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Hives, a common complaint, sometimes occur in migraine sufferers. Hives are also called urticaria.

Hives and migraines have been listed as symptoms of food sensitivities and food allergies, so it is unclear whether hives are a migraine symptom or if both the migraines and hives are a result of a common trigger. In some people hives may come and go quickly, while in others the hives may last for days, weeks or even months.

Definition of hives

Hives are welts or patches that appear on the skin and sometimes cause severe itching. They may be red or pink in color. Hives may be seen in one area of the body and then disappear with different patches of hives popping up on another body part.

Hives can occur because of:

  • Allergic reaction to food
  • Allergic reaction to medication or latex
  • Insect bites
  • Reaction to pollen
  • Stress
  • Exposure to extreme cold or heat
  • Excessive perspiration (sweat)
  • Certain illnesses
  • Infections

Treating hives

Hives often go away on their own. However, if they don’t, a doctor can help determine their cause and best treatment. Avoid bathing or showering in hot water. Wear loose-fitting clothing that will not easily irritate the hives.

Seek immediate medical attention if the hives are accompanied by swelling in the throat, trouble breathing, swelling of the tongue or face, wheezing, fainting and shortness of breath.


Written by: Otesa Miles | Last review date: November 2010
Intestinal function, permeability, specific food antigen response, and validation; Gastrointestinal health; Minzel;