Have you got stress hives? Most of the time, when we talk about the health effects of stress, we talk about cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure (hypertension), heart attacks, loss of appetite, etc. But how many of you know that stress gives you hives? Yes, this may be shocking, but stress gives you hives.
People mostly associate hives with an allergic reaction, but there can be so many other reasons, and stress is one of them. If this is a shocking revelation for you and you want to know more about stress hives, then this article is a must-read for you.
What Do Stress Hives Look Like (How To Identify Hives)?
Stress hives can be itchy, red, and puffy and may look like bug bites. Here is how you can identify them.
- There is a clear border around the elevated area.
- They can be very itchy and may cause pain or a burning sensation.
- When stress hives resolve, the skin returns to its normal condition without any scars.
- Hives can appear/reappear anywhere on the body and are short-lived.
- If you scratch them, they can join to make larger patches.
- The hives may also appear as one large patch.
Why Do I Have Stress Hives? (Are There Any Other Causes Of Stress Hives)
Apart from stress, there can be other reasons that can trigger the development of hives. Here are some of them.
- Any physical stimuli such as heat, cold, sun exposure, etc.
- Medications such as aspirin, antibiotics, ibuprofen, etc.
- Insect bites or stings
- Blood transfusions
- Period hives (usually appear 3-7 days before the menstruation cycle and disappear shortly after the cycle)
- Bacterial infections
- Pet dander
- Viral infections such as hepatitis, common cold, etc.
The next question is, how do you know if you have hives or not. Well, the simplest answer is, if you haven’t experienced any of the above-mentioned scenarios, then it is most probably stress hives. Furthermore, you can consult a medical practitioner to identify the root cause. Stress hives are most common in women in their 30s and 40s who may have experienced hives due to any other reason.
Is It Safe To Scratch Stress Hives?
Absolutely not! Just don’t do it. Stress hives are like pimples; the more you scratch them, the worse they get. Similarly, when you scratch your hives, your body releases more histamine, which further develops more hives. Moreover, when you scratch your hives, you feel itchy, and itchiness makes you scratch them again; don’t start that vicious cycle.
How Long Do Stress Hives Last?
Stress hives are short-lived; you may have hives at night gone in the morning. Stress hives usually last less than 24 hours, but the problem is, they can reappear if you don’t treat the causal factor. In such cases, where hives keep reappearing, it is highly recommended that consult a dermatologist.
The next thing that may come to your mind is hive scars. Do hives leave scars behind? The good news is, NO. Stress hives are not only short-lived; they don’t leave any scars.
How to Treat Stress Hives?
The most suitable answer to this question is, “nip the evil in the bud.” That is, you need to go for the root cause (stress). In simpler words, prevention is better than cure, but we all know that it is simply impossible to completely remove stress from the equation. However, we surely can work on different techniques to reduce stress and anxiety.
Alright, that was more of a preventive measure, but what should you do when the problem arises? The first thing you can do is block the histamine pathway from developing new hives. For that purpose, you can take an antihistamine such as Allegra or Claritin. You can also use Benadryl, but it is better you take it at night because it can make you feel sleepy. Most importantly, keep using the medicine unless until the symptoms are completely gone.
Another thing you should do is avoid scratching your hives. Here are two very useful methods to reduce swelling caused by stress hives.
- Application of a cold compress.
- Application of whole milk on the affected area. Whole milk is so soothing for irritated skin.
Note: If your condition gets worse even after applying the above-mentioned methods, then consulting your dermatologist is the best option.
Although stress hives are short-lived and not a thing of great worry, it is still highly recommended that you don’t take them lightly. The best thing you can do is minimize the stress levels by following a healthy lifestyle. There are natural as well as medical solutions to treat stress hives but consult a medical practitioner immediately if the problem persists for longer periods.
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