Can Stress Cause Hives
Hives can also develop as a result of sun or cold exposure, infections, excessive perspiration, and emotional stress. The reason why stress seems to precipitate an outbreak of hives in many people is not completely understood but is likely related to the known effects of stress on the immune system. In many cases, the cause of hives in a given individual cannot be identified.
Also Check: What Do Hiv Sores Look Like
Prescription Medications And Otc Drugs Can Also Trigger Hives
Keep a close eye on themedications you’re taking, especially if you notice hives after a dose. Certain antibiotics such as penicillin and sulfa as well as aspirin and ibuprofen can trigger an allergic reaction resulting in hives.
“People can develop hives even from medications they’ve taken for years,” explained Blake.
If you’re concerned a medication you’re taking is causing hives, call your healthcare professional ASAP.
What Questions Should I Ask My Doctor
If you develop hives or swelling , ask your healthcare provider:
- Why did I get hives and swelling?
- When should the hives and/or swelling go away?
- Should I get an allergy test?
- What steps can I take to prevent getting hives or swelling in the future?
- Whats the best treatment to reduce itching?
- Whats the best way to get rid of hives?
- Should I look out for signs of complications?
Hives and swelling are your bodys way of responding to a substance that it doesnt like. These reactions are a bit uncomfortable, but are not always serious. You may develop hives alone, hives with swelling, or just swelling. Most of the time, these reactions go away in a day or two. If you are prone to hives or swelling, talk to your healthcare provider about getting an allergy test. Once you know what triggers your allergies, you can take steps to avoid your triggers.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 04/22/2020.
You May Like: What Body Fluids Are Used To Diagnose Hiv
Favorite Resource To Find A Dermatologist
Your primary care doctor may recommend that you visit a dermatologist instead of an allergist, depending on your symptoms and suspected triggers. If you dont currently have a dermatologist, visit this site from the American Academy of Dermatology. The Find a Dermatologist tool allows you to search by location or a specific doctors name. The results will show dermatologists that meet your search criteria. Click on the name to view more about the doctor, such as where theyre located, what they specialize in, and the qualifications they have.
What Are The Medications For Hives And Angioedema
Severe hives and most cases of angioedema may require more intense treatment.
- Epinephrine is a prescription drug, usually injected or given intravenously, that rapidly reverses the most severe allergic reactions, including anaphylactic shock.
- IV fluids, usually saline solution, are given to increase blood pressure.
- Oxygen may be given through a tube in the nose or via a face mask in case of breathing trouble.
- Other medications may be given as needed to reverse symptoms or raise blood pressure.
- People who have angioedema usually need hospitalization as the recurrence risk is high, even with improvement after the initial treatment. Some cases of severe hives may also require hospitalization.
Don’t Miss: Does Hiv Cause Body Aches
How Are Hives Treated
The best treatment for hives is to find and remove the trigger, but this is not an easy task. Antihistamines are usually prescribed by your doctor to provide relief from symptoms. Antihistamines work best if taken on a regular schedule to prevent hives from forming in the first place.
Chronic hives may be treated with antihistamines or a combination of medications. When antihistamines don’t provide relief, oral steroids may be prescribed. A biologic drug, omalizumab , is also approved to treat chronic hives in people at least 12 years old.
Favorite Tool To Virtually Identify An Allergy
Sometimes hives can be part of an allergic reaction. This interactive tool from AAAAI can help pinpoint the issue. Just click through a series of questions and mark where on the body the allergy is occurring and the symptoms youre experiencing, and youll be presented with possible issues.
Don’t Miss: Can You Have Hiv For 20 Years And Not Know
Causes And Risk Factors Of Hives
Although hives can have many causes, they all get their start when immune cells in your body called mast cells are activated. In many cases, those mast cells release a chemical called histamine that can cause swelling, itching, and redness. Although not all hives are the result of histamine being released, the vast majority are, Dr. Elmariah says. Heres the real question, though: Whats causing those mast cells to react in the first place?
Thats a relatively easy question to answer if you have acute hives. We can generally identify about 50 percent of the triggers after taking a good history of the patient and getting the full story behind the incident, Dr. Friedman says.
Chronic hives, however, often have different outcomes, and unfortunately, although about 50 percent of hive cases will be resolved within a year of entering the chronic phase, some people will have hives their entire life. With chronic hives, we can rarely identify why theyre happening, and the longer somebody has hives, the less likely it is that theyll go away, says Friedman, adding that 20 percent can continue for longer than 10 years.
Nonallergic causes consist of bacterial and viral infections exercise stress pressure on or scratching the skin chemical contact exposure to sun, heat, or cold and autoimmune disorders like thyroid diseases and lupus, especially in the case of chronic hives.
Stress Rash Woes: What To Expect
Howlong can you expect to stay polka-dotted? Sorry to say it, but this gets worsebefore it gets better.
