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Hives vs. Rash: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
Hives typically manifest as swollen, red welts on the skin that are often itchy and can result from allergies or stress. A rash is a broad term used to describe any skin irritation or outbreak, and it can have various causes and appearances.
Hives vs. Rash

Key Differences

Hives are raised, often itchy, red or skin-colored welts that appear suddenly on the skin. Rashes encompass a broader range of skin reactions, including redness, bumps, and changes in skin texture or color.
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Nov 12, 2023
The cause of hives is typically an allergic reaction or stress, leading to histamine release. Rashes can be caused by a wide variety of factors, including infections, heat, allergens, and medical conditions.
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Nov 12, 2023
Hives usually appear and fade within hours or days and are often linked to specific triggers. Rashes vary in duration and may persist for longer periods, depending on their cause.
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Nov 12, 2023
The appearance of hives is quite distinctive, with welts that can change shape and location. Rashes have diverse appearances, ranging from patches of redness to small bumps or scales.
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In terms of treatment, hives often respond to antihistamines and avoiding triggers. Rashes require varied treatments based on their specific cause, which might include creams, medications, or lifestyle changes.
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Comparison Chart

Definition

Swelling and welts on the skin, often itchy.
A broad term for any skin irritation or outbreak.
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Nov 12, 2023

Cause

Allergies, stress.
Infections, allergies, heat, medical conditions.
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Nov 12, 2023

Appearance

Red or skin-colored welts.
Redness, bumps, scales, varied textures.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 12, 2023

Duration

Hours to days, typically short-lived.
Can be prolonged, depending on cause.
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Nov 12, 2023

Treatment

Antihistamines, avoiding triggers.
Varied, based on specific causes.
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Hives and Rash Definitions

Hives

Idiopathic Hives: Hives without a known cause.
The doctor diagnosed her condition as idiopathic hives.
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Nov 12, 2023

Rash

Skin irritation from excessive heat.
The hot, humid weather gave him a heat rash.
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Nov 12, 2023

Hives

Allergic Reaction Hives: Welts due to an allergy.
Eating peanuts triggered her allergic reaction hives.
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Nov 12, 2023

Rash

Skin irritation in infants.
The baby developed a diaper rash.
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Hives

Physical Hives: Caused by physical stimuli.
Exposure to cold weather causes her physical hives.
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Rash

Chronic, itchy skin condition.
Her eczema rash flares up in dry weather.
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Hives

Stress-Induced Hives: Welts appearing during stress.
He often gets stress-induced hives during exams.
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Nov 12, 2023

Rash

Resulting from or acting with ill-considered haste or boldness.
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Oct 19, 2023

Hives

Chronic Hives: Long-lasting, recurrent hives.
She has been dealing with chronic hives for months.
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Nov 12, 2023

Rash

A visible lesion or group of lesions on the skin, caused by any of numerous factors including infectious agents, drugs, and allergies.
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Oct 19, 2023

Hives

Itchy, swollen, red areas of the skin which can appear quickly in response to an allergen or due to other conditions.
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Oct 19, 2023

Rash

An outbreak of many instances within a brief period
A rash of burglaries.
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Hives

Plural of hive
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Rash

Acting too quickly without considering the consequences and risks; not careful; hasty.
Rash words spoken in the heat of debate
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Hives

The croup.
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Rash

Of corn or other grains: so dry as to fall out of the ear with handling.
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Hives

An itchy skin eruption characterized by weals with pale interiors and well-defined red margins; usually the result of an allergic response to insect bites or food or drugs
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Rash

Requiring swift action; pressing; urgent.
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Rash

Taking effect quickly and strongly; fast-acting.
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Rash

(archaic) rashly
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Rash

An area of inflamed and irritated skin characterized by reddened spots that may be filled with fluid or pus; also, preceded by a descriptive word , an illness characterized by a type of rash.
He came out in a rash because of an allergy.
She applied rash cream on herself to reduce the irritation.
A wet cloth should help with the rash on your arm.
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Oct 19, 2023

Rash

(figuratively)
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Rash

An irregular distribution or sprinkling of objects resembling a rash (sense 1).
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Rash

An outbreak or surge in problems; a spate, string, or trend.
There has been a rash of vandalism lately.
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Rash

(historical) Chiefly preceded by a descriptive word: a fabric with a smooth texture woven from silk, worsted, or a mixture of the two, intended as an inferior substitute for silk.
Cloth rash
Silk rash
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Rash

(obsolete) A soft crackling or rustling sound.
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Rash

(transitive)
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Rash

To forcefully move or push (someone or something) in a certain direction.
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Rash

To break (something) forcefully; to smash.
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Rash

