stress hives on neck

How to Treat Stress Hives on Head Neck and Face


Normally, hives are swollen, red and itchy bumps on the skin. A number of people get them as a result of an allergic reaction to medicine, an insect sting or food. However, others have hives popping on their skin on a more frequent basis. Chronic hives may be caused by an immune response triggered by alcohol use, heat or extreme exercise. Another important factor that contributes to hives is stress. Stress can even make the already existing hives get worse.

How can stress cause hives?

It is indeed true that too much tension, anxiety, and stress in life cause stress hives. Whenever the body is exposed to a lot of stress, be it in a short period of time or over a long period of time, the immune system of the body starts to be weak. The body sends histamine into the body to deal with what is ailing the person – stress.

stress hives on neckstress hives on arms

This happens when the immune system is off kilter. In other words, the body brings up an allergic reaction to stress and because stress cannot be done away with histamine, the histamine, in turn, bring about the hives that appear on the neck, face chest and the other parts of the body.

In addition, an alternative cause of stress hives is the skin reacting to the irritants it never had problems with before.

The reaction to irritants like shampoos, cold, lotions, certain fabrics, heat, sunlight, soaps, and laundry detergents come about due to the body’s weakened system.

Because of that, there are doctors who specifically deal with stress hives, known as psycho-dermatologists. These doctors specialize in stress and skill illnesses and they are convinced that rash in patients and the chronic hives result from deep-seated emotions and emotions that have not been properly dealt with.

Symptoms of stress hives  

Symptoms of stress hives include swollen areas on the skin that seemingly appear out of nowhere.

When they are touched, they are known to cause a burning or prickly sensation. They are typically somehow itchy too.

The feet, face, hands, and arms are the common places where stress hives can appear. The size of stress hives varies from as large as a dinner plate to as small as an eraser.

Like a typical hive rash, stress hives are known to spread from one place to another and the smaller areas of hives blend together to create large areas called plaques. With the right over the counter medication, the stress hive symptoms can be treated easily.

 How dangerous are stress hives?

Sometimes stress hives are accompanied by swelling of any part of the face or throat and it reaches a point when breathing is restricted. At that time, it is advisable to immediately seek treatment from the nearest emergency room. Stress can, therefore, be bad enough to cause death if it is not given attention.

How to get rid of stress hives  

The all-time best method of removing stress hives from the body for good is to completely eliminate tension and stress from life. That is the number one best-proven method. Moreover, another way is to take an Over the Counter medication which removes hives within 1-2 hours. An example of such an effective Over the Counter medication is OxyHives.

For 10 years now, OxyHives has been around and is very effective without any harmful side effects the other medications have. Acquiring this medication does not need a prescription since OxyHives received a go-ahead to sell their hives treatment over the counter recently.

In order to avoid further skin irritations, it is prudent to keep off cold or hot baths or showers and tight-fitting clothing over the affected areas. These steps also prevent the spread of hives from stress.

Home remedies for stress hives

Are there any home remedies that get rid of hives without going in for doctor’s appointments? Yes. Home remedies keep patients from waiting for dermatologists who are booked out weeks to months in advance. This is mostly the case with numerous dermatologists. Such an experience is not a viable option for many affected people. When going through an irritating hives rash, the last thing one wants is to wait for two more weeks to be taken care of.

In order to help out many patients as possible, below are the best home remedies to help get rid of hives fast.

 Use over the counter medication

Have OxyHives in hand in case of an outbreak. This is really helpful especially when it can take weeks to get a doctor’s appointment. This recommended medication is non-drowsy and non-addictive, unlike other antihistamines. As per the directions, put two sprays under the tongue and the hives go away notably within 1-2 hours. OxyHives is the only treatment which is scientifically developed to make hives go away fast.

Other nonprescription oral antihistamines that may help relieve itching are Loratidine (Claritin), diphenhydramine (Benadryl Allergy) and cetirizine (Zyrtec Allergy).

 Apply a cool wet compress

Taking a cold or hot bath is out of the question. Therefore, for temporary relief of the irritating sensation, apply a cool, wet compress to the affected area. This will prevent continuous scratching and it will help soothe the skin.

Applying a cool wet compress involves covering the area that is affected with cool, moist dressings or bandages that will help soothe the skin and prevent scratching.

Take a cool bath- not a hot bath

Warm to hot water makes the hives rash worse. It is, therefore, better to stick to cool baths.  It is even better with cool baths that have colloidal oatmeal, baking soda, and uncooked oatmeal or rolled oats. All these additional items block any further release of histamine thereby relieving the itchy sensations. The downside is the red welts will not go away. Medication like OxyHives will do that.