Itstotally normal for new hives to bubble up just as the firstwelts are fading. They will typically subside within a day or two, and you cantreat them with over-the-counter antihistamines.
Nowbrace yourself for this last bit of bad news: Even after they subside, hivesmay not be through with you yet. Hive breakouts often come and go in waves andcan flare up on and off for weeks.
Ifhives last longer than a few days, a doctor can help you figure out whatsgoing on.
Hives usually arent medical emergencies, though they can feel like a major disruption to your regularly scheduled programming. However, get medical attention post-haste if you have symptoms like fever or swelling of the mouth, tongue or lips, since those are signs of a more serious allergic reaction.
Don’t Miss: How To Treat Hiv And Aids
Im Not Sure Why I Keep Getting Hives
If you get itchy bumps on your skin, its usually because of bug bites or allergies. But some people get hives spontaneously and arent sure whats causing them. Dr. Tom Miller and Dr. Mark Eliason, a dermatologist, talk about hives and why we get them. Dr. Eliason describes how to treat minor hives at home, when to see doctor about them, and when you should run to the ER because of hives.
Dr. Miller: Hives, what are they? How do we get them? And what do we do about them? This is Dr. Tom Miller on Scope radio. We’re going to talk about that next.
Announcer: Medical news and research from University of Utah physicians and specialists you can use for a happier and healthier life. You’re listening to The Scope.
Dr. Miller: Hi, I’m here with Dr. Mark Eliason. And he is a professor of dermatology here at the University of Utah. And Mark is going to tell us a little bit about hives. What are hives? What’s a hive? I think of a beehive but I don’t know if that’s what a hive is.
Seeking Emergency Medical Care
Call 911, especially if youre having trouble breathing. If you dont have an EpiPen, the ambulance will have epinephrine that paramedics can use to provide immediate treatment and will likely reach you much faster than having someone drive you to a hospital. Paramedics can get you to the hospital quickly and monitor your condition the entire time.
Never attempt to drive yourself to the hospital during anaphylaxis. Even if it is a very short drive, its not safe to attempt. You can lose consciousness rapidly.
If possible, after you call 911, keep someone with you until paramedics arrive.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, call 911.
A doctor may prescribe you an epinephrine injector, such as an EpiPen, for future allergic reactions. Theyll teach you how to use it and answer any questions you might have. Youll keep your epinephrine injector on hand and use it if you develop hives in the future.
Youll still need to visit the emergency room after you use your epinephrine injector, but it can stop anaphylaxis from becoming deadly.
Don’t Miss: Free Hiv And Syphilis Test
Remedies And Treatments For Hives
Managing a case of hives can involve relying on home remedies and over-the-counter medication. You may also try making small lifestyle changes to lessen the instances of coming across a trigger that will make your skin erupt in hives.
Over-the-Counter Oral Antihistamines
Antihistamines work on histamine, which is released by mast cells â a certain type of immune system cell â in the presence of an allergen or an irritant.
Anti-Itch Creams and Lotions
However, some people can be sensitive to certain topical medications. Children may have a bad reaction to corticosteroids, such as hydrocortisone cream. Topical treatment is also not recommended if the affected area is sore, infected, or features an open wound. Hives with these features may only worsen if you treat them with lotions or creams.
Cooling Home Treatments
When you have hives, a cooling sensation may comfort you and draw your attention away from the discomfort caused by skin irritation. Apply cold and wet compresses, use ice on the affected areas, or take a cold bath.
You may also keep some over-the-counter lotions and creams in the fridge, so itâs cool to the touch when you need to apply it on your skin.
What Are Environmental Triggers For Hives
Arizona is an allergy hotspot thanks to its near-constant sunshine, mix of native and non-native plants and trees, and lack of freezing winters that has plants blooming throughout the year. Other causes include:
- Pressure on the skin from things like tight, restrictive clothing
- Different types of airborne allergens
Recommended Reading: How Long Can Someone Live With Hiv With Treatment
Potentially Serious Causes Of Hives
- Food allergies: Some common foods that can cause allergic reactions include nuts, milk, eggs, sesame, and seafood. These reactions can sometimes be severe and cause anaphylaxis, a serious condition requiring immediate medical treatment. Anaphylaxis can cause chest tightness, hives, difficulty breathing, vomiting, and rapid heartbeat.
- Medication allergies: Antibiotics such as penicillin and sulfa drugs can cause hives, itching, wheezing, and swelling. Other common medications that can cause allergies include aspirin and ibuprofen. If the allergy is severe, it can cause anaphylaxis.
- Insect stings or bites: Insect bites can cause itching and bumps on your skin. Some stings, such as bee stings, can cause an allergic reaction that can be more serious. If you are allergic to bee venom, you may need to carry an epinephrine pen. An epinephrine pen can help decrease your symptoms if you are stung and potentially avoid an anaphylactic reaction.
