37 Detailed Pictures of Hives on Skin

One of the best ways to find out if you have hives on your skin (besides seeing a doctor of course) might be to compare pictures of hives on your skin. Here are photos of different types of hives (urticaria) to help you get a better idea of what hives look like. Urticaria is another name for hives, which can show up anywhere on the body. People of all ages can get hives including babies and small children.

Being able to recognize what hives look like will help you move forward with diagnosis, and prevent future breakouts for you or a loved one. As the saying goes “A picture is worth a thousand words“. Let’s get started with these photographs of hives!

woman showing her right shoulder.

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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.

What do hives look like?

Hives, also known as urticaria, can vary in appearance but are generally characterized by raised, red, or pink welts or bumps on the skin. They can appear anywhere on the body and vary in size, from small dots to larger patches. The welts may be round or sometimes irregularly shaped and can merge to form larger areas of raised skin.

Hives typically have a distinct border and are accompanied by itching or a tingling sensation. They often appear suddenly and may disappear just as quickly, although they can persist for hours or even days in some cases.

1. Hives

This arm is inflamed with small bumps or welts of hives. Although this is a rendered hive rash image, I found it to be beneficial as a visual representation of urticaria (hives) on the skin, which can be caused by many different conditions or exposures.

urticaria hives drawing on the forearm, showing an up close look of hives

2. Image of Hives on Skin with Welts

You can see that this person’s arm is inflamed with multiple welts caused by hives. As you can see, hives do not always have distinct borders and can cause large raised patches on the skin.

round hives and welts on the forearm. showing many raised red circles of hives on skin

3. Picture of Hives on the Skin – Left Arm Blotchy Hives

In this photo, this person’s arm is covered with blotches, wheals, welts, and hives. Hives can be random and change form throughout the day.

blotchy hives on the arm from the shoulder down to the palm on the hand

4. Hives After Waxing, on Legs

This photograph shows tiny bumps on the skin after getting waxed. Hives can be caused by a multitude of triggers, in this case, it was after this person got their legs waxed. The rash of hives may have been triggered by the wax or chemicals used in the waxing process, or by irritation from removing the leg hair.

hives on legs after getting a wax treatment. many small hives on the skin, all over leg that resemble razor bumps.

5. Right Leg Skin Patterns (circular) From Hives

Hives commonly cause irregular patterns and can move around to different areas of the skin. This image shows mostly circular-shaped hives on the legs.

different shaped wheals of hives on the leg from the thigh down to the calf.

6. Left Leg Raised Welts From Hives

Another great picture of hives on the skin! This photo shows additional details of the welts on her legs that give a rash appearance.

leg welts from hives with a red blotchy appearance. These hives are on the skin starting at the upper thigh and continue down the calf muscle.

7. “Ouch” Red Welts on Skin

I am not sure how they scratched their arm to cause these welts, but the condition looks like dermatographism. With dermatographism, you can get hives and welts by lightly scratching the skin.

urticaria deratographism, skin writing, and says "ouch". The scratching of the skin has caused hives and inflammation where the scratch was introduced.

8. Swelling of Skin on the Knees Caused by Hives

The swelling is taking over the knees and part of the shins. These hives on the skin are grouped together, causing welts and inflammation on both legs.

swollen hives on both knees, really red and rash-like.

9. Excessive Wheals (welts) From Hives on Legs

You will notice large wheals or welts on this person’s thigh; the raised swelling is very red and blotchy. I am curious about what caused such a reaction.

very large and raised wheal on thigh caused by hives. The swelling and redness takes up about 40 percent of the leg.

10. Cold Exposure Can Cause Hives on the Skin (Cold Urticaria)

Exposure to cold weather can give you hives, as seen in these pictures of hives on the hand. These hives developed from being exposed to a frigid environment that inflamed his skin.

cold urticaria on left hand near thumb from exposure to cold air. The hives are kind of hard to see and almost look white.

11. Cold Exposure Hives (Cold Urticaria) Continued

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

right hand above thumb showing hives caused by cold exposure.

