What Causes Hives?

If-you-have-hives-now, then you need to understand that hives aren’t something to take lightly. You might get worried about them wondering what’s causing your itchy red bumps. Is it stress? A new food allergy? What could be causing this? Don’t worry knowing what causes hives will help you diagnose the problem

If you’re reading this, you’re probably wondering what causes hives. A red raised bumpy rash on your skin is pretty scary but don’t worry, I’m going to explain what they are and show you some home remedies below!


Hives, also known as urticaria, are red, raised, itchy spots on the skin. They can be caused by exposure to allergens or other triggers. The most common allergens for hives include food items and medications. Other possible causes include infections or emotional stress.

What Causes Hives?

The exact cause of hives is not clear. However, they are thought to be caused by an allergic reaction to an allergen (e.g., pollen or food). The immune system overreacts to the allergen and causes a release of chemicals that cause swelling, itching and redness in the skin.

The foremost common causes of hives include:

Allergies – Food allergies or allergies to insect stings can cause hives.

Medications – A wide range of medications can trigger hives including antibiotics, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, blood thinners, high blood pressure medications, birth control pills and hormone injections for hormone replacement therapy (HRT).

Infections – Viruses such as HIV and hepatitis C may cause hives along with bacterial infections such as strep throat and Lyme disease.

Stress-related causes such as anxiety disorders

The cause of urticaria (hives) is unknown in most cases. Hives may be triggered by:

  • allergies (including to medications)
  • heat exposure
  • stress
  • exercise

What Are the Symptoms of Hives?

The symptoms of hives vary depending on what’s causing them. If you have hives caused by a food allergy, such as peanuts or shellfish, you may get swellings (called wheals) that look like large mosquito bites on different parts of your body at the same time.

These patches of swelling can be anywhere from 1/8 inch to 6 inches across and may appear in clusters or lines. The swelling is usually pinkish red with pale centers and can itch quite a bit. In addition to the swelling itself,

there may be:

-Itching over large areas of your body

-Flushing of your face and neck with warmth and redness

-Pain in your joints (arthralgia)

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