5 Common Causes of Hives

5 Common Causes of Hives

An estimated 20% of people will experience hives at some point in their lives. This skin rash — medically known as urticaria — can last for minutes, hours, or days, even becoming a chronic condition that lasts for months or years. 

Hives often resemble bug bites, but they differ in several ways. Symptoms of hives include:

When you have hives, you can also experience swelling deep in the layers of your skin. This condition, called angioedema, can appear with or without a rash, often around the lips or face. 

At Advanced Allergy & Asthma in Ogden, Utah, our experienced allergists are experts in pinpointing the cause of hives and preventing them from occurring. In this blog, they share five of the most common causes of hives.

1. Foods

Unlike a food intolerance which causes digestive upset, a food allergy causes an immune response, like hives, wheezing, and tingling or itching in the mouth. In severe cases, food allergies can also trigger life-threatening symptoms.

Common causes of food allergies include:

An estimated 6-8% of children under three years of age and up to 3% of adults live with food allergies.

2. Airborne allergens

Sometimes, your body can also overreact to airborne allergens, like pollen, mold spores, and pet dander. While most people associate these allergy triggers with respiratory symptoms and asthma, they can also cause a flood of histamines in your system, leading to hives and swelling in your skin.

If you have other allergies, you could have higher risks of experiencing hives.

3. Environment triggers

Hives may be associated with allergies, but they can also develop from other factors that put stress on your skin, such as:

You can even experience hives from activities that involve a lot of vibration, like using a lawnmower.

4. Medications 

Believe it or not, sometimes medications can also trigger rashes and hives. They have links to every form of rash from mild to severe and life-threatening.

Medications can cause rashes for three reasons: allergic reaction, side effects, and increased sensitivity to sunlight. You can also develop these symptoms right away or after taking the medication for weeks, making this reaction harder to spot.

5. Underlying health conditions

You can also develop hives because of other health problems. For example, hives often appear in tandem with bacterial infections or viruses, like the common cold, mononucleosis, hepatitis, and HIV. Women can even have hives because of hormonal changes, like pregnancy, menopause, or thyroid disease.

Similarly, it’s also possible to experience hives in response to other medical treatments, including blood transfusions.

Getting help for hives

With so many potential hive causes, it can be tricky to identify what’s to blame for your rash. But our team can help and create a personalized treatment strategy to keep your symptoms at bay.

If you have hives, don’t wait to get expert care. Contact the Advanced Allergy & Asthma location nearest you to schedule a consultation today.

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