Skin rashes are a common problem. They’re so common it can be tricky to tell one issue from another! However, if you’ve ever had itchy red, pink, or flesh-colored bumps that appear suddenly and disappear just as quickly, it’s a good sign you could have hives.
Approximately 20% of people develop hives at some point during their lifetime. This condition, also known as urticaria, often looks like a bug bite. However, several characteristics set them apart, such as:
- A center that turns white when pushed
- Welts anywhere on the body, including the tongue, throat, and eyelids
- Bumps that move, change shape, disappear, or reappear
Hives also have a clear edge, and it’s common for them to appear and disappear quickly. They can also last minutes, hours, days or become a chronic problem that persists for months or years.
Our Advanced Allergy & Asthma team in Ogden, Utah, can help get to the bottom of your rash and outline treatment strategies to help keep your skin healthy and clear. Do you have hives? These are the five most common culprits behind this skin problem.
1. Allergic reaction
Most people develop hives because of an allergic reaction to something. This occurs when something you come in contact with causes your immune system to release histamines against the “foreign invader.” However, these histamines can also cause itching, swelling, and other symptoms seen with hives.
Common allergens that cause hives include:
Some medications can also cause allergic reactions.
2. Environmental factors
In addition to allergies, a person’s environment can also cause hives. These reactions can vary from changes in temperature or air pressure to exposure to sunlight, emotional stress, and hot water.
It’s also possible to develop hives because of exercise, pressure from wearing tight clothing, and activities with a lot of vibration, like mowing the lawn.
Another often overlooked because of hives involves infections. Viral, fungal, and bacterial infections can all trigger hives, such as:
- Urinary tract infections
- Strep throat
Even the common cold can cause hives and some people.
4. Medical treatment
Sometimes, a medical treatment ends up causing more symptoms, including hives.
Several medications can lead to rashes, ranging from aspirins and penicillins to drugs containing certain dyes. While some hives may develop because of an allergic reaction, they can also occur on their own as a side effect or because the formula causes extreme sensitivity to sunlight.
In addition to medications, some medical treatments can also trigger hives, including blood transfusions, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, stem cell transplant, and immunotherapy.
5. Underlying health problems
Finally, hives can also indicate another health problem, such as:
- Type 1 diabetes
- Celiac disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Thyroid disease
In these cases, it’s common for hives to last for at least six weeks.
How to avoid hives
To make hives a distant memory, you need to know what’s triggering your symptoms — and that’s where we can help.
Our team can help get to the bottom of your symptoms by performing a comprehensive exam and testing to see if allergies could be to blame. While we work to identify your triggers, we can also create a treatment strategy to ease your symptoms, like antihistamines and corticosteroid medications.
After determining your hive triggers, we can outline a treatment strategy to avoid recurring problems moving forward.
Do you have hives? Contact one of our Advanced Allergy & Asthma locations in Ogden, Utah, to schedule a consultation today.