Hives are welts that can appear on any part of the skin, including eyelids. They often itch and can vary widely in size. They may even connect to form larger hives. In severe cases, the throat and airway can swell, making breathing or swallowing difficult. This is life threatening and the person needs to treated quickly.

An individual hive often goes away within 24 hours. However, new ones may appear in a cycle that usually lasts less than 6 weeks. These shorter hive appearances are often the results of an allergy, but may have other causes.

Longer lasting hives are called chronic hives.

For more information, visit the American Academy of Dermatology at