Sunday, March 26, 2023

What Do Stress Hives Look Like

When To Consult A Doctor About Hives Outbreaks

What do stress hives look like?

In general, most instances of acute or chronic hives are mild and non-threatening, with flare-ups resolving themselves. When a hive outbreak affects the tongue or throat, breathing difficulties can occur.

Serious allergic reactions such as anaphylaxis can affect the entire body and must be attended to by a medical professional urgently. Swelling can quickly affect the airways, causing a loss of consciousness if not attended to quickly enough. Anaphylaxis is considered a medical emergency and can be life-threatening.

If symptoms of hives are severe or continue for several days, it is best to consult a doctor for a diagnosis and treatment plan.

It is best to seek medical treatment as soon as possible if any other symptoms develop, such as:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Respiratory stridor and wheezing
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Light-headedness or fainting
  • Cold and clammy skin
  • Low blood pressure and shock

How Do I Get Rid Of My Stress Hives

The #1 best proven method of eliminating stress hives from your life forever is to remove ALL stress and tension from your life. Aside from that, the only other way is to take an OTC medication like OxyHives that has proven to get rid of hives within 1-2 hours. OxyHives has been around for over 10 years now and is effective without any of the harmful side effects other hives medications have. OxyHives recently received approval to sell their hives treatment over the counter and thus no longer requires a prescription. Please see our hives treatment page for more information.

In addition, it is best to avoid tight fitting clothing over the areas affected by the stress hives, and to avoid hot or cold baths and showers as this can cause further skin irritations and cause hives from stress to spread. Please see our how to get rid of hives page for tips on how to alleviate your symptoms until your order of OxyHives arrives.

How To Combat Stress Effects On Skin:

First and foremost, see your physician regarding any sort of hive-like rash on your skin, recommends Morfitt.

If you’re dealing with an itchy rash, an over-the-counter medication like antihistamines can help relieve the symptoms, Gilliland says.

Then, experts recommend working with a healthcare professional to identify the source of your stress. Its a good idea to address the root cause behind the stress by seeing a psychologist for therapy or looking into an online therapy tool, Morfitt suggests.

Treatment involves managing the stress to prevent the occurrence in the first place, he explains. In addition to seeing a mental health professional, here are a few suggestions to help you, well, de-stress.

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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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Possible Causes Of Stress Rashes


When the cause of your body reacting in a certain way is a mystery, it can be pretty unnerving to try to figure it out. If your body is reacting to feelings of heavy stress, there are so many different ways it can release these tense feelings.

Below are the two of the most common reasons why your body may be reacting in this way. Keep in mind that the reasoning for a rash can also be because your body cant handle the heaviness projected onto it, hence the reaction.


If your body isnt agreeing with a food that was digested, or youve been in contact with something in your environment that your body doesnt agree with, your body may not be able to handle it and some form of an allergic reaction appears. This is why over-the-counter antihistamine medications like Zyrtec, Claritin and Benadryl are a quick go-to whenever an allergic rash appears. Allergens trigger a histamine release from our immune system, leading to breakouts of itchy skin in an attempt to fight off the allergen.

The following are the most common causes that can contribute to an allergic reaction, including the appearance of a stress rash:

  • Nuts
  • Exercise

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What To Do If You Have A Stress Rash

The first step in treating a stress rash is to make the association between your stress and the rash itself, Bergquist says.

“Sometimes we don’t always make the connection between emotional stress and physical manifestation. And hives can be a way that we’re internalizing stress,” she says.

While a hive will typically go away in 24 hours, they can often reappear if you’re still in a high-stress state. If you think your hives are caused by stress, here’s what you can do to help get rid of them:

What Are The Symptoms Of Hives

Hives are characterized by red or pale-colored welts on the skin, which typically come and go throughout the day, says Sourab Choudhury, DO, a dermatologist and the chief medical officer at the Dermatology Specialists, a private dermatology practice in New York City. Sometimes they itch, burn, or sting.

Usually the welts will be surrounded by clear edges. They may look similar to bug bites, but hives generally will appear and disappear more quickly. They may itch, sometimes severely, and theyre not always the same size or shape. They may be as small as the tip of a pen or as large as a dinner plate. When you press the center of a hive bump on the skin, it likely will turn from red to white, which is known as blanching.

Hives may appear on the body grouped together and take over a large area of the skin, or as a couple of individual welts that show up here and there. They can appear anywhere on the body, though some people get them in the same spot over and over again .

Generally, youll know you have hives simply by seeing the hives themselves. If you experience other symptoms, such as swelling in the eyes, lips, or inside of the throat, or if you have trouble breathing, you should call 911 or see a doctor immediately, says Sapna Palep, MD, a dermatologist at Spring Street Dermatology in New York City. These symptoms indicate you may be experiencing a serious allergic reaction called anaphylaxis.

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What Are Stress Hives

Stress hives develop due to chronic stress or tension in your life, and appear as red, raised and swollen areas on the skin that seem to suddenly appear. Stress hives, which are also known as a stress rash or as stress bumps, are often incredibly itchy, and some people report having a burning or stinging sensation wherever they appear. Stress induced hives will go away by themselves when you have successfully released ALL the stress from your body or taken the hives treamtment OxyHives, which will eliminate your symptoms.

What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Hives

What does stress rash look like?

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 .

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Whats The Difference Between Skin Rashes And Hives

Skin rashes and hives are often mistaken as being the same. However, there are slight differences between these skin-related issues.

A skin rash is an unusual change in your skins color, texture, or appearance due to skin inflammation. This inflammation occurs when your body reacts to an infection, an autoimmune disorder , or substances that cause allergic reactions.

Hives, also known as urticaria, are a type of skin rash that can occur when your immune system releases the chemical histamine in response to an allergen. The appearance of hives can differ from other skin rashes, and hives usually have a recognizable pattern.

