The swollen pink or red bumps on the skin known as hives are typically associated with exposure to an allergen. Hives can occur anywhere on the body and range in size from a pencil eraser to a Frisbee. They tend to appear suddenly and fade within a day. While most cases of hives are attributed to unknown causes, identifying the trigger can help you avoid it to prevent the rash from developing. Sometimes, hives develop in response to stress or other emotionally charged situations. This type of rash can become chronic.
What Causes Stress-Related Hives?
Hives occur when exposure to an allergen causes the body to release a chemical known as histamine, which causes an immune reaction. This leads to the itchy, bumpy rash you experience. When hives develop in response to stress, histamine is released in reaction to anger, sadness, fear, or anxiety, which causes the characteristic rash. If itching occurs, scratching the hives can cause them to persist, sometimes creating a chronic condition that persists for six weeks or longer.
How Are Stress-Related Hives Treated?
As with most cases of hives, rashes caused by stress can be treated with an antihistamine medication. However, it’s also important to avoid the trigger for the rash. Taking steps to reduce your stress can make a big impact on your symptoms. Try methods of relaxation like yoga or tai chi, exercise, meditation, or even just enjoying a fun activity or relaxing bath. If you’re under stress caused by a difficult situation in your life, talking with a therapist can help you develop valuable coping mechanisms.
If you’re experiencing unexplained hives that you think may be caused by stress, visit the Dermatology Clinic in Baton Rouge. Our doctors will examine your skin, determine the potential cause of your symptoms, and recommend the best course of treatment to provide relief for your discomfort.