek words allos meaning "other" and ergon meaning "reaction" or "reactivity". Reactions can vary from the benign runny nose, to life-threatening anaphylactic shock and death.


Hives as related to Allergy