Hive Triggers: How To Identify Them

Hive Triggers How To Identify Them

Miniscule amounts of fluid can form under your skin from minor leaks in your blood vessels. When that happens, you can develop an irritating rash. The rash is called hives or inducible urticaria when a physical stimulus is involved, such as a change in temperature.

Hives don’t occur out of thin air. They often have triggers – events or reactions that cause the emergence of the rash and potentially worsen it with prolonged exposure to the trigger. Once these influences are removed from the affected person’s life, they can resume their normal routine in most cases, free of disruption or irritation.

Rashes can vary in severity. In mild cases, they can be itchy and fade off in a day as a one-off event, and in extreme cases, they can be recurring and cause severe pain. Either way, it’s important to learn the triggers for hives and how to identify them thoroughly and effectively. Here’s how to identify potential hive triggers.

Try to Stay Calm

Hives can be an immensely distressing condition to have. It can cause serious cases of low self-esteem and even leave some people bed-bound for fear of developing an outbreak.

Therefore, it’s important to look after your mental well-being before identifying hive triggers. Only when you’re focused can you hope to retain what you’ve learned and make steady progress in your understanding. You may also be better able to subtle changes to your skin pigmentation before a full hives outbreak.

Remember also that hives are treatable. Some skin conditions are miraculously cured after years, putting sufferers’ lives back on track. Be mindful of what’s possible, and remain hopeful, even when the odds are stacked against you. High spirits count for a good deal when tackling any physical condition.

There’s also the case that desperation can lead to bad decision making. Those in distress may bypass learning about triggers and purchase cheap creams and ointments that are scam products with no effect. The internet is rife with misinformation, so you need to have a measured and sensible perspective to be certain you’re engaging with reputable, informative resources.

Investigate Known Triggers

There are many known triggers for hives. You should seek clarity when investigating them.

A few of the known triggers of hives have been recorded, so they are worth researching in more depth. They are physical stimuli, viral infections, skin contact, and allergies. Each sufferer of hives will respond to each trigger with varying severity. Moreover, there’s also a wide playing field here, making it challenging to pinpoint an exact cause.

Plants, certain materials like latex, and even specific animals and insect bites can cause hives outbreaks on your skin. It can also be a reaction to any medication you’re taking, so there may be a connection if you’ve been prescribed something recently and the hives outbreaks don’t predate it. Stress levels can also influence how susceptible a person can be to hives.

It’s also important to know what hives can look like. After all, some people may only attribute rashes to big patches of red skin, but the appearance of hives can vary from person to person. Indeed, large swathes of skin can be covered red, but blotches and raised skin can also occur. A stinging and burning sensation can also be felt. If you experience such sights or sensations, you’ll need to look for known triggers.

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Trial and Error Could be Important

Despite general triggers being known, it’s not always certain what the specific trigger causing the hives is. Unfortunately, it’s unknown what the trigger of hives is in approximately half of the cases. Therefore, knowing the potential triggers is just the start, and you may need to do some detective work.

For instance, one woman broke out in hives upon water touching her skin, including her sweat and tears. Though a distressing circumstance, these symptoms meant she could quickly identify the cause and make some quick, albeit tough, lifestyle adjustments. Not everybody is in a position where the trigger is so apparent.

Consequently, if you suspect a certain trigger is behind your case of hives, you may need to keep track of what you’re doing and when outbreaks occur. Map data around what foods you’re consuming or what other conditions you’re in before a hives outbreak on your skin. Symptom diaries can be effective, enabling you to draw some conclusions that you can present to a healthcare professional. It would help to detail how often you get outbreaks and how long they last.

You should also take pictures if your bout of hives has progressive qualities. That way, you can accurately chronicle the trajectory of the outbreak. Ask a friend or family to take the picture for you, and focus on lighting and image quality. Present your findings to a healthcare professional, and they may be able to take blood tests, skin samples and conduct exclusion tests.

Skin Colour Can Change Things

Unfortunately, there are issues around representation when it comes to publishing examples of skin conditions online. Often the case studies featured include white patients and omit people of colour.

This can present major problems for identifying hives triggers because skin condition symptoms can be harder to spot or look different in darker skin colours. Subsequently, it’s important to be mindful of any potential differences that may occur.

In darker skin, affected areas may not appear red. Unfortunately, they can be similar in tone to the rest of the body, making them difficult to spot. The raised welts and bumps should otherwise feel and look the same. Pain and itchiness will still be experienced in more potent cases of hives too. Nevertheless, extra vigilance could be required here when looking for changes in darker skin with potential triggers.

It’s not your responsibility to call out parties that have failed to publish examples of darker skin colours with hives. However, you may notice glaring shortcomings when conducting further research or reaching out to healthcare professionals for support. Should you elect to address the issue and take up a noble cause, your actions could help thousands of other people identify their hives triggers once changes are made.

Consult a Dermatologist

Despite your best efforts, the trigger for your hives could still be elusive to find. Many people never find concrete answers, but that doesn’t mean you should give up searching for them.
You should consult a dermatologist if:

• Your symptoms have persisted longer than six weeks.
• You experience lightheadedness, difficulties swallowing, heart palpitations, or swelling of the mouth and throat areas.
• The affected area is large and painful.
• You suspect the trigger is allergy-related.

Even without knowing the cause, treatment is still possible by mitigating pain and itching factors. Those with hives that have been unable to find a trigger have what is known as chronic spontaneous urticaria (CSU). Many people are affected by it, so you can likely find support groups and communities to address any mental and emotional turmoil you experience as a result.


Identifying the triggers for hives can either be straightforward or a shot in the dark. It varies from case to case. If you keep running into dead ends, there are usually ways you can escalate your response, such as by seeing healthcare professionals. Unfortunately, there are instances where a trigger can only be suspected and not confirmed. You should persist with mitigating the issue, avoiding any suspected triggers, and seeking out support in those instances.


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