12. Hives From Cold Moving Up Arm 

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

right hand showing hives spreading up the forearm from the hand from cold exposure.

13. Urticarial Rash on Wrist

The underside of the wrist shows us many hives in great detail. You can see the individual hives swelling and redness in the area.

hives on the underside of wrist, white blotchy hives with red skin surrounding.

14. Urticaria Chronica Hives on Body

This image shows us Chronic Urticaria (CU) which has surfaced on the stomach, hips, and chest. CU means the hives are long-lasting and not from a virus or illness.

large, red blotches of hives on hips, stomach and chest. with the diagnosis of urticaria chronica, meaning chronic hives.

15. Pruritic Erythema (Skin Redness)

Although not titled “hives”, this arm’s skin redness (pruritic erythema) could be caused by hives as the root cause. Pruritic erythema is a medical term used to describe the redness of the skin.

pruritic erythema on forearm. one red blotch with two dots inside.

16. Round Red Patches of Hives On the Hand

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

round red patches of hives on right hand skin, over knuckles and fingers. showing allergic reaction wheals

17. Chronic Spontaneous Urticaria on Skin

These hives are classified as “Chronic Spontaneous Urticaria”. What that means is they are long-term, and random bouts of hives on the skin. These spontaneous hives have taken over the trunk, stomach, and ribs of this individual.

chronic spontaneous urticaria (chronic hives on skin) on the chest and abdomen

18. Hives On Feet and Toes

These pictures of hives show many dark red hives on the top of the foot, including on the toes. This solidifies that hives really can show up anywhere on your body.

dark red rash of hives on the right foot. rash is mostly on the top of the foot with a few hives going to each toe.

19. Hives On Feet and Toes Continued

Here is another picture showing the hives rash on both feet including all but the last digits (pinky toes).

both feet showing dark red hives. The left foot has more spread out urticaria versus the right foot

20. Left Foot Closeup Urticaria

Deep red colored hives are present on the top of the foot (closeup).

left foot with allergic urticaria. Hives are on the top of the foot with a few hives on each toe.

21. Hives on Skin: “Physical Urticaria”

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

physical urticaria on forearm showing lines of scratches with raised welts.

22. “Physical Urticaria – Dermatographism”

This is a photo of demographia on the arms. This condition of dermographia can develop hives when the skin is scratched. The Cleveland Clinic defines this condition as a condition that develops 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”.

physical urticaria dermatographism on the forearm with writing that says "organic chem 2016". The writing looks raised and inflamed from "skin writing".

23. Hives Covering Forearm And Palm

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

hives on right arm. raised welts and redness from the forearm onto the palm.

24. Chronic Idiopathic Urticaria (CIU) Rash on Legs

Chronic Idiopathic Urticaria (CIU) means that there is no known cause/or is spontaneous. These types of hives on the skin can be very frustrating for the sufferer and medical professionals because they do not know why the hives are showing up.

chronic idiopathic urticaria on skin showing a few hives and welts with a circle pattern.

25. Large Welts (Wheals) Caused By Hives

The underside of this forearm shows a very large raised welts as well as smaller hives in the surrounding area.

very swollen wheals under the arm with raised hives from allergies. Some of the hives on the skin are clustered together and swollen. Other hives on the skin are more spread out and less inflamed.

26. Hives On Left Arm

These hives vary in size and shape, on the arm, just below the wrist, and were caused by my exposure to grass pollen. I was outdoors in the heat, mowing the lawn, and out came the hives. My hives tend to be acute and flare up on my arms, trunk, and sometimes legs.

Allergy hives on arm near wrist from grass and pollen exposure while mowing the lawn. These hives are smaller and not very inflamed. There is also one welt near the wrist.

27. Hives on Trunk of a Child

This image is described by the owner as acute viral urticaria. There are many blotchy urticaria wheals around the belly button that spread to the back. Illnesses can cause bouts of hives, just as we are seeing here in this child.

hives on the trunk, belly button, and back, caused by acute viral urticaria on a child.

28. Image of hives on Skin “Skin Writing”

Skin writing urticaria happens when an object touches the skin and irritates it. This dermatographic urticaria was completed by using the tip of an empty ink pen.

dermatographic urticaria or skin writing. using a ball point pen on the arm, it reads "L50.3" The swelling is only where the person wrote on their arm and did not cause any swelling outside of that area.

29. Adult Urticaria Pigmentosa

This picture is of a rash of hives in the skin folds. Urticaria Pigmentosa is a member of the urticaria (hives) family (sounds more like a Harry Potter spell than a medical condition).

According to MedlinePlus, this condition produces itchy hives from the skin rubbing on itself or something else like clothing. This image looks as if the person was sitting down and the skin was touching itself, causing hives.

urticaria pigmentosa on stomach from skin rubbing together. A rash of hives is running across the stomach. IT looks like someone was sitting down, hunched over, so the skin was in contact with itself. This contact caused inflammation with hives.

30. Urticaria from Viral Infection on a Child

These stomach hives show elevated plaques or welts on the skin of a child. The suspected cause, in this case, was a virus infection.

hives all around the belly button causing raised welts. image provided by "suntag"

31. Photo of Hives on the Back

This person had an allergic reaction which resulted in hives all over their back and shoulders.

hives covering the entire back and shoulders with raised patches. caused by and allergic reaction. The hives are blotchy and a deep red color all over the skin of the back.

32. Forearm Hives and Welt

Although hard to see, this adult male’s forearm shows raised welts from some sort of allergic reaction.

forearm with a rash and welt from an allergic reaction. The hives are not red, but swelling is present.

33. Urticaria Annulare on Palm of Hands

According to NCBI, urticaria annulare causes urticaria-like papules. This was the palm of a 60-year-old gentleman, the rash was itchy but disappeared in twelve hours on its own.

annular urticaria on the palm of the hand. the lesions were described as itchy, and have an unknown cause.

34. Hives on Woman’s Back

The back and arms of this lady show hives and raised welts all over, in great detail.

hives on woman's back and arms with raised red areas. the rash of hives on the skin is widespread (above and below the bra).

35. Cholinergic Urticaria Hives on Skin

This picture shows us cholinergic urticaria welts on the trunk. Cholinergic urticaria is also called “heat bumps” which are typically triggered by heat or sweat.

cholinergic urticaria on the trunk, with lots of tiny raised dots. Also called heat bumps or sweat bumps.

36. Hives on Face

These pictures of hives are on the face and cheek and are suspected to be triggered by food allergies. Hives come in all shapes and sizes, as well as appear anywhere on the body.

two hives on the left cheek of an adult woman. The top hive is bigger than the bottom hive. Both hives are red and blotchy.

37. Hives on the Face and Behind the Ear

Hives can appear anywhere there is skin. These hives have surfaced on the face, chin, and behind the ear.

Picture of hives on skin/hives on the face and behind the ear on the right side of beautiful woman's face.


As with any skin condition, there are going to be some frequently asked questions. Here are some of the top questions asked about hives.

Can you get hives on your fingers?

Yes, you can get hives on your fingers. Hives can appear anywhere there is skin on the body.

Can I scratch my hives?

No, you should not scratch your hives as it will make your condition worse. When you scratch your hives you cause more skin inflammation and can damage the skin.

Can you scratch hives open?

Yes, excessive scratching causes your hives to split open. This newly damaged skin can become more inflamed, and make your skin more susceptible to infection.

Can you get hives under the skin?

Not exactly, you can develop a condition similar to hives under the skin called Angioedema. Angioedema is swelling under the skin that is caused by allergies.

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.

Do you have pictures of hives that you would like to share?

Adding pictures to this article can help others just like you when looking for pictures of hives. Do you have any photos you would like to share or be featured on the site? If so, please reach out to me (Chris) at: chris@allergypreventions.com