Hives normally appear on your abdomen, back, chest, arms, or legs. But they can also appear on your face, especially around the mucus membranes that line your eyes and mouth.

Hives (urticaria) are itchy, bumpy patches of irritated skin.

They are usually reddish or pinkish on light skin; and slightly darker than your skin if you have dark skin. Hives are a common symptom of an allergic reaction. About a fourth of people are likely to get hives at some point in their lifetime.

Read on to learn more about the symptoms of hives on your face, what causes hives to appear there, and how you can treat hives.

The look of hives can vary on people’s faces, and your skin color can affect their composition. Here are the most common symptoms of hives on your face:

  • patches of bumps of different shapes that feel textured to the touch
  • combination of small and large bumps
  • bumps that appear suddenly after you’re exposed to a trigger, such as dust or fragrances
  • bumps change color when you press down on them
  • itchiness around the affected area
  • bumps go away after a few hours or days

Here are some pictures showing how hives can appear on your face.

Yes, you can get hives on your nose.

Hives on your nose have similar symptoms as hives anywhere else on your body, including patches of itchy, textured bumps. But other conditions can also result in similar symptoms, including:

Some common causes of hives on the face include:

Hives don’t always have a clear cause. But some known triggers of hives on your face include:

People at a higher risk of getting hives on their face may have:

Potential complications of having hives on your face include:

Hives on your face often go away on their own after you’re no longer exposed to the trigger that caused them.

But symptoms of hives can be uncomfortable or painful if they’re severe. Here are some tips for relieving symptoms until hives go away:

  • Use a cold compress to reduce itching, burning, and stinging around the bumps.
  • Apply corticosteroid creams or ointments to relieve itching and help repair any damaged skin.
  • Use anti-itch creams with antihistamines to reduce itching.
  • Take oral antihistamines to reduce your body’s allergic response to a trigger.
  • Use a colloidal oatmeal facemask

A medical professional can often prescribe you stronger corticosteroids or antihistamines for severe or long-term (chronic) hives that don’t go away on their own.

Contact a doctor if you have itchy or painful hives that haven’t gone away in a few days.

You may also want to get medical attention if you have constant flare-ups that are disruptive to your life.

Medical emergency

Call emergency medical services or go to the nearest emergency room if you notice any of the following symptoms:

Here are some tips for preventing hives on your face:

  • Learn what your triggers are and avoid them as much as possible.
  • Remove products that may contain triggers, such as added perfumes and fragrances.
  • Use unscented soaps, detergents, or other cleaning products with as few harsh chemicals as possible.
  • Stay indoors during hot or cold weather.
  • Wear clothing that can protect your skin from the sun and exposure to hot or cold temperatures.

Hives can appear almost anywhere on your body, including your face.

Most cases of hives go away in a few hours or days without any treatment. But get medical help if you have painful, itchy hives that don’t go away after a few days or if you have trouble breathing from an allergic reaction.