Hives vs Scabies: Difference and Comparison

Our body gives various allergic reactions to abnormal or uncommon reactions as a part of the immune system response. These reactions are also known as hypersensitivity type 1 reactions.

The allergic reaction caused on the surface of the body is, in the majority, harmless to humans. The various symptoms of allergic reactions may include – rashes, colds, itching, watery eyes, swollen lips, and many more.

Key Takeaways

  1. Hives are allergic reaction that causes itchy red bumps on the skin, while scabies is a contagious skin infestation caused by tiny mites.
  2. Hives appear and disappear quickly, while scabies can last for weeks or months if left untreated.
  3. Hives can be treated with over-the-counter medications, while scabies requires prescription medication.

Hives vs Scabies

The difference between Hives and Scabies is that the reason behind the occurrence of Hives is the immune response to any substance which causes irritation and itchiness over the skin, while the reason behind the occurrence of Scabies is the living of a mite under the skin, which on above cause the redness and itchiness, especially at night. 

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Hives which is an allergic reaction also known as Urticaria is a response to any immune system to any harmful substance. The symptoms for the same are – welts that appear on the surface of the skin are red, pink, or flesh-coloured.


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They are caused to people who get affected by allergies frequently.

Scabies is a type of allergic reaction caused by the living of a mite under the skin of the human, which causes redness, bumps, and itchiness, especially at night.

These are caused by the mites named Sarcoptes scabiei. They must be treated on time. Otherwise, the mites may live for months under the skin.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonHivesScabies
What it isAllergic reactionInfectious reaction
Causes Due to an immune responseBecause of a living mite
SymptomsSmall, round red patches on the surface of the skinRashes with intensive itchiness
Investigations It is quite difficult to identify.It is easily estimated by looking at the symptoms.
Treatment Avoid contact and with doctor prescription taking antihistamines.Maintain health and hygiene and application of sulfur-based medicine.

What is Hives?

Hive is an allergic reaction that is shown after an immune response to any substance entering the immune system. Such reactions come under hypersensitivity type 1 reaction. They are non-severe reactions to the body. In scientific terms or another name for the hive is known as Urticaria.

They are categorized as allergies which occur due to extremely hot or extremely cold climatic conditions. These are due to seasonal allergies caused by pollen, insect bites, food colors, and some specific types of food items.

The allergic reaction of hives lasts up to 6 weeks, or if chronic, it may last up to more than 6 weeks and may be fatal in some conditions.

The symptoms of hives are the appearance of red, pink, flesh-colored, or sometimes the color may be the same as the skin color of the person. These welts appear on the surface of the body for half or 1 hour a day.

These welts change their shape they may be round, small, large, or random. They may appear itchy and, when pressed, become white.

Hives are of many types: Infection–induced hives, temperature-induced hives, dermatographism, chronic hives, anaphylaxis, etc.

There is a possible cure for the hives, first, it is diagnosed by a skin test, although it isn’t completely faithful, so the blood test is performed, and the increased number of eosinophils marks the diagnosis of hives.

The medicines must always be taken with a doctor’s consultation, and the possible prescribed medicine and precautions are – antihistamines, avoiding hot baths, avoiding irritating the infected area, and taking a cool or lukewarm bath.


What Is Scabies?

Scabies is an infectious reaction that is caused by a living mite naming Sarcoptes scabiei—the mite bites and lives under the surface of the skin. The mite lays its egg inside the surface, which causes the appearance of red color rashes, which give burn sensation and itchiness, especially at night. 

Scientists have claimed that if Scabies is not treated well on time, then it may last up to many months. Scabies is a highly transmitted disease that passes on from one another by contact, although it isn’t a sexually transmitted disease. 

Scabies shows many symptoms initially, it appears after 6 months, and the main diagnosed symptom is the appearance of red color rashes with intensive itchiness. They occur in different parts of the body like – the neck, head, elbow, wrist, soles of feet, etc.

Scabies is curable and needs extra personal hygiene. The person suffering from scabies is asked not to share bed sheets, towels, napkins, etc. The doctor prefers ointments, cream, and lotion for the treatment preferring sulfur-based/permethrin. 


Main Differences Between Hives and Scabies

  1. Hives are the allergic reactions known, while Scabies is the infectious reaction. 
  2. Hives are caused due to the immune responses expressed in return to any harmful substance, while Scabies is caused by a living mite under the skin, which lays an egg below the skin.
  3. The symptoms of Hives are known as round, small red, pink, or flesh-colored patches formed on the skin in response to the reaction in the immune system, whereas the symptoms of Scabies, known as the red patches, rashes, with intensive itching, especially in the night. 
  4. The Hives cannot be investigated easily for its special skin tests, which are not faithful every time; thus blood test is performed in which eosinophils are found high in number, whereas Scabies can be identified easily as the symptoms are enough for that along with a skin scraping may be performed for advance treatment. 
  5. The hives can be treated by avoiding contact with another person along with doctor-prescribed antihistamines for the treatment, whereas Scabies can be treated by maintaining extra care hygiene of oneself along with doctor-prescribed medicines. 
Difference Between Hives and Scabies



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