ZocdocAnswersDoes stress cause hives?

Question

Does stress cause hives?

Got hives on my arms and some on my stomach too. is this from stress? What gives you hives??

Answer

Hives, as you probably know, are red, raised, and itchy blotches which tend to come and go on the skin. Stress is a known cause of hives, although this is relatively rare, unless you have a history of getting hives from stress or anxiety in the past. If not, then you will need to look for other potential causes. It is very common to get hives, for example, in the setting of several infections, especially common viral infections like the cold or the flu. If you have recently had an infection like this, it could explain why you are getting hives. Another very common reason for getting hives is because of an allergic reaction, for example to an insect bite or to something that you ate. This is a potentially more serious cause of hives, because it could be a sign of an impending serious allergic reaction. You should definitely get in to see your primary care doctor for help figuring out what is going on. In the meantime, if you have any swelling of your face or tongue, any nausea or vomiting or abdominal pain, or any trouble breathing, these could all be signs of a very serious allergic reaction, and you would need to go to the emergency room right away.

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