Hives and Heat

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Hives is a skin condition that typically occurs in reaction to an allergy. Most people experience hives on occasion, with no lasting effects or continued signs. However, some people have chronic hives, which are characterized by welts that appear for more than six weeks and recur frequently over months or years. The cause of chronic hives is often unclear, and the symptoms can be very uncomfortable and interfere with regular life activities. Those who suffer from chronic hives are commonly affected by heat. Being in the middle of summer here in Georgia, the weather is very hot and humid, and those who suffer with cholinergic urticarial, or heat hives, may find that they are miserable a lot of the time.

Heat hives are different than “heat rash,” which occurs when the sweat glands are blocked and tiny raised bumps appear. Heat hives is the result of an allergic reaction to a rise in skin temperature. These hives can occur all over the body, as the body’s temperature is generally pretty consistent from head to toe. As the body’s temperature cools down, the hives usually disappear. Signs that heat hives are occurring usually involve the following indicators:

  • A generalized uncomfortable feeling
  • Itchy skin
  • Prickly or tingling sensation
  • Burning sensation
  • Flushing
  • Raised welts on the skin
  • Sometimes, the inability to sweat until hives appear

Avoiding common triggers of heat hives is important in keeping your body comfortable. Hot weather is an obvious and sometimes unavoidable trigger. It is important that you stay indoors, or in a cool pool/lake if you are outside, to avoid flare-ups from your condition. Other triggers include: alcoholic beverages, hot showers, spicy foods, and wearing too many layers of clothes. If your body begins to react with heat hives, cool your body down with a cool shower. Antihistamines are also beneficial in reducing allergic reactions.

If you are constantly bothered by heat hives, contact Medical Dermatology Specialists in Atlanta. Dr. Jamie Weisman is a nationally recognized dermatologist who will help you find relief.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Jamie Weisman, Medical Dermatology Specialists, Inc.