Eczema and hives both result from an immune response and can cause itchy, raised rashes or welts on the skin. However, they have different triggers and eczema is linked to dry skin. Hives can come and go, but eczema is a long-term condition.
Eczema and hives can arise in response to numerous external triggers. Identifying these can help people manage their symptoms.
This article compares and contrasts eczema with hives. We examine the differences in their occurrence, timings, and symptoms. We also discuss risk factors, triggers, treatments, and outlooks.
Research suggests that in 80% of cases, a child’s eczema will resolve within 10 years. Learn more about how long eczema lasts.
Visit our dedicated hub to learn more about eczema.
Hives types and timings
Hives can disappear much faster than eczema. Some people may have symptoms that resolve after only a few hours, and others may have symptoms for a few days or weeks.
A person should speak with a doctor if they have any concerns about their symptoms or timings.
There are several types of hives that
- Acute urticaria: This type lasts for less than 6 weeks.
- Chronic spontaneous urticaria: This lasts for more than 6 weeks. Symptoms manifest at least twice a week.
- Chronic inducible urticaria (contact urticaria): This type lasts more than 6 weeks.
- Episodic chronic urticaria: This lasts for more than 6 weeks. Symptoms occur at least 2 times per week.
Eczema and hives can have similar symptoms, which tend to affect one area or the whole body. There are also some noticeable differences.
Symptoms that are
Read more about eczema on black skin.
There are some key differences between eczema and hives occurring across:
Eczema risk factors
Eczema is more
It is more
Eczema also tends to occur more in people who live in rural areas than in urban places. This indicates the possible association between eczema and environmental factors.
The occurrence also
- 19.3% of African American children
- 16.1% of European American people
- 7.8% of Hispanic American individuals
Hives risk factors
Similar to eczema, hives are more likely to affect younger adults. Females are twice as likely to develop chronic urticaria between the ages of 20–40 years.
In comparison, a
- Central Europe
- Eastern Europe
- Central Asia
There are some overlaps of potential causes of both skin conditions. However, there are also some key differences in what can trigger the condition.
According to a
Some common triggers include:
- irritants, including:
- household products
- allergens, such as:
- certain metals
- contact with rough fabrics or chemicals
- cigarette smoke
- cold, dry, or humid weather
Find out more about what triggers eczema flares.
- extreme temperatures
- in rare cases, cigarette smoke
- certain medications
- exposure to sunlight
- contact with:
- cosmetic products
- insect bites
- psychological factors, such as stress and depression
In some cases, hives also occur without any obvious cause. A person should speak with a doctor to receive a prompt diagnosis of this condition.
- Daily skin care routine.
- Identify any eczema triggers and avoid them where possible.
- Treat eczema flare-ups with topical anti-inflammatory medications.
Learn more about treating eczema.
There are some overlaps between the treatments for eczema and hives. For example, a major component of managing hives is identifying and avoiding triggers.
However, doctors will also recommend medications on a case-by-case basis.
Possible treatments include:
- systemic corticosteroids
- biologic medications such as Xolair, which contains the drug omalizumab
In many instances, acute urticaria may often resolve without treatment. People should discuss the options with a dermatologist.
The outlook for both conditions can vary depending on when the symptoms occur and when treatment starts.
Outlook for eczema
Eczema scratching can cause damage to the skin. People are more likely to develop skin infections, such as:
- bacterial, such as Staphylococcus aureus
- fungal, such as candida or tinea
- viral, such as eczema herpeticum
People should consult a doctor for prompt treatment to prevent infections.
Outlook for hives
However, hives often occur with angioedema, swelling underneath the skin. In some cases, this swelling can make it harder for people to breathe. People with this form of angioedema should seek urgent medical attention to receive treatment.
Eczema and hives are both conditions that affect the skin. Both can arise in response to numerous external triggers. Identifying these triggers can greatly help people manage eczema and hives.
The symptoms, risk factors, and treatments tend to vary. People can speak with a dermatologist to receive a diagnosis and suitable ways to treat their condition.