What Are The Different Kinds Of Hives
Hives fall into two categories on the basis of the time they have been present: acute urticaria and chronic idiopathic urticaria . Since hives are so common and acute urticaria, by definition, resolves spontaneously, physicians do not generally expend much time or expense to evaluate the cause of hives of less than eight weeks duration.
Summary And How To Get Rid Of Stress Hives
So, how to get rid of stress hives? As you now know, stress can be caused by a variety of events in our environment and within us. Hives, or urticaria , result from the bodys immune system reacting to the stress with an overreaction which results in the release of histamine. This histamine is responsible for burning and itchy skin.
First of all, you need to look around and identify the likely sources of hives. You could be allergic to something, whether pollen dust, animal dander, or even certain foods like cows milk.
Also, remember that many people react to stress by releasing histamine. Therefore, its essential to keep your skin oil-free, because if you have a build-up of oil on your skin, you are more likely to get a rash.
Use a cold compress: The next thing we have to look at is how to treat stress-induced hives. You can treat your skin through the relief of your histamine reaction to apply a cold compress to the area. Stress is the bodys response to something it perceives as a threat if you think about it.
The skin tells the body to cool off and protect itself from the danger it will release histamine. A cold compress can bring immediate relief to this skin condition, but it is essential to remember that you are only treating the symptoms and not getting to the problems root cause.
Histamines And Immune Response
When stress overloads the body, it sets off an immune response causing the body to release histamine. Though this histamine release can happen in anyone, research has shown that stress hives are more likely to occur in people who have autoimmune conditions or those who have had other allergic reactions or allergy-related issues in the past.
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Treatment Options For Hives
So the dreaded has happened and youve had a hives outbreak. Are you doomed to 24 hours of itchy, painful welts? Absolutely not, say doctors.
There are very effective treatments for hives, says Dr. Maguiness.
Antihistamines are the first line of treatment
Regular use of nonsedating antihistaminesfexofenadine, cetirizinewill usually do the trick, she says. Additional antihistamines, like diphenhydramine , are sedating and can be used at night in addition to the nonsedating antihistamines, depending on the severity of the hives.
Dr. Del Priore notes that immunosuppressants are also used, but he cautions that they have a higher potential for more serious side effects.
He recommends other, promising medical alternatives.
Newer biologic injectable medications, like Xolair, have been helpful as well in improving idiopathic chronic urticaria, he says.
Get Stress Rash Treatment
If over-the-counter antihistamines and hydrocortisone cream arent giving you enough relief from your stress rash, you might want to talk to a doctor about other treatment options. With PlushCare, you can have an online video appointment and save yourself a trip to a doctors office.
After talking with one of our licensed doctors and telling them about your symptoms, medical history, and medications, the doctor will discuss potential treatment options with you. If necessary, they can refer you to a dermatologist specializing in rashes. If you have chronic stress hives, therapy may help you learn how to better handle your stress, which may help eliminate or prevent stress rashes.
PlushCare now provides online therapy our licensed therapists can help teach you ways to manage your stress more successfully. To make an online appointment with a therapist, . You can also get a free consultation by calling 1-800-221-5140 or emailing
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You Cannot Always Prevent Hives
You get hives when something causes high levels of histamine and other chemicals to be released in your skin. This is known as a trigger.
Triggers can include:
- contact with certain plants, animals, chemicals and latex
- cold such as cold water or wind
- hot, sweaty skin from exercise, emotional stress or eating spicy food
- a reaction to a medicine, insect bite or sting
- scratching or pressing on your skin such as wearing itchy or tight clothing
- an infection
What Does Stress Rash Look Like
Stress increases our innate fight or flight response, boosting certain hormones such as cortisol and chemicals such as interleukins within the body, all of which increase inflammation, adds Dr Granite. Inflammation affects our skin, ramping up swelling, redness, and heat, which in turn can cause an itchy, angry rash.
So, for some, stress can cause hives which is a stress-induced rash that appears on the skin as welts, explains Felton. Alternatively, stress-induced inflammation can exacerbate skin conditions that youre predisposed to such as cold sores, acne, eczema and psoriasis.
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How To Deal With Stress Hives On Legs
The first step in treating stress hives on legs is to determine its root cause. To know this, you will have to understand the various stress-related factors responsible for causing it.
These factors can include high levels of anxiety, long hours of work, long drives, insufficient sleep, and several other factors. Also, it can be due to an insect bite. Once you have determined its cause, you can then identify the way to relieve it.
The body needs to be given ample rest so it can heal itself. Also, sleeping helps a lot in healing stress on legs.
You can do this by reducing stress through relaxation techniques like yoga or meditation.