 Keep off scratchy clothes

Completely avoid clothes that are not loose fitting. Also, clothes that are highly textured like wool must be completely avoided as they will further worsen the skin currently affected by the hives outbreak. This is especially so around the neck and body. In the event of any hives outbreak, where smooth-textured cotton.

Apply a little witch hazel or calamine lotion

Anti-stringent will not reverse the process but they prevent the situation from getting worse. Calamine lotion and witch hazel shrink the blood vessels around the welts so that they do not release or leak as much histamine. Applying anti-stringent are ideal in case OxyHives is not available and if the hives breakout on the face.

Apply a thin coat of water and baking powder

To relieve the itching, apply a small amount of baking soda and water mixed together into a paste. If there is no baking soda, cream of tartar is put to use to create a paste.

Dab the welts with the milk of magnesia or with Pepto Bismol

Try out the Pepto Bismol or Milk of Magnesia in case calamine lotion or witch hazel is not available. Both of them are alkaline therefore either of the two will help relieve the itching sensation.

Apply a thin layer of vinegar and water

When any of the ingredients above are missing for the home remedies, vinegar is equally effective. Mix 1 tablespoon of any kind of vinegar to 2 tablespoons of cool water. Use something soft like a cotton ball to apply the mixer on the hives. This application will not make the welts go away but it will bring down the itchy feeling.

Remove as much stress from your life as possible

More than 83% of stress hives cases are caused by too much stress. This fact is scientifically proven. Get rid of elements that are currently causing stress so that the chances of getting another stress hives outbreak are significantly lowered. Without stress, there will be no hives breakout on the hands, neck, face, and body in the future. Keep the stresses in life as low as possible. This might be easier said than done but it is important to prevent stress hives from occurring on a regular basis.

Avoid Any Potential Triggers

17% of stress hives breakouts are brought about by environmental factors.

These factors include caffeine, heat, certain clothing, sun, fabric softeners, new laundry detergents, cold, soaps, water exposure, alcohol, and insect bites. If any among these triggers relate to your current stress hives outbreak, consider what should be avoided in the future so as to limit the chances of having another one in the future.

Applying Aloe Vera.

The healing properties of Aloe Vera can soothe and bring down the occurrence of hives.

First of all, it is advisable to perform a skin test before the application of Aloe Vera to the whole area that is affected.

Although Aloe Vera is a natural anti-inflammatory, it can cause contact dermatitis and that is why it calls for a skin patch test before application. For a skin patch test, apply a little amount of the product to the inside of your forearm. If there is no irritation within 24 hours, it is safe for application on any hives. Aloe Vera is topically applied as needed to the hives, a few times a day. Topical Aloe Vera creams or gels can be purchased at a local pharmacy or online. Follow any instructions for application as provided on the package.

Turmeric powder

This member of the ginger family is the main ingredient that eases inflammation and helps with healing wounds.  Turmeric must be used with caution because too much of it causes dizziness and nausea.

Have a cool bath

When there are stress hives, hot baths must be avoided by all means. Remember to take cool baths to relieve itchiness since hot baths aggravate the hives making the condition worse.

Other treatments include prescription drugs like the ones mentioned below:

Anti-itch drugs– this is the standard treatment for stress hives. Anti-itch drugs are antihistamines and other medications that minimize swelling, itching and other allergy symptoms.

Anti-inflammatory drugs– when the stress hives are severe, doctors usually prescribe prednisone or other oral corticosteroid drugs to reduce itching, redness, and swelling.

This corticosteroid prednisone is orally taken. This medication must only be used for a short period of time as per the doctor’s direction. Corticosteroids like Prednisone have side effects, particularly if they are taken for longer periods of time. 

Side effects may include:

    • Swelling
    • Elevated blood pressure
    • Weight gain
  • Elevated eye pressure (glaucoma)

Long-term use causes:

    • Thinning skin
    • High blood sugar
    • Reduced hormone release from the adrenal glands
    • Cataracts
  • Poor immune response to pathogens so one is more prone to infections

To minimize the above side effects, take oral corticosteroids at lower doses and gradually transition to corticosteroids creams with the doctor’s supervision.

Drugs that suppress the immune system– when corticosteroids and antihistamines prove to be ineffective, the doctor can prescribe a drug capable of calming down the overactive immune system.

Blood protein controllers– if the situation is hereditary, numerous medications can regulate the levels of certain blood proteins and reduce signs and symptoms

Drugs that reduce swelling and pain chronic stress hives can be treated with another type of anti-inflammatory, a non-steroidal medication called leukotriene antagonists.