- Blood transfusions: Receiving a blood transfusion can trigger an allergic reaction. If this happens, you may break out in itchy hives along with an elevated temperature, chills, and trouble breathing.
Causes Of Stress Rash
Hives are often the result of an allergic reaction to something in your environment. But stress can also trigger a response in the sympathetic nervous system, leading to the release of histamine.
Histamine is a compound that is normally produced by the body in response to injury, allergies, and inflammatory reactions, but it can also be triggered by stress.
Most commonly, hives are a result of one of the following causes:
If you’ve ruled out these common causes, it’s possible that stress is a factor.
How Do Dermatologists Diagnose Hives
A dermatologist can often diagnose hives by looking at your skin.
To find out why you have hives, your dermatologist will ask questions. Knowing why you have hives may help you avoid the cause, which can prevent new hives.
Hives have many causes, so it can be a challenge to find the cause. You can help your dermatologist by taking time to answer these questions before your appointment:
How often do you get hives?
How long do the hives last?
Do the hives itch or feel painful?
When you get hives, do you have other symptoms like feeling lightheaded or nauseous?
It can also be helpful to think about what you were doing a few hours before you developed hives. For example, can you answer the following questions?
What did you eat?
Did you take a medication, including one that you can buy without a prescription, such as ibuprofen?
Have you been feeling stressed?
Did a bug bite or sting you?
Were you out in sunlight, cold, or heat?
Did you sweat a lot?
Were you wearing tight clothes or carrying a purse or backpack?
Tell your dermatologist if you develop hives hours after eating red meat , gelatin, or dairy products
Hives can be a sign of alpha-gal syndrome, a food allergy that can develop after being bite by the lone star tick. This tick is found in many U.S. states.
During your appointment, your dermatologist will also ask about your medical history. Be sure to mention any recent medical treatments, including radiation therapy or a blood transfusion.
Symptoms Of Stress Rash
Stress rashes often appear as hives, also known as urticaria, which tend to be:
- Itchy: The rash can be itchy, or it could burn or sting.
- Red/blotchy: The welts can also vary in color.
- Swollen/puffy: The skin will swell in areas, and shapes and edges are obvious. Swelling can also occur underneath the skin, which is called angioedema.
Hives can appear anywhere on the body. While they may initially start as tiny red bumps like a typical rash, stress rashes often become larger welts or patches that become worse after scratching them.
Individual hives can be as large as dinner plates, but smaller hives can also merge together so that they appear to cover a large portion of the body.
Recommended Reading: What Is Hiv Rna Test
What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Hives
The hallmark red raised welts are the main sign of hives. The welts can:
- have a pale center
- change shape and location in a matter of hours
- be tiny or as big as a dinner plate
- itch, sting, or cause a burning sensation
Someone who also has angioedema might have puffiness, blotchy redness, swelling, or large bumps around the eyes, lips, hands, feet, genitals, or throat. Other symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, or belly pain.
Rarely, a person with hives and angioedema can also get anaphylactic shock. Signs of anaphylactic shock include breathing trouble, a drop in blood pressure, dizziness, or a loss of consciousness .
Complications Of Hives: Chronic Hives And Others
Have you struggled with hives that come and go for six weeks or more? Youve got what experts call chronic hives, and they can be exhausting especially because they can cause changes in your sleep, performance at work or school, and social life. The impact chronic hives can have on somebodys quality of life is well studied, Friedman says.
While many of the triggers are the same as acute hives , chronic hives have several different causes, including autoimmune issues and long-standing infections. In some cases, you might have to undergo extra testing to determine the cause and unfortunately in many cases, a definitive cause will not be identified.
The good news is that while treatment generally starts in the same manner as for acute hives, doctors do have additional medications and, in some cases, tests they can use to help diagnose and treat chronic hives. Youll just have to make sure you put patience on your side, as it can often take several years for improvements to happen.
Other potential complications of either acute or chronic hives can include:
Read Also: Can You Catch Hiv From Kissing
What Are Hives Or Urticaria
Hives or urticaria are a type of rash consisting of itchy, swollen, red welts. The itching may be mild or severe. Foods, medications, infections, exercise, scratching, alcoholic beverages, emotional stress and many other factors may worsen hives. The condition affects an estimated 20 percent of the population at one time or another in their lives.
Simply Scratching Your Skin Can Cause Hives
For a small percentage of the population,dermatographism, or skin writing can cause hive-like welts when you scratch, rub or apply pressure to your skin. Typically, there is an inappropriate release of histamine, which causes the hives to appear. If you’re experiencing this type of reaction, it’s best that you talk to your doctor about management and treatment.
Also Check: How To Get Rid Of Honey Bee Hive