Hives, also known as urticaria, affect about 20 percent of people at some time during their lives. Symptoms of hives include red, raised, itchy bumps that appear randomly and may disappear quickly. The swelling associated with these bumps, or welts, can worsen with things like stress or exercise. They will also often turn white when you press them in the middle.
Chronic hives typically last for at least six weeks and can appear almost daily. Some cases however can last for years. A very common misconception is that hives are always caused by an allergy. In fact, allergic hives account for a very small percentage of hives. Most hives are not caused by a direct external trigger and are instead the result of immune dysregulation.