Ask Difference

Hives vs. Rash — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Updated on September 22, 2023
Hives is Red, itchy welts from allergic reactions. Rash is broad term for skin irritation or redness. While hives are a specific type of rash, not all rashes are hives.
Hives vs. Rash — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Hives and Rash

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Key Differences

Hives, medically known as urticaria, are raised, itchy, red welts or bumps on the skin. They often arise suddenly and can vary in size. Caused primarily by allergic reactions, hives represent the body's response to histamine release, leading to swelling in the upper skin layers. On the other hand, a rash is a more generalized term used to describe any form of skin inflammation or discoloration.
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 22, 2023
Rashes can manifest as redness, itching, pain, or skin texture changes. Their causes are numerous, ranging from infections, allergies, chronic skin problems, to reactions to medications. Hives, while being a specific form of rash, have a distinct appearance and are primarily attributed to allergic responses.
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 22, 2023
Hives tend to appear and fade quickly, often within hours. They can be surrounded by areas of redness, and their shape might change as they spread or merge. Rash, in its broader context, might persist for days or even longer, and its appearance, duration, and pattern can greatly vary depending on the root cause.
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 22, 2023
In essence, while all hives are rashes, not all rashes qualify as hives. It's essential to recognize the difference between hives and other types of rashes for appropriate treatment and understanding possible underlying causes.
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 22, 2023

Comparison Chart

Definition

Raised, itchy, red welts
Skin irritation or discoloration
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Sep 22, 2023
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Primary Causes

Allergic reactions
Infections, allergies, skin problems, medication reactions
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Sep 22, 2023

Duration

Often appear & fade quickly
Duration varies, can be prolonged
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Sep 22, 2023

Appearance

Distinct, can merge or spread
Varies widely, can include redness, blisters, or bumps
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Sep 22, 2023

Specificity

A specific type of rash
Broad term encompassing various skin conditions
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Sep 22, 2023

Compare with Definitions

Hives

Often sudden and varying in size.
By evening, the small hives had grown considerably larger.
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Sep 22, 2023

Rash

Can result from infections, allergies, or medications.
She suspected the new cream caused the rash on her face.
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Sep 22, 2023

Hives

Skin response to histamine release.
The hives were a clear indication of the body releasing histamines.
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Sep 22, 2023

Rash

Varies in appearance and duration.
Unlike the previous rash, this one spread across her legs and lasted for weeks.
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Sep 22, 2023

Hives

Bumps that can change shape and merge.
The hives on her back started to merge, forming a larger patch.
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Sep 22, 2023

Rash

Encompasses a wide range of skin conditions.
The doctor needed more tests to determine the exact cause of the rash.
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Sep 22, 2023

Hives

Raised, red itchy welts on the skin.
She noticed hives forming on her arm after eating the strawberries.
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Sep 22, 2023

Rash

A rash is a change of the human skin which affects its color, appearance, or texture. A rash may be localized in one part of the body, or affect all the skin.
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Oct 28, 2021

Hives

Allergic reaction manifesting on the skin.
The medication caused him to break out in hives.
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Sep 22, 2023

Rash

Resulting from or acting with ill-considered haste or boldness.
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Oct 28, 2021

Hives

Hives, also known as urticaria, is a kind of skin rash with red, raised, itchy bumps. They may also burn or sting.
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Oct 28, 2021

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 28, 2021

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 28, 2021

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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Oct 28, 2021

Hives

The croup.
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Oct 28, 2021

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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Oct 28, 2021

Rash

Requiring swift action; pressing; urgent.
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Oct 28, 2021

Rash

Taking effect quickly and strongly; fast-acting.
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Oct 28, 2021

Rash

(archaic) rashly
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Oct 28, 2021

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 28, 2021

Rash

(figuratively)
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Rash

An irregular distribution or sprinkling of objects resembling a rash (sense 1).
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Oct 28, 2021

Rash

An outbreak or surge in problems; a spate, string, or trend.
There has been a rash of vandalism lately.
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Oct 28, 2021

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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Oct 28, 2021

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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Oct 28, 2021

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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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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Oct 28, 2021

Rash

Chiefly followed by against, at, or upon: to collide or hit.
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Rash

Chiefly followed by away, down, off, out, etc.: to pluck, pull, or rip (something) violently.
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Oct 28, 2021

Rash

To hack, slash, or slice (something).
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Oct 28, 2021

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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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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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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Oct 28, 2021

Rash

Requiring sudden action; pressing; urgent.
I scarce have leisure to salute you,My matter is so rash.
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Oct 28, 2021

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 28, 2021

Rash

Uttered or undertaken with too much haste or too little reflection; as, rash words; rash measures.
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Oct 28, 2021

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 28, 2021

Rash

Any red eruption of the skin
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Oct 28, 2021

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 28, 2021

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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Oct 28, 2021

Rash

General skin irritation or discoloration.
He developed a rash after hiking in the woods.
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Sep 22, 2023

Rash

Change in skin texture, appearance, or sensation.
The rash felt rough and bumpy to the touch.
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Sep 22, 2023

Common Curiosities

Do hives always indicate an allergy?

While often caused by allergies, hives can also result from stress, infections, or other factors.
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Sep 22, 2023

How is a rash generally defined?

A rash refers to any form of skin irritation, discoloration, or inflammation.
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 22, 2023

How can one distinguish between hives and other rashes?

Hives are specific raised, red, itchy welts, while rashes can have varied appearances.
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Sep 22, 2023

What are hives?

Hives are raised, itchy, red welts or bumps on the skin, often due to allergic reactions.
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Sep 22, 2023

Are hives contagious?

No, hives themselves aren't contagious, but the underlying cause, if infectious, might be.
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Sep 22, 2023

Are there home remedies for hives?

Cool compresses and antihistamines can provide relief, but it's essential to identify and avoid triggers.
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Sep 22, 2023

Can food allergies cause hives?

Yes, certain foods can trigger allergic reactions leading to hives.
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Sep 22, 2023

What might cause a rash besides allergies?

Rashes can be caused by infections, skin conditions, reactions to medications, and more.
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Sep 22, 2023

How long can a rash last?

The duration of a rash varies depending on its cause, ranging from hours to weeks.
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Sep 22, 2023

Can a viral infection cause a rash?

Yes, certain viral infections can lead to rashes as a symptom.
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Sep 22, 2023

Should one see a doctor for a rash or hives?

If the rash or hives are severe, persistent, or accompanied by other symptoms, it's wise to see a doctor.
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Sep 22, 2023

Can stress cause a rash?

Yes, stress can trigger or exacerbate certain types of rashes.
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Sep 22, 2023

Do hives always itch?

While hives are typically itchy, the degree of itchiness can vary.
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Sep 22, 2023

Can a heat rash be classified under rashes?

Yes, heat rash, caused by blocked sweat ducts, is a type of rash.
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Sep 22, 2023

Are there long-term implications for recurring hives or rashes?

Chronic hives or rashes should be evaluated by a doctor to determine underlying causes and appropriate treatment.
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Sep 22, 2023

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to askdifference.com. As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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