The non-steroidal treatment option is orally taken. However, these drugs must only be used after unsuccessful antihistamines and steroid treatment. Common side effects include cough, headache, stomach upset and a low fever.

For a severe attack of stress hives, the effective solution is a shot of epinephrine or an emergency injection or any other type of adrenaline. If these attacks become more frequent and serious despite treatment, the doctor gives out a pen-like device to allow self-injection of epinephrine in emergencies.

The severity of outbreaks of stress hives can be different from person to person and although a number of people can be able to take care of the symptoms at home, there some instances where seeking medical attention is called for.

It is necessary for a person to see a doctor if:

    • The symptoms worsen over time
    • The symptoms last more than a few days
    • The symptoms interfere with daily life
    • The hives are painful or leave bruises
    • A person experiences dizziness
    • Breathing becomes difficult
    • The face or throat begins to swell
  • There is tightness in the chest

If required to see the doctor, an appointment must first be prepared. On the onset, seeing a primary care doctor is recommended while in other cases, an allergy specialist or a skin disease specialist (dermatologist) may be referred immediately.

To get ready for a doctor’s appointment, some helpful tips to get ready for it is listed below

    • Take note of signs and symptoms, when they occurred and the period they lasted.
    • Take note of medications that are taken including supplements, vitamins, and herbs or take the original bottles ad list of doses with directions.
  • Write down questions to ask the doctor

For stress hives, questions to be asked include:

    • Do I need any tests to confirm the diagnosis
    • What results can I expect
    • Is my condition likely temporary or chronic
    • Do I need prescription medicine to treat the condition or can I use over-the-counter medications
    • What is the best course of action
    • What are other possible causes for my symptoms
    • Can I wait to see if the condition goes away on its own
  • What are the alternatives to the primary approach that you are suggesting

The doctor can also examine the stress hives to be able to establish the cause. Additional blood tests and allergy may also be conducted to rule out certain causes. After that, the doctor may ask numerous questions like:

    • Have you noticed anything that makes the symptoms worse or better?
    • When did you first begin experiencing symptoms?
    • Have the symptoms changed over time?
    • What was the appearance of the skin when it first appeared?
    • When did you first begin experiencing symptoms?
    • Do you have any known allergies?
    • Have you had similar skin reactions before?
    • Do the skin lesions mainly sting, itch or burn?
    • Have you adopted a new pet, changed laundry products or tried a new food for the first time?
    • Do the skin lesions go away completely without leaving a bruise or a mark?
    • What at-home treatments are used?
    • Have you started a new course of medication you have before or are you taking any new medications?
    • Do other members have any known allergies of the sort or has any member of the family ever experienced the same type of skin reaction?
    • What supplements, over-the-counter medication or prescriptions are you taking?
    • Have you experienced a loss of weight or any fevers?
  • Has your overall weight changed recently?

Types of hives

stress hives on neck

Physical urticarial.

It is caused by irritation of the skin. Clothes rubbing the skin during exercise, overexposure to the sun. Extreme hot and cold and excessive sweating call all bring up an outbreak. This type of rash rarely spreads beyond the original location.

Acute urticaria

This type of rash is caused by an adverse reaction to certain medications and food or an allergic reaction to the same. Insect bites and infections can also bring out this type of rash. The rash lasts less than six weeks.

Chronic urticaria

This type of rash lasts for more than 6 weeks. An underlying medical condition is responsible for this type of rash, for example, hepatitis, cancer, and thyroid disease. Chronic urticaria is a more severe form of hives than the former acute urticarial because this type can spread to many areas of the body like the muscles, lungs and the gastrointestinal tract.


A condition whereby hives occur after vigorously rubbing or scratching of the skin

Stress hives also appear suddenly on the skin as red, raised and swollen areas. The hives develop as a result of a lot of tension and chronic stress in life. Stress hives are alternatively known as stress bumps or a stress rash.

They are normally very itchy as most of the affected people report having a stinging or burning sensation when they appear. For stress-related hives, they usually go away by themselves after completely releasing stress from the body or after taking the right remedy to eliminate the symptoms.

Usually, stress hives are very treatable and they do not cause complications on its own. In some more severe cases, however, angioedema may occur.

This condition is a result of a buildup of fluid in layers of skin leading to swelling. The feet, lips, hands, eyes, and genitals can be affected as a result but, prescribed medication can manage and reduce the swelling.

Stress hives that are persistent can impact the quality of an individual’s life negatively bringing them stress or anxiety or even eventually in some cases, depression. At this stage, it is prudent for a person to speak to a doctor always if hives are affecting how they live and how they relate with others.


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