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The medical name for Hives is Urticaria,, is a condition which is characterized by an itchy rash or weal's (swellings that look like a ring) seen on the skin. Hives are usually as a result of the body coming into contact with an allergen. This then causes a sudden release of Histamine in order to control the reaction of the allergen.

The bodies response to this sequence of events can vary from a localized rash, as in nettle rash, or a more widespread reaction. In the case when someone is allergic to strawberries or certain food colorants (especially orange as in orange juice), the face and arms, for example, may be covered with these weal's or blotches.

Anti histamine cream or tablets can be used to relieve the itching, however it will disappear in time on its own. This condition only constitutes a medical emergency if the swellings directly affect the eyes, lips or tongue. In this instance ring your GP for advice or if possible attend A&E at your local hospital.

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