Quiz – Wretched Hives

Which sounds worse—having a case of urticaria or a case of hives? 

Well, they’re the same thing, so either way you’d be stuck with itchy and red bumps on your skin. The medical condition of urticaria, more commonly known as hives, can be caused by a variety of triggers, some of which are more avoidable than others. Some not-so-lucky people, such as comedian Vicki Lawrence, have to deal with chronic urticaria that has no clear cause. Take our quiz to learn more:

1. The red, itchy bumps on the skin known as hives are caused by _____.

A. An infection
B. An allergic reaction to medications or food
C. Stress
D. All of the above

2. When hives appear, they are always over your whole body.

A. True
B. False

3. Consuming _____ can trigger hives for certain people.

A. Nuts
B. Fish/Shellfish
C. Milk
D. Eggs
E. All of the above

4. Angioedema, which is swelling in the deeper layers of skin, can be a complication of hives.

A. True
B. False

5. Chronic idiopathic urticaria means that ____.

A. Hives appear any time a person scratches their skin
B. A patient cannot give up the food that gives them hives
C. Hives keep coming back with no known cause
D. Skin-colored bumps remain on the skin indefinitely, but only turn red or itch occasionally 

6. The only treatment for hives is the time needed for them to go away by themselves.

A. True
B. False




1. D. All of the above. Some hives may even be caused by cold temperatures or exercise. 

2. B. False. Hives can sometimes affect most the body but in other cases can happen in one small area.

3. E. All of the above. Wheat and soy may also cause a reaction in some people. These reactions usually last less than 12 hours.

4. A. True. But angioedema can also happen without hives. It is most common in the hands, feet, lips, tongue, and eyes. It is a serious condition that requires medical treatment, and can obstruct breathing if it occurs in the tongue or throat.

5. C. Hives (urticaria) keep coming back (chronic) with no known cause (idiopathic). 

6. B. False. Hives may go away without treatment, especially those caused by an allergic reaction. But chronic or long-lasting hives may need antihistamine medications. If those don’t work, stronger steroids or an injectable medicine, omalizumab, may be needed. 

Source: The Health Library at www.sjchs.org. 

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