To emit or issue (something) hastily.
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Rash

(rare) Usually followed by up: to prepare (something) with haste; to cobble together, to improvise.
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Oct 19, 2023

Rash

(intransitive)
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Rash

To move forcefully, hastily, or suddenly; to dash, to rush.
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Rash

Of rain: to fall heavily.
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Rash

Chiefly followed by against, at, or upon: to collide or hit.
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Oct 19, 2023

Rash

Chiefly followed by away, down, off, out, etc.: to pluck, pull, or rip (something) violently.
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Oct 19, 2023

Rash

To hack, slash, or slice (something).
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Rash

(rare) Chiefly followed by out: to scrape or scratch (something); to obliterate.
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Rash

To pull off or pluck violently.
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Rash

To slash; to hack; to cut; to slice.
Rashing off helms and riving plates asunder.
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Oct 19, 2023

Rash

To prepare with haste.
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Rash

A fine eruption or efflorescence on the body, with little or no elevation.
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Oct 19, 2023

Rash

An inferior kind of silk, or mixture of silk and worsted.
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Rash

Sudden in action; quick; hasty.
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Rash

Requiring sudden action; pressing; urgent.
I scarce have leisure to salute you,My matter is so rash.
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Rash

Esp., overhasty in counsel or action; precipitate; resolving or entering on a project or measure without due deliberation and caution; opposed to prudent; said of persons; as, a rash statesman or commander.
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Oct 19, 2023

Rash

Uttered or undertaken with too much haste or too little reflection; as, rash words; rash measures.
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Oct 19, 2023

Rash

So dry as to fall out of the ear with handling, as corn.
Was never known a more adventurous knight.
Her rash hand in evil hourForth reaching to the fruit, she plucked, she eat.
If any yet be so foolhardyTo expose themselves to vain jeopardy;If they come wounded off, and lame,No honor's got by such a maim.
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Oct 19, 2023

Rash

Any red eruption of the skin
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Oct 19, 2023

Rash

A series of unexpected and unpleasant occurrences;
A rash of bank robberies
A blizzard of lawsuits
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Rash

Imprudently incurring risk;
Do something rash that he will forever repent
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Oct 19, 2023

Rash

Marked by unthinking boldness; with defiant disregard for danger or consequences;
Foolhardy enough to try to seize the gun from the hijacker
Became the fiercest and most reckless of partisans
A reckless driver
A rash attempt to climb the World Trade Center
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Rash

Reaction to allergens.
She got an allergic rash from the new laundry detergent.
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Rash

Caused by infections.
The viral infection resulted in an infectious rash.
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Nov 12, 2023

Repeatedly Asked Queries

What is a rash?

A general term for any skin irritation or outbreak.
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Nov 12, 2023

What causes hives?

Typically allergies or stress-related factors.
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Nov 12, 2023

What can cause a rash?

Numerous factors including infections, allergies, and environmental conditions.
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Nov 12, 2023

How are rashes treated?

Treatment varies, ranging from topical creams to oral medications.
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Nov 12, 2023

Are hives contagious?

No, hives themselves are not contagious.
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Nov 12, 2023

Are hives always itchy?

They are often itchy, but not always.
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Nov 12, 2023

What are hives?

Raised, itchy welts on the skin due to allergies or stress.
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Nov 12, 2023

Can a rash indicate a serious condition?

Yes, some rashes can be a symptom of serious diseases.
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Nov 12, 2023

Can hives be a sign of an internal problem?

Sometimes, especially in chronic cases.
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Nov 12, 2023

Can rashes be contagious?

Some rashes, especially those caused by infections, can be contagious.
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Nov 12, 2023

How long do hives last?

They usually last for hours to days but can be longer in chronic cases.
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Nov 12, 2023

What are common treatments for hives?

Antihistamines and avoiding known triggers.
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Nov 12, 2023

What are idiopathic hives?

Hives without a known cause.
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Nov 12, 2023

Are hives and rashes always visible?

Yes, they typically manifest as visible skin changes.
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Nov 12, 2023

Can stress cause hives?

Yes, stress can trigger hives in some individuals.
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Nov 12, 2023

Is eczema a type of rash?

Yes, eczema is a chronic type of rash.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 12, 2023

Can diet affect hives and rashes?

Yes, certain foods can trigger hives and some rashes.
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Nov 12, 2023

Do hives change shape?

Yes, hives can change shape and move around on the skin.
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Nov 12, 2023

Can a rash be painful?

Some rashes can be painful or irritating.
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Nov 12, 2023

Can a rash be a sign of an allergy?

Yes, rashes can be a reaction to allergens.
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Nov 12, 2023

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Shumaila Saeed
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Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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