Urticaria is another name for hives, which can show up anywhere on the body. People of all ages can get hives to include babies and small children.

Being able to recognize what hives look like will help you move forward with diagnosis, and preventing future breakouts for you or a loved one. 

Top 11 causes for hives on skin

This content was created for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding any medical condition or concern.

As the saying goes “A picture is worth a thousand words”. Let’s get started with our 26 pictures of hives on the skin!

1. Hives

This arm is inflamed with small bumps or welts of hives. Although this is a rendered image, I found it to be beneficial as a visual representation of urticaria.

File:Urticaria.png“File:Urticaria.png”a> by BruceBlaus> is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

2. Hiving Arm

You can see that this person’s arm is inflamed with multiple welts caused by hives.

hiving_arm“hiving_arm” by diana_rajchel is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

3. Left Arm Blotchy Hives

This person’s arm is covered with blotches caused by her urticaria.

Left Arm - Day 1“Left Arm – Day 1” by woofiegrrl is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

4. Post-Waxing Hives On Leg

Hives can be caused by a multitude of triggers, in this case, it was after this person got their legs waxed.

Post-Waxing Hives“Post-Waxing Hives” by woofiegrrl is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

5. Right Leg Skin Patterns From Hives

Hives commonly cause irregular patterns and can move around to different areas of the skin.

Right Leg“Right Leg” by woofiegrrl is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

6. Left Leg Raised Welts From Hives

Another picture of hives from the same user as number 5. This photo shows additional details of her welts.

Inside Left Leg“Inside Left Leg” by woofiegrrl is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

7. “Ouch” Hive Welts

I am not sure how they scratched their arm to cause these welts, maybe dermatographism, which we will define further down the list.

Ouch My Leg“Ouch My Leg” by photographerpandora is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

8. Swelling Over Knees 

The swelling is taking over the knees and part of the shins.

File:Have Urticaria 2.jpg“File:Have Urticaria 2.jpg” by john is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

9. Excessive Wheals From Hives

You will notice large wheals on this person’s thigh; the raised swelling is very red and blotchy.

I am curious about what caused such a reaction.

File:Have Urticaria 3.jpg“File:Have Urticaria 3.jpg” by john is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

10. Cold Exposure Can Cause Urticaria

Exposure to cold weather can give you hives, as seen in this photo on the hand.

These hives developed from being exposed to a frigid environment.

File:Cold urticaria IMG 3733.jpg“File:Cold urticaria IMG 3733.jpg” by SecretName101 is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

11. Cold Exposure Hives Continued

Here is the other hand which shows hives and welts from cold exposure.

File:Cold urticaria IMG 3731.jpg“File:Cold urticaria IMG 3731.jpg” by SecretName101 is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

12. Hives From Cold Moving Up Arm 

From another angle, you can see that the hives are moving up the arm from the person’s cold exposure.

File:Cold urticaria IMG 3729.jpg“File:Cold urticaria IMG 3729.jpg” by SecretName101 is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

13. Hives On Wrist

The underside of the wrist is showing us hives in great detail.

As you can see the individual hives as well as swelling and redness in the area.

File:Cold urticaria IMG 3728.jpg“File:Cold urticaria IMG 3728.jpg” by SecretName101 is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

14. Urticaria Chronica

This image shows us Chronic Urticaria (CU) which has surfaced on the abdomen (trunk) and chest area.

File:Urticaria Cronica.jpg“File:Urticaria Cronica.jpg” by Natfernanda is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

15. Pruritic Erythema (Skin Redness)

Although not titled as “hives”, skin redness (pruritic erythema) root cause could be hives; as it is just the medical term to describe the redness of the skin.

File:Pruritic Erythema 1.jpg“File:Pruritic Erythema 1.jpg” by Alborz Fallah is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

16. Round Red Patches On Hand

Also classified as pruritic erythema, this image shows a hand with round, red patches.

File:Pruritic Erythema 2.jpg“File:Pruritic Erythema 2.jpg” by Alborz Fallah is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

17. Chronic Spontaneous Urticaria

These hives were classified as “Chronic Spontaneous Urticaria” and has taken over the trunk, stomach, and ribs of this individual.

File:Chronic spontaneous urticaria.jpg“File:Chronic spontaneous urticaria.jpg” by Allergyresearch is licensed under CC BY 4.0

18. Hives On Feet

Dark red hives are noticed on the top of the foot, including on the toes.

This solidifies that hives really can show up anywhere on your body.

File:Urticaria on feet 2.JPG“File:Urticaria on feet 2.JPG” by Verysmallkisses is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

19. Hives On Feet Continued

Here is another angle showing the hives on both feet to include all but the last digits (pinky toes).

File:Urticaria on feet.JPG“File:Urticaria on feet.JPG” by Verysmallkisses is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

20. Left Foot Closeup Urticaria

Deep red colored hives on the top of the foot closeup.

File:Urticaria on feet 4.JPG“File:Urticaria on feet 4.JPG” by Verysmallkisses is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

21. “Physical Urticaria”

Long scratches of hives on skin running down the forearm are seen in this image.

File:Physical Urticaria .jpg“File:Physical Urticaria .jpg” by JAguayo18 is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

22. “Physical Urticaria – Dermatographism”

This condition of dermographia develops hives when the skin is scratched.

The Cleveland Clinic defines this condition as: “Dermatographism is a common, benign skin condition. People who have this condition develop welts or a localized hive-like reaction when they scratch their skin. It can also happen when the skin is exposed to pressure or rubbing.”

This condition is also called skin writing, dermographia, or “dermatographic urticaria”.

File:Physical Urticaria- Dermatographism.jpg“File:Physical Urticaria- Dermatographism.jpg” by JAguayo18 is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

23. Hives Covering Forearm And Palm

This right arm is showing classic hive symptoms of welts, redness and not of a specific shape or location.

Urticaria“Urticaria” by andy_carter is licensed under CC BY 2.0

24. Chronic Idiopathic Urticaria

Chronic Idiopathic Urticaria (CIU) means that there is not a known cause/is spontaneous.

File:Idiopathic urticaria (1).jpg“File:Idiopathic urticaria (1).jpg” by irvin calicut is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

25. Large Wheals Caused By Hives

The underside of this forearm is showing very large raised wheals as well as smaller hives in the surrounding area.

multiple hives and welts under arm

Submitted by an anonymous user

26. Hives On Left Arm

These hives vary in size and shape just below the wrist, and were caused by exposure to grass.

Hives from crawling in grass, allergic reaction

© Allergypreventions.com 

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of what hives on the skin look like and how they can spring up anywhere on the body.

Next, be sure to check out the 11 Top Causes for Hives on Skin, to learn more about hives (urticaria)  or the Top-Rated Hives Treatments on Amazon to find the best products to use with hives.