Another way to go about reducing stress is to avoid caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol. If you still have to consume them, make sure it is in regulated amounts. When in the body, many of these substances function as a stress hormone. Too much of anything will cause damage not only on your health but on your legs as well.
As soon as your stress level has been reduced, the next step is to identify the triggers of stress hives. One of the most common stress-hives symptoms is difficulty breathing. It can come in many manifestations: problems taking deep breaths, chest pain, tightness in your chest, headaches, nausea, dizziness, sweating, and even diarrhea. In most cases, stress hives come from prolonged tension and stress. Aside from this, your body also undergoes specific negative changes when under pressure.
Important Note On Hives & Anaphylaxis
Hives can be a feature of a much more serious process called anaphylaxis. The release of histamine through the body can bring about an increase in pulse rate, dizziness, wheezing, and shortness of breath along with feelings of tightness in the throat and swelling of the tongue or face. People with a history of asthma or an exaggerated response to allergens are particularly vulnerable.
If you experience any of these symptoms, call 911. You may require emergency treatment.
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Fexofenadine Loratadine And Cetirizine
These antihistamines typically come in 12- or 24-hour formulas to provide extended relief. Theyre also less likely to cause drowsiness than diphenhydramine.
You may need to adjust the dosage to effectively treat hives, so talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can advise you on how much to take and how often.
If youre experiencing severe or chronic hives, prescription medication may be necessary. Talk to your doctor about your symptoms and how you can best find relief.
Common prescription options include:
How To Deal With Stress Hives During Pregnancy
In many cases, the symptoms of stress hives in pregnancy can be helped with conventional medicine. These include taking antihistamines or other medications to help reduce the amount of histamine released into your body. These medications should only be administered under a physicians advice and supervision.
While this may reduce some symptoms of stress hives, it wont necessarily get rid of them altogether. For this reason, many pregnant women are turning to alternative measures including acupuncture, herbs and even massage therapy for relief from the discomfort and pain caused by their stressful condition.
Acupuncture has been proven to relieve stress in various ways, and it is beneficial for pregnant women. Because stress tends to affect your blood pressure and heart rate, acupuncture can help regulate these functions, which can positively affect your mood and feelings throughout your pregnancy. Herbal teas can also provide your body with the extra vitamin C and other antioxidants that can lead to relaxation and sleep.
Massage therapy can also be an excellent way to relieve your symptoms of stress in pregnancy. In addition to being relaxing and energizing, massage can also reduce allergic reactions and blood clots that can potentially lead to premature labour. Altogether, these measures can help reduce the severity of stress hives during pregnancy or eliminate the hives.
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When Should You See A Doctor
While hives are common, in rare cases they can become extremely serious and warrant immediate medical attention.
Chronic hives in particular warrant a trip to the doctor to figure out the root cause, says Dr. Bickle. But she warns that this may be a long, difficult road.
It can sometimes be hard to determine the cause of chronic urticaria, which can make it challenging to treat, she says. Treating the causative agent, if it can be identified, is the most appropriate way to treat.
If the cause cant be determined or if exposure is unavoidable, then nonsedating antihistamines and new medications called biologics, including omalizumab, can help, she says.
Even if theyre not chronic, hives that continue to worsen need medical attention, so get yourself to a doctor. A medical professional can prescribe oral steroids and/or an EpiPen to resolve your reaction, says Dr. Waples.
If your lips or tongue begin to swell or if you have difficulty breathing, seek emergency care immediately.
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How Are Hives Diagnosed
Most of the time, a doctor can diagnose hives just by looking at the skin. To find the cause, you may be asked questions about your child’s , recent illnesses, medicines, exposure to allergens, and daily stressors.
If your child has chronic hives, the doctor may ask you to keep a daily record of activities, such as what your child eats and drinks, and where the hives tend to show up on the body. Diagnostic tests such as blood tests, allergy tests, and tests to rule out conditions that can cause hives, such as thyroid disease or hepatitis might be done to find the exact cause of the hives.
To check for physical hives, a doctor may put ice on your child’s skin to see how it reacts to cold or place a sandbag or other heavy object on the thighs to see if the pressure will cause hives.
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Can Stress And Anxiety Cause You To Break Out In Hives
Stress and anxiety can cause hives. For this reason, sometimes hives might be called stress hives or a stress rash.
For example, when youre under a great deal of stress, your body sends a message to its immune cells, telling them to release powerful chemicals most notably, histamine. Histamine triggers inflammation and the itchiness associated with hives.
Stress is only one of several triggers that can cause symptoms like skin rashes or hives. Other causes of skin rashes include:
Food allergens, such as peanuts, shellfish, or spicy foods
Pollen, dust, or animal dander
Irritating chemicals, such as laundry detergents
Viral or bacterial infections
Autoimmune disorders, such as thyroid disease
Insect bites and stings
Hives is a common skin condition that affects people of all ages. However, studies have shown that women are more affected by hives than men.
