Hives! What Causes Those Red Blotches?

hivesWeve all been there: experienced those red, patchy, sometimes itchy segments of skin, Sometimes raised, sometimes flat - the result of some type of reaction our body is having. The appearance of hives can actually be caused by a myriad of things. Some have incredibly sensitive skin and are highly allergic to many different elements. For those who are susceptible to food allergies, even the tiniest bit of shellfish, nuts, or eggs can cause an unsightly outbreak of red, bumpy flesh. However, many people arent aware that hives can be caused by a multitude of unexpected things.

Medication has been known to cause hives in those who have a real sensitivity to what they ingest. Antibiotics can cause unsavory reactions, but even something as seemingly innocent as aspirin or ibuprofen can cause an itchy mess. Insect bites and stings can also cause skin to react by breaking out in hives - as can poisonous plants, such as poison ivy and poison oak. Uncommonly known causes are bacterial infections such a strep throat or a UTI. Even excessive exposure to cold, heat or exercise can spur them on.

Stress And Sun Exposure

One of the most unsuspecting and abnormal triggers for hives is actually stress. This is why when some people are put in highly tense or elevated situations, they may break out in hives. This is essentially the bodys way of reacting to the fight or flight response that can sometimes precipitate strained situations and interactions. This can often be the case right before a big test or presentation or if you miss a flight. The tricky thing about hives is that they appear fairly rapidly and then disappear just as quickly. They can be there one minute and then gone the next, depending on how the body reacts to the cause and stressor.

Sun exposure is another cause of hives that is not always realized. Those who are sensitive to the sun can develop something called photosensitivity, which can manifest itself as a more severe type of hive that covers the clothed parts of the body. It is the body's direct reaction to the over exposure of sun, and a poisoned reaction the blood stream has when this occurs. Sun exposure is not something to take lightly, as it can lead to even more serious symptoms, like vomiting and loss of consciousness.

Sometimes taking part in specific allergen tests will give a good indication of what allergens are the cause of breakouts. One thing to note - especially important for those who do suffer from hives on a consistent basis - is dont itch. This only makes the presence of the condition so much worse and can lead to more widespread hives and markings left on the skin after the hives go away. Rigorous scratching can inadvertently break the skin. Using some type of topical ointment or cream is advised for the continual presence of hives and will help with the incessant need to itch.

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