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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What Causes Hives And Angioedema Are Hives Contagious Does Stress Cause Hives

Hives appear when histamine and other compounds are released from cells called mast cells, which are normally found in the skin. Histamine causes fluid to leak from the local blood vessels, leading to swelling in the skin.

Hives are very common and are not considered contagious. Although annoying, hives usually resolve on their own over a period of weeks and are rarely medically serious. Some hives may be caused by an allergic reaction to such things as foods, infections by different organisms, medications, food coloring, preservatives, and insect stings or bites, and chemicals but in the majority of cases, no specific cause is ever found. Although people may find it frustrating not to know what has caused their hives, maneuvers like changing diet, soap, detergent, and makeup are rarely helpful in preventing hives unless there is an excellent temporal relationship. Since hives most often are produced by an immune mechanism, the condition is not contagious. If an infectious disease were the cause of hives in a particular person then it is possible, but not likely, that an infected contact could develop hives.

Having hives may cause stress, but stress by itself does not cause hives.

Why Does The Body React To Stress This Way

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When you’re stressed, your body’s cortisol levels begin to increase, leading to increased oil production that can cause acne breakouts, and revving up your body’s histamine response, or a release of inflammatory chemicals that often make you feel uncomfortable.

Unfortunately, how that histamine response results in a rash or flare-up of your other skin conditions is still unclear. “We don’t know how or why the skin responds to your stress hormones, but it’s not a direct relationship,” says Dr. Nazarian. “We may not know exactly why the trigger happens, but we know how to fix it.”

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Is A Stress Rash Common

Stress rash is common and anyone can get it. Stress induces a chemical response in the body that affects all the body parts.

Stress rash isnt a reason for concern and can be treated at home. Stress rash can also occur due to underlying skin conditions, such as psoriasis, rosacea, lichen planus, and eczema. These may need medical management.

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.

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How To Know Its Hives And Not One Of These Other Skin Problems

To the untrained eye, hives can have a similar appearance to other common skin conditions, Dr. Choudhury says. He says one way to tell the difference is by how quickly the welts clear up.

Hives will usually have an area of skin that welts up, goes away in a few hours, and then reappears somewhere else, he says. Other skin issues that are often mistaken for hives tend to last for more than one day in the same location, he explains.

Also, check out the welts up close. If the welts are filled with clear fluid, pus, or are brownish in color, it is likely not hives, says Dr. Palep.

Hives are often mistaken for the following skin issues:

How To Prevent A Stress Rash

Stress Hives Treatment – How To Get Rid Of A Stress Rash FAST!
  • No matter how stressful your life is, its important to maintain your normal skin care routine, avoid harsh soaps and detergents and moisturize your skin regularly.
  • After a shower, pat yourself dry, then apply moisturizer while your skin is still damp.
  • Develop your own routine for stress reduction. Use whatever works best for you which might include exercise, getting enough sleep, eating right, journaling, or taking some quiet time for you to unwind and relax.

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Understanding What Causes Stress Rash And How To Treat It

Americans are among the most stressed people in the world, according to a 2018 Gallup poll. While stress may be something we feel emotionally, it can have a significant impact on our physical health. In addition to high blood pressure, headaches and fatigue, skin rashes are common stress symptoms.

What causes stress rash?

Stress rash often affects people who have underlying skin conditions, such as eczema, rosacea or allergies caused by environmental triggers, such as pollen, animal dander or certain foods. Some people even develop rashes from sunlight or weather changes. Still, even without an underlying condition, you can still develop stress rash.

When youre feeling stress, your body releases chemicals that can cause inflammation and make your skin even more sensitive, says Erin Lester, MD, a family medicine physician at Scripps Coastal Medical Center in Solana Beach. This can trigger a flare-up.

What do stress rashes look like?

Stress rashes often appear as raised red bumps called hives. They can affect any part of the body, but often a stress rash is on the face, neck, chest or arms. Hives may range from tiny dots to large welts and may form in clusters. They may be itchy or cause a burning or tingling sensation.

Stress rash treatment

Fortunately, most stress-induced rashes go away on their own within a few days however, they can come back. Some may persist for as long as six weeks.

Preventing stress rash

Try these tips to help manage stress:

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When Should I Worry About A Rash

If you have a rash and notice any of the following symptoms, see a board-certified dermatologist or go to the emergency room immediately: The rash is all over your body. A rash that covers the body could indicate something concerning, such as an infection or allergic reaction. You have a fever with the rash.

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Whats The Best Way To Treat A Rash From Covid

If you develop an unexplained rash, its a good rule of thumb to talk with a doctor. COVID-19 rashes may appear very similar to rashes caused by other medical conditions that need treatment.

The only way to be sure if your rash is due to COVID-19 is to get a COVID-19 test.

Most rashes that happen with COVID-19 will go away in about a week. Meanwhile, you can help treat a COVID-19 rash at home by doing the following:

  • Applying a cool compress: Placing a cool compress onto the affected area may help to ease swelling or itching.
  • Trying an oatmeal bath: Indulging in an oatmeal bath can potentially work to soothe irritated skin.
  • Using over-the-counter topicals: OTC topical products may help to alleviate itching or swelling associated with some types of COVID-19 rash. Some examples to look into include hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion.
  • Taking OTC antihistamines:OTC antihistamines may help to reduce symptoms associated with hive-like COVID-19 rash.
  • Avoiding scratching: It may be tempting to pick at or scratch a rash, particularly if its itchy. Try to avoid doing this, as it can increase the risk of infection, scarring, or skin pigmentation changes.

Your doctor may also prescribe a prescription medication to help with a COVID-19 rash. These may include corticosteroids in a topical or oral formulation.

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