Can Stress Cause Hives?

Can stress cause hives? Before answering this question, a short discussion of stress is required.

Effects of Stress on the Body

Stress is a factor that can affect the health of individuals in many ways. Stress can either be for short periods of time or it can be a constant daily problem. In most cases, short term stress can be dealt with reasonably well and often health effects are not long lasting. However, constant stress on an individual usually means the development of some sort of more serious health problem. This is because the body is always in “high speed” mode when under continuous stress. The body cannot sustain operating in this mode for too long of a time and health problems will eventually develop. These problems can include constant headaches, various sleep disorders, heart problems, high blood pressure issues, depression and anxiety, weight gain or weight loss, diabetes, stomach problems such as digestion related ailments, loss of energy, repeated colds or flu, and more. In essence, when the body is subject to continuous stress, the immune system is affected and the body starts to break down in any number of ways.

Can Stress Cause Hives on the Skin

The problems listed above are documented health problems that stress can cause. However, everyone is unique and is affected by stress in different ways. One way, not mentioned above, is affects on the skin. For example, stress can play a role in acne outbreaks. Can stress cause hives as well on the skin? The answer to this question is absolutely yes. Stress has been linked to hives and rash outbreaks in people. This can be due to a short stressful event or can result from continuous stress on the individual that finally manifests itself as hives or a skin rash. A rash caused by stress is fully described at this stress rash page. Stress also plays a role in other types of skin problems such as dermatographism. A survey of individuals with this skin problem illustrates that suffers of dermatographism strongly feel that stress is the cause of their skin condition.


Stress can do many things to the body. Although it is often difficult to connect stress directly with specific skin and health problems, it does play a role. Indeed, the sudden appearance of a skin rash or skin hives, may simply be one way that the body is reacting to stress.

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