Hives are red, inflamed welts that appear on the skin suddenly. If you’ve ever experienced hives, you know that they can be itchy, uncomfortable, and unsightly. There are many different potential causes of hives, so it isn’t always easy to understand why they appear. But, once you identify the hive triggers for your body, you can avoid them for relief from itching, swelling, and redness.
The most common causes of hives include:
Certain foods can trigger hives in some individuals, given that hives are a common symptom of food allergies. However, some foods are more likely to cause hives than others. Hives due to food occur shortly after eating food you are allergic to and hives go away when you avoid that food. Along with Hives you will most likely experience other symptoms as well.
Allergy testing can help patients identify food allergies and avoid future breakouts.
Bug Bites and Stings
Bug bites and stings are among the most common hive triggers. Everyone can have reactions to the bites or stings from insects like bees, wasps, and mosquitoes to some degree. When these insects bite or sting you, a hive or bump may form at the site. Luckily, these usually go away fairly quickly and bug spray can be used to keep insects away from your skin. Some people have more severe allergic reactions to insect stings. In these individuals, a sting on the hand can cause hives all over the body as well as other symptoms.
Medications, such as antibiotics, aspirin, and ibuprofen can cause hives in some individuals. If hives occur while you’re taking medications, consult with your doctor to find an alternative medication.
Cold, heat, scratching, pressure, sweating, and sun exposure are all examples of physical stimuli that can lead to hives. In this case, the hives will quickly (usually within an hour) appear on the area of the skin that was stimulated. Exercise is also a known stimulus that can cause hives.
No Particular Cause (Idiopathic)
Chronic hives, which are present for more than 6 weeks, are unlikely to be caused by any specific trigger. These come and go regardless of what you do or eat. Allergy testing is not helpful in these cases. However, an allergist can determine what workup is needed and give treatments to control the rash, swelling, and itching.
If you’re struggling with hives, visiting the experienced allergy and immunology specialists at Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Associates of Tampa Bay can help you achieve fast relief. We can identify the cause of your hives and implement an individualized treatment plan accordingly. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!