Stress hives – do they exist?
Stress is a cause of acute hives. It can be a debilitating condition which affects day-to-day life.1
The nervous system is central to stress in humans and can “talk” to other systems and cells in the body including mast cells, which are involved in releasing the histamines and other chemicals that cause hives.2 There is no specific type of stress; it can be a stressful event, or financial, personal or professional stress. Avoiding or reducing stress is important to manage the condition.1
For chronic hives, stress is very rarely the cause, but it can make the symptoms worse. 3
No matter what the cause, hives is a real condition that is not your fault.
There is help available for people impacted by hives and itch. Speak to your GP about treatment options, and if it hives continues to affect your quality of life, seek a referral to an immunologist or dermatologist, who have access to other effective treatment options.
Locate a specialistAustralasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA) Skin & Cancer Foundation Australasian College of Dermatologists
Watch Professor Maurer, an International urticaria expert talk about role of stress in chronic urticaria.
Explore on this siteWhat are the causes of hives (urticaria)? What are common allergy hives causes? Lifestyle tips for people with stress-induced hives (urticaria)
- Deacock SJ. Clin & Exp Immunol 2008; 153:151–161.
- Arck P et al. J Invest Dermatol 2006; 126: 1697–1704.
- Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy. Hives (urticaria). 2017. (accessed 9 Oct 2018).