The Link Between Hives And Stress
Officially known as urticaria, hives are itchy, red, swollen areas of skin that are caused by histamine release, explains pediatric dermatologist Sheilagh Maguiness, MD, an associate professor in the Department of Dermatology at the University of Minnesota Medical School and cofounder of Stryke Club skin care line for boys.
While a variety of things can cause hives, anecdotally, many people report a link between those distinctive red welts and stress.
It makes sense, says Dr. Maguiness, because stress has tangible effects on your body and often manifests physically.
Stress can definitely play a role in any skin disease, including hives, she says. Stress truly never makes anything better and can lead to worsening the hives in some cases.
The connection goes beyond anecdotes. A 2018 study found a link between stress and hives, noting that women with chronic hives demonstrated significantly higher stress levels.
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How Can I Treat A Stress Rash Or Hives Caused By Stress
Luckily, Dr. Nazarian says stress rashes are completely transient, meaning, that they can go away on their own, usually within 24 hours .
But if your stress rash or hives are really stressing you out, Dr. Nazarian and Dr. Jaliman both recommend over-the-counter treatments such as antihistamines like Benadryl or Zyrtec, or a cortisone cream to decrease the inflammation that results in itching. Dr. Nazarian also suggests removing any irritating factors like increased heat or tight-fitting clothes around the area of your stress rash. “Heat is known to be an aggravant, as well as pressure,” Dr. Nazarian says.
If you don’t see any improvements after trying over-the-counter remedies, Dr. Nazarian and Dr. Jaliman recommend taking the time to see a dermatologist, since it could be a sign that something else is going on. “The average person can totally misdiagnose, so don’t be afraid to seek out a dermatologist,” says Dr. Jaliman.
Also worth nothing: You can work to prevent a stress rash, too, by reducing stress altogether through limiting screen time and social media use, practicing mindfulness, or even taking a walk outside. Your skin will thank you.
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How To Recognize Stress Hives In Children
The general signs of stress in children are similar to those you might feel yourself. These include a decreased appetite, trouble sleeping, an upset stomach, and headaches. But one of the lesser known symptoms is a case of hives.
If your child breaks out in hives, youll want to go through a mental checklist of common reasons, such as recent illnesses, hot days outdoors, or a vigorous day of sports. The best way to discover if stress is a factor is to eliminate the more obvious causes. If none of the obvious sources are reasonable then stress could be the culprit.
Because young children cant yet express themselves adequately when it comes to medical issues, depending on the age of your child we may rely on you for some context so we can determine what started the rash.
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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 .
Over The Counter Medication
Histamines trigger your immune system responses, which may contribute to the development of a stress rash. Antihistamines are medicines that help reduce pain and inflammation associated with a stress rash .
You can look for Diphenhydramine or Fexofenadine , over-the-counter or consult a doctor. Loratadine , Timeton or Zyrtec may be prescribed by your doctor to reduce pain, itching and inflammation.
Benadryl may make you feel sleepy.
B. Topical Steroids
Topical steroids are creams, lotions or gels that are applied to your skin to reduce inflammation, redness and swelling associated with various skin conditions . They mimic the corticosteroid hormones that are produced in the body by your adrenal glands. This helps to relieve your skin of symptoms that are also linked to a stress rash.
You may look for hydrocortisone cream to treat a stress rash. It comes in 1% concentrations OTC.
C. Regular Medication
If you are already dealing with other skin conditions like psoriasis, eczema or rosacea among others,stress may contribute to flare-ups. In such a case, continue taking the medicines that have been prescribed by your doctor to help reduce symptoms of your skin condition.
D. Treatment for Chronic Hives
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How To Clear A Stress Rash With Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar is an excellent remedy for those looking for how to get rid of a stress rash. It can effectively treat the stress rash on hands and arms.
How to use?
- Add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to half a cup of water
- Soak a cotton ball in the mixture
- Apply the cotton ball on the rash
- Repeat this remedy two times a day for some time and see the rash disappear.
Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar possesses strong anti-inflammatory properties that help eliminate the rashes and alleviate annoying symptoms like skin irritation and itching.
How To Get Rid Of A Stress Rash With Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is the magical remedy for clearing a stress rash on face, neck or any other part of your body.
How to use?
- Take an aloe vera leaf
- Cut it and squeeze out the fresh gel
- Apply the gel directly on the stress rash on neck
- Leave it for thirty minutes and then wash off
Benefits of aloe vera
Aloe vera has potent anti-inflammatory and healing properties that soothe the skin and reduce the inflammation and itchiness.
Use freshly extracted aloe vera gel to treat an itchy skin rash optimally.
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