Hives are red bumps or slightly raised patches of skin. They usually itch and also can burn and sting. Hives can occur anywhere on the body and are differ in size and shape. Their size varies from few millimeters to several inches in diameter.
It might look like rings or a group of rings joined together. They can appear in clusters or might change locations in a matter of hours. They are mostly harmless, but at times it can be a serious allergic reaction.
Reasons for an Outbreak of Hives
Hives are an oversensitive reaction to physical stimulus. When your body encounters a situation that it is sensitive to, or has an allergy to, it reacts by releasing histamine into the body.
The histamine causes your blood capillaries to dilate, which as a result causes the capillaries to leak into the surrounding tissue under your skin.
The fluid gets trapped under the skin results in itchy, raised, welt, which is a hive. This allergy can last from 2 hours to 24 hours and usually go away on their own.
People can get hives due to different reasons. Often the cause of hives is unknown. One of the common reasons of getting hives is allergic reactions. Some common allergic triggers are foods, medications and insect bites.
Other causes of hives are stress, sun exposure, exercise, viral infections and exposure to cold.
Hives and its Affects
- Drugs: certain drugs and prescription medication can also be the reason of hives. Medication such as antibiotics, codeine, penicillin, sulfa, anticonvulsant drugs, phenobarbital, and aspirin can also cause hives.
- Stress: It is believed that 80 % of hives have no medical reason. Some researchers believe that stress and other mental factors can be a likely cause of hives in the body. Studies have revealed that prolonged contact with stress can lead chemical changes inside the body. One of these changes is the release of histamine every so often of increased stress, causing a case of hives.
- Allergies: It is one of the main causes of hives. Hives generally develop from direct contact with allergens. Foods such as shellfish, nuts, tomatoes, soy, chocolate, and berries can cause hives due to allergy. At times pollen, dust, molds are also responsible for the hives.
- Insect/ animal bites: Contact with certain types of insects and animals can also cause hives. Most common cause of Insect/ animal bites includes contact with animal saliva, animal dander, insect stings or moth scales
- Medical disorder: Chronic hives can be a part of serious medical disorder. The three most common hive associated disorders are pressure urticaria, dermatographia and cold urticaria. Pressure urticaria is a condition when the sufferer experience hives due to wearing tight clothing or put in a situation of extreme heat. dermatographia is a condition when the sufferer gets hives just by anything barely touching their skin. Hives can be caused even by stroking the skin.
- Cold urticaria is a condition when the sufferer gets hives by coming in contact with cold object or cold weather.
When trying to find the cause of hives, it can be a frustrating task. You have to play the detective in order to find one of the many reasons for the outbreak. Think of the recent food you’ve eaten, or maybe, a new lotion that you’ve used on you body. It may be a case of an allergic reaction to an animal you’ve recently come across.
There are more reasons why this itchy condition may have arisen on your skin, so writing down your recent activities may reveal the answer.