Urticaria, or hives, appear as pale red, swollen red bumps on the skin, according to WebMD. They vary in size and can join together to form large areas, called plaques. Hives appear suddenly and are the result of an allergic reaction or an unknown reason.
Hives cause itching and sometimes a stinging or burning sensation, explains WebMD. Hives appear anywhere on the body, including the throat, lips, ears, tongue and face. Fresh foods are more likely to cause hives than cooked foods.
Hives can take up to a day to start fading, notes WebMD. Acute urticaria is classified as hives with a duration of less than six weeks, and chronic urticaria involves hives that persist longer than six weeks.