Why Am I Breaking Out In Hives?

Hives are the oddly-shaped reddish spots that can disappear and reappear very quickly. Hives are also known as urticaria and may appear as slightly raised, irregularly shaped and pink or red patches that usually itch. They are quite common and affect about 20% of people at some point of the time. So, there is a chance that you might be experiencing hives in your lifetime. Now, are you someone who is concerned about knowing why you are breaking out in hives? Read the post and get to know about it.

Why Am I Breaking Out In Hives?

Why Am I Breaking Out In Hives?

An individual breaks into Hives when specialized cells of the immune system called Mast cells get activated. These cells then release inflammatory chemicals, including histamines and some others causing dilation of adjacent blood vessels with fluid leaking in the superficial layer of skin causing the individual to break out into hives.

Certain Medications Can Cause Breaking Out in Hives:

The Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, such as Aspirin and Ibuprofen, Opiods like Morphine and Oxycodone, and certain antibiotics, such as Penicillin, can all make you break out in hives. As per the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, hives usually develops within an taking the pills.

Due To Autoimmune Disease:

In case you have hives after a long period of time, say about one month or even more, there may be chance that you might have an autoimmune disease. Lupus or thyroid disease can result in hives. So, it is important for you to check with your doctor, in case hives do not go after an extended period of time.

Certain Foods And Drinks Can Cause Hives:

Some foods and alcohol can also cause hives. Foods, such as shellfish, nuts and eggs can cause hives. Apart from this, Azo food dyes in candy(Yellow, orange and red colours) and sulfites found in wine and deli meat can also result in hives.

Coming In Contact With Environmental Allergen:

Envirionmentsal factors like sunlight, heat, cold, grass, pollen and dust mites can be one cause why you are breaking put in hives.

Excess Of Heat And Sweat Can Cause Breaking Out in Heat-Induced Hives:

There are heat-induced hives, that are caused by exercise, sweating, hot showets and anxiety. Generally such types of hives begin from the neck and upper chest and then spread to the face, back and the extremities. In case this happens to you on a regular basis, you need to consult your doctor, who can put you on an antihistamine regimen.

Cold Hives:

Being exposed to cold temperature, can also cause hives and are known as cold urticaria. Rarely, cold hives indicate an intercurrent medical illness like a chronic infection.

Due To Tight Clothing:

It is also possible that your clothing might be causing the hives. Tightly-fitting clothing or underwear, or innerwear might be resulting in hives. So, it is always essential for you to wear comfortable and loose fitting clothes.


One more reason that is causing you to breakdown in hives is stress or the intense emotions. This is because, stress causes your immune system to falter, and thus making you more susceptible to several types of skin problems. Typically, stress-related hives are short lived, i.e. less than one day.

Certain Infections Can Also Cause Hives:

There are some infections, which can result in hives. These are the infection-related hives that affect children, more commonly than the adults. A wide variety of viral, bacterial and parasitical infections can trigger hives. However, the upper respiratory and gastrointestinal infections are the most common culprits in the appearance of hives.

There are short-term infections, such as the flu or strep throat that cause the hives and these hives may go away in few days to few weeks. However, people with chronic infections like viral hepatitis or HIV tend to have recurrent and persistent hives.

Due To Physical Cause, like Dermatographia:

There are also certain physical causes which affect the skin causing hives. Dermatographia, which translates to skin writing, is the most common type of physical urticaria, that manifests as development of a hive, when the skin is scratched. These hives frequently occur in young adults and they are harmless and go away in about 1-2 hours.

Due To Some Types Of Cancer:

There might also be another cause for which you might be breaking out in hives. Certain types of cancer, such as the lung cancer or colon cancer , and lymphoma, can also result in hives.


It must be mentioned that though, hives are not dangerous, however; in case you experience frequent, recurrent, or constant hives, you must consult your physician to determine the underlying cause and for best of the treatments. It is imperative to go to an emergency room in case if you break out in hives and have associated symptoms like allergic reactions, swelling of face, lips, or tongue, have problems with breathing, have audible wheezing, hoarseness of voice, weakness, lightheadedness or dizziness, nausea with or without vomiting, mental confusion, anxiety, or agitation.

Also Read:

Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:December 27, 2018

Recent Posts

Related Posts