Is Urticaria Caused by Stress? Explain the cause, treatment and prevention!

Stress is one of the causes of hives. About 70% of urticaria, which is caused by a complex combination of various causes, is said to have an unknown cause, and the symptoms may last for a long time. Under the supervision of a doctor, we will explain the treatment and prevention methods for urticaria, foods to avoid, etc.

Is Urticaria Caused by Stress?  Explain the cause, treatment and prevention!

Table of contents

  • Stress can cause urticaria
  • What is Urticaria?
  • types of urticaria
  • Causes of Urticaria
  • Test method to find out the cause of urticaria
  • Treatment and prevention of urticaria
  • Urticaria caused by stress should be dealt with early.

Stress can cause urticaria

Excessive stress has many negative effects on the mind and body, and hives is one of them.

However, there are many causes of hives, and stress is not always the only cause. In addition to stress, urticaria may be caused by a complex combination of factors such as stimuli to the skin, foods, plants, and lifestyle habits.

What is Urticaria?

What is Urticaria?

Urticaria (urticaria) is a skin disease that causes sudden itchiness and red bumps on the skin, similar to mosquito bites. Unlike insect bites, hives do not leave scars and disappear quickly.

A plant called urticaria (called nettle in Japan) has fine thorns on its leaves and stems, and when touched, it causes itching and pain on the skin. It is the origin of the name urticaria because it resembles the symptoms at that time.

  • Red bumps on the skin that look like insect bites (varies in size from small to large)
  • itch
  • spread red dots
  • spread out
  • red swelling like worms
  • Angioedema (sudden swelling of the lips and eyelids. It is not itchy and disappears in about 2 to 3 days.)

Symptoms of urticaria include:

In the case of angioedema, the possibility of hereditary angioedema (HAE) is considered, and symptoms such as unexplained abdominal pain, swollen limbs, pain during urination, and abdominal swelling are observed. An attack of hereditary angioedema can be life-threatening, so it’s important to get to the hospital early.

Types of urticaria

There are many types of urticaria, which can be roughly divided into two types: stimulus-induced urticaria and idiopathic urticaria. From here, we will explain each in detail.

Irritation-induced urticaria

Irritation-induced urticaria is a type of urticaria with a known cause. It is caused by allergies, temperature differences, rubbing, pressure, and vibration.

  • allergic urticaria
  • Food-dependent exercise-induced anaphylaxis
  • physical urticaria
  • non-allergic urticaria
  • aspirin urticaria
  • cholinergic urticaria
  • contact urticaria

These are classified as irritation-induced urticaria.

idiopathic urticaria

Idiopathic urticaria is a type of urticaria with no known cause. It is thought to be caused by a complex combination of factors such as stress, fatigue, food, and viral and bacterial infections.

Idiopathic urticaria accounts for about 70% of all cases, and it is not a rare symptom. Many cases of urticaria can be treated with medications, even if the cause is unknown.

Idiopathic urticaria is divided into acute urticaria and chronic urticaria, depending on how long the symptoms last.

Acute urticaria is urticaria that resolves within 6 weeks. For example, hives, which can appear when a child catches a cold, is an example of this, and if the infection is cured, the symptoms of hives will improve.

Chronic urticaria is a type of urticaria that lasts for more than 6 weeks. In many people, the symptoms worsen from evening to night, and the urticaria disappears the next morning to the next morning, and then reappears in the evening.

If the only noticeable symptom is skin urticaria, it is said that after the symptoms continue for months or years, it will eventually subside.

Causes of Urticaria

Causes of Urticaria

The cause of urticaria is related to cells in the skin tissue called “mast cells”.

Mast cells store a substance called histamine, which causes urticaria. It is a mechanism that causes itching by releasing histamine when receiving some kind of stimulus.

There are many different causes of mast cell stimulation, and sometimes the cause of urticaria cannot be identified. It is said that the cause of urticaria can be identified in about 30% of cases, and in about 70% of cases the cause is unknown.

Here are some possible causes of urticaria.


There are various possible causes of urticaria, but in the case of “chronic urticaria,” in which symptoms appear repeatedly on a daily basis for more than 6 weeks, it is said that stress often exacerbates the condition.

Stress, fatigue, mental illness, PTSD, and other mental disorders can trigger hives.

Urticaria may occur when stress increases due to a change in place of residence due to moving, a change in the department at work, or a change in the living environment. Conversely, if stress is reduced, hives may be less likely to occur.

