What Causes Hives?

Hives are a relatively common skin condition that occurs when an individual’s skin flares up in red, bumpy, and itchy plaques that resemble insect bites. When it is a mild reaction, hives typically only form in a small section and are mildly itchy. However, in cases of severe reactions, they can extend to large areas of the body and be a cause of extreme discomfort.

It is essential to understand that hives usually occur due to an immune system response to irritants or allergens. Though, there are cases where they are unrelated to an allergic reaction but are instead brought on by triggers such as too much stress or an elevation in body temperature. Here are the 5 most widespread causes of hives.


It is quite common for people to be allergic to or other antibiotics. The truth is, however, we can all develop allergies to any medication–even to over-the-counter pain medicines like aspirin or ibuprofen. If you suspect that using a medication results in hives on your skin, consult with your physician as soon as possible.

Food Allergies

Many individuals are allergic to a variety of nuts, shellfish, and dairy, and the list goes on with regards to food allergies that can lead to an outbreak of hives. In people who are extra-sensitive, just a tiny crumb of a trigger food can lead to major issues. If you know you are allergic to certain foods, it is important to avoid them to prevent hives, and if you suspect you may be allergic to some foods that may be causing hives but are unsure, confer with your doctor to get answers.

Insect Bites

Some individuals may have an allergic reaction to getting bitten by certain bugs, which may present itself in an outbreak of hives. If you have had extreme reactions to insect bites in the past, it is essential to be extra cautious and stay clear of areas they are known to inhabit.

Beauty Products

Certain hair dyes, particularly the ones containing the ingredient p-phenylenediamine, can result in increased sensitivity in some people over time, leading to the occurrence of hives. Certain makeup brands may also have a similar effect, so it is crucial to test a product on a tiny area of skin before a full-on application. This is a warning that is often included in the back of the box or in the instructions of any beauty product.

Harsh Chemicals

You may be exposed to manufacturing chemicals or artificial substances due to your occupation, and these can also cause hives in some individuals. If you notice the hallmark skin blotches and itching, you must consult your physician to ascertain whether you have an allergy that leads to hives. If you suffer from hives because of a substance you are exposed to at work, certain arrangements could be made to prevent your exposure.

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Posted on May 5, 2023