In this article, we will try to define the different elements that may be considered as possible causes of hives. These would help us to see if any of these might also be responsible for hives that we or our loved ones may be suffering from.
Hives have been known to be commonly caused as an allergic response of the body to the below mentioned:
Medication – In the population with hives, most of the people have found their medicines to be triggers to their allergic responses. From antibiotics, painkillers, vaccines, vitamins to dietary supplements, all have been found to be possible causes of hives in people who are consuming the same. Within the first 24 to 36 hours of the medicine consumption, hives will appear. For the people who are taking medicines for arthritis, high blood pressure, muscular spasm or any antibiotics, the likelihood of getting hives is normally very high. Certain non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines also tend to induce the production of histamine leading to hives.
Infections – People suffering from chronic infections, such as viral hepatitis, sinus infections and urinary tract infections are more susceptible to getting hives. Hives which occur as cause of viral infections depend on it for its life span also. That is to say, that once the infection dies away, the hives does too. Where it is found that the hives is prevailing for a long time, there acute bacterial infections especially sinusitis would be the major instigators, in most people.
Allergenic Food – Various food items regularly been identified by people as the most wide spread cause of hives in the world. These items could be chocolates, nuts like peanuts, tomatoes, garlic, dairy products like milk and cheese, shellfish, certain fruits like strawberries, melons, kiwi, and some spices. Certain food additives like eggs, yeast, and certain type of salts, sulfites and food dyes like yellow #5 are the usual suspects when ingested articles are considered possible source of hives.
The list of allergenic food is not exhaustive, there being too many items that can be considered as likely reason behind hives. This is because every person in this world may be allergic to a food item that may be unique to his or her condition only. Due to their unique internal and external makeup every individual’s immune system may react differently to different things.
This is the main reason why it becomes difficult to determine the cause of acute hives.
Stress – It has been lately identified as also a common cause for the occurrence of both acute as well as chronic hives. Due to the hectic lifestyles, people today tend to experience extremely stressful conditions. This leads to chemical imbalances in the body, making the individual vulnerable to many diseases and illnesses including hives. Stress may affect the immune system leading it to attack healthy skin and other internal organs considering them to be alien particles harmful for the body. The active response of the immune system would lead to the release of histamines, agents of hives.
While acute hives caused due to stress may last for only a few days or a couple of weeks, stress may however aggravate chronic hives, where the condition may last for more than six weeks. In such a case usually the actual reason for the occurrence for the hives is a different one altogether.
Acute diseases – People suffering from chronic diseases like, thyroid malfunction, liver disease, and kidney disease also tend to find themselves at the receiving end of hives. A destabilized immune system leads to a build up of defense against pathogens invading the body. This may lead to chronic hives in some people.
External irritants – There are numerous products or objects that we come in contact with on an everyday basis. Any number of these can serve as triggers for hives. Touching or smelling of the same may result in aggravating hives for some people. Some of these substances may be soaps or shampoos, new laundry detergent or fabric softeners, suntan or other lotion, new clothes or any other new fabric, jewellery especially junk jewellery, though some people also develop allergy to gold or silver.
Some people are even effected by some sorts of smells like that of certain flowers, petrol fumes, which induce throat irritation, nausea, incessant sneezing, wheezing, muscle pain and rashes appearing on different exposed parts of the body, etc
External environment – People leading highly active lives and those involved in sports have often complained of hives. People engaging in hiking, trekking are often suffer from pollen allergies or dust allergies. Exposure to sun for prolonged periods may also result in chronic hives for many people, inhibiting them from moving around with ease. Some people also develop hives if they encounter varying hot or cold temperatures, though this kind of hives is not very common. Another rare form of hives is allergy developing due to regular contact with water.
Exercise – Excessive exercising is known to encourage the development of hives in few people. It tends to accelerate the release of chemicals and enzymes in the body that may effect the production of histamines and consecutively hives. But it is to be noted that there are not many people who have hives because of their exercise routine.
Pet allergies, dust mite allergy, mould allergy, are some of the other causes of hives.
The above given are only few of the triggers that set off hives in many people. The list is by no means complete, and probably it’s not even possible to shortlist all the hives causing objects. This so because though the given are commonly identified causers, yet it is not necessary that these alone will cause hives.
In some people combination of few things may lead to hives. It all depends on the sensitivity of the body towards the elements it comes in contact with. A person cannot live in isolation in order to avoid hives, but the knowledge of what are the possible causes of it, could help someone out there to take preventive measures if and when it is required.