Stress itself does not directly cause hives, but is thought to make the body “prone to hives”.

Urticaria develops when the “reaction threshold (a certain intensity of stimulation)” is exceeded, but stress lowers the reaction threshold. Therefore, it reacts sensitively to stimulation such as rubbing the skin, and urticaria occurs.

I get itchy and irritated every night when hives appear, and I’m worried that I won’t be cured, and lack of sleep creates more stress both physically and mentally.

In this way, if the symptoms of urticaria create additional stress, it is important to go to the hospital early and receive treatment.


Sweating when bathing, showering, exercising, or being tense can irritate and cause hives. Urticaria caused by sweat is called cholinergic urticaria, and is characterized by small urticaria of 1 to 4 mm in size.

physical stimulation

A variety of physical stimuli can also trigger hives, including:

  • Mechanical abrasion (such as scratching)
  • oppression
  • Scrape
  • vibration
  • heat, cold
  • sunlight
  • heat
  • water

Certain foods, plants, chemicals, rubber, etc.

If you have antibodies (substances in your body that attack foreign substances that come in from the outside) to specific foods or drugs, you will have an allergic reaction when you take them, which will appear as hives. You may. This is called allergic urticaria.

Typical foods that cause hives include blue fish such as mackerel and horse mackerel, bamboo shoots, pork, crustaceans such as crabs and shrimps, and fruits.

There are two types of food-induced urticaria: allergic and non-allergic. In the case of non-allergic, urticaria is caused by the ingredients contained in the food. .

Food-dependent exercise-induced anaphylaxis (food and exercise)

Food-dependent exercise-induced anaphylaxis is defined as hives and other symptoms that occur after exercising after eating certain foods.

It is characterized by being caused not only by ingesting food but also by a combination of conditions such as exercise, and symptoms such as swelling, coughing, decreased blood pressure, and dyspnea may appear in addition to hives.

Test method to find out the cause of urticaria

In order to investigate the cause of urticaria, it is important to tell the doctor “when, what time, and what kind of symptoms will appear”. First of all, we will talk about the symptoms in detail in the interview and find out the type of urticaria.

Blood tests and skin prick tests are performed if an allergy to a specific substance is suspected. A prick test involves dropping a small amount of an allergy-causing substance on the skin, pricking it with a special needle (prick needle), and checking the reaction after 15 minutes.

If there are symptoms other than urticaria, it may be caused by another disease other than urticaria, so an x-ray may be performed.

Treatment and prevention of urticaria

Treatment and prevention of urticaria

Here’s how to treat and prevent urticaria.

Keep track of when urticaria occurs

Keeping a record of when hives appear will help identify the cause of hives and improve or alleviate symptoms.

If you keep a record of what you ate just before hives appeared, how you spent the day, and when your hives got worse or improved, you may be able to find a certain pattern. If a specific substance is thought to be the cause, avoiding it is the basis of treatment.

Also, since hives often disappear quickly, if you take a picture of hives using the camera function of your smartphone when you have hives, you can show it at the time of examination at the hospital so that you can find out the cause. help identify.

take medicine for urticaria

There are many types of urticaria medications.

  • antihistamine
  • Histamine H2 receptor antagonist
  • Drugs that suppress itching-causing substances other than histamine
  • oral steroid
  • Omalizumab (Xolair®)

When treating urticaria with drugs, the main focus is basically antihistamines. It is also prescribed for hay fever, and there are many types, and since which one works depends on the individual, it is prescribed according to the individual.

Avoid stress and fatigue

Stress and fatigue can make hives worse. It has also been reported that people with chronic urticaria are often in a state of stress without being aware of it, and tend to be introverted to stress.

It may not be easy to distance yourself from the source of your stress, or to release stress on a regular basis .

does not stress the skin

Physical stress can also cause hives. Rubbing, tightening, and pressure on clothing can cause hives, so it’s a good idea to avoid straining your skin as much as possible.

If you scratch or rub hives on a regular basis, it will get worse, so you need to be careful.

See a psychiatrist or psychiatrist

If the cause of hives is stress, it may be difficult for some people to completely eliminate or reduce the cause. If the symptoms do not subside even after taking medicine for urticaria, it is one way to consider seeing a psychosomatic medicine or psychiatrist.

Just having someone listen to you can lighten your heart and help you organize your feelings. It is also a good idea to visit a dermatologist who offers counseling.

Cool (other than cold urticaria)

Urticaria tends to itch when