What Is the Difference Between Hives and Rashes?


Both hives and rashes can be quite bothersome. However, there are a few things that set each of these conditions apart. Knowing which one you have will make a difference when it comes to developing a treatment plan.

Differences Between Hives and Rashes

There are a few key differences between skin rashes and hives.


Although both rashes and hives will result in itchy and red skin in specific areas of the body, they do have various symptoms that set them apart. Hives tend to appear as raised bumps on the skin. These bumps are called wheals and will only appear on the area of the body that came into contact with the specific irritant.

Hives will typically appear in any area of the body or could be widespread. Hives will appear as flat blotches that can be scaly or raised at times. Some common locations for hives include the legs, arms, and back.


Hives are a type of allergic reaction that appears on the skin. This type of condition is not typically caused by direct contact with any specific allergen. Instead, it is a widespread reaction caused by any allergen coming into contact with the body, whether on the skin or ingested. Common causes include bee stings, food, and chemical contact.

In contrast, rashes are not a result of any type of allergen. Instead, they are caused by damage to the skin cells from an irritation or abrasion. Rashes are caused by external substances that change the properties of the outermost layer of the skin.


Due to the fact that rashes and hives have different causes, they also have different methods for diagnosis. A rash will typically be diagnosed by a doctor through a physical and visual examination. The doctor will not only observe the appearance of the rash, but they will also determine if you have a fever, problems breathing, or other symptoms.

As hives are a result of an allergic reaction, a doctor will perform an allergy test to determine the specific cause.

It is best for you to reach out to a skilled dermatologist who can diagnose your condition and help you get the treatment you need.

Schedule an Appointment in Boca Raton, FL, Today

If you are experiencing inflammation or discomfort and you want to find relief, reach out to the team at Rendon Center Dermatology & Aesthetic Medicine by calling 561-750-0544 to schedule an appointment. Their Board Certified Dermatologists in Boca Raton, FL, will be able to examine your skin and determine which condition you are suffering from. They will then tailor a treatment plan to fit your specific needs.

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