Stomachaches, headaches, shortness of breath, and pounding heartbeat – stress could definitely take a toll on the body of individuals. There is also another symptom to be added to the list, which is hives. These swellings could become visible on the surface of the skin when individuals are stressed. According to medical experts, hives are considered immunologically mediated skin reactions derived from various stimuli. Such as stress, temperature extremes, viral infections, foods, chemicals, and medications. For several individuals, this stress manifests on the skin in the form of hives, rashes, dryness, and acne.
What Causes Hives?
Hives are a skin reaction as a result of something gone haywire with the immune system. Individuals may have come into contact with something, and although it could be benign, the body treats it as a foreign invader. A reaction is initiated by the immune system, resulting in hives.
There are several possible stimuli, like a parasitic, viral, or bacterial infection, insect sting or bite, temperature changes, exercise, medication, or food.
They are several types of hives. They could be a result of a light touch on the skin, referred to as skin writing or demographic urticaria. They could also be caused by sunlight, pressure, the immune system mistaking issues as a foreign invader, or an allergic reaction.
Hives that are induced by autoimmune conditions are typically chronic. These conditions like autoimmune thyroid disease, Sjogren’s syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, and systemic lupus could present with hives. These hives would continually recur, typically lasting longer than six weeks. It is generally an autoimmune element that triggers the specialized cells in the skin, resulting in hive-causing mediators being released.
Connection Between Stress & Hives
Formally referred to as urticaria, hives are swollen, red, itchy sections of the skin resulting from the release of histamine. Even though various things could result in hives, anecdotally, several individuals report an association between stress and these characteristic red welts. This makes perfect medical sense, as stress has substantial effects on individuals that could often present physically. Stress could absolutely play a part in skin diseases, which would include hives. Stress undoubtedly never improves anything and could result in the hives becoming worse in some situations.
Is The Link A Correlation Or Causation?
Although researchers have made the argument that there is a connection between stress and hives, it is still unclear whether the stress results in the manifestation of hives. It really comes down to the delicate difference between causation and correlation. Correlation is the relationship; however, it is not inevitably causing and effect, such as causation.
For example, individuals might state there is a correlation between longevity and exercising in old age. However, does it mean that exercise results in the aged individual living longer? Not necessarily. There is still a high probability that sickly older individuals are more likely to die. There are also less able to exercise when than their healthier counterparts. The same logic would apply to stress and hives. It cannot be said with all certainty that the stress response leads directly to hives. It is known that stress could make issues with the skin worse. However, it has never been determined to be a direct cause of hives.
How Long Do Hives Last?
Hives tend to be aggravating and, at times, painful, but graciously they do not last that long. An outbreak of the hives would typically dissipate within a matter of hours. However, simply because the hives vanish quickly does not guarantee that the individual is home-free. Individuals could continue getting breakouts of hives for many days into weeks.
Hives are generally categorized into two forms. The acute and chronic acute hives usually last for no more than twenty-four hours in a single location. An outbreak of acute hives would not remain for more than six weeks, the most. If the recurring hives remain for in excess of six weeks, it is then categorized as chronic urticaria. This would require deeper investigation for the source, usually involving a detailed look into the individual’s medical history.
How To Determine A Serious Reaction
Although hives are irritating and unpleasant to look at, they are not necessarily harmful. Well, that is they do not display a couple of characteristic symptoms. It is generally not serious if the individual experiences a few itchy, red hives on the skin. However, if the individual begins to develop facial and lip swelling, a swollen and itchy throat, or difficulty breathing, it could mean a more anaphylactic reaction. This is a serious emergency.
Treatment For Hives
There are some very effective treatments for hives. The first on the list is antihistamines. Frequent use of non-sedating antihistamines will normally solve the issue. Depending on the severity of the hives, other antihistamines that are sedating could also be used at night and the non-sedating ones.
Immunosuppressant medication is also suggested. However, there is a caution in using this as there is a great chance of severe side effects. There are also biological medications in the form of injections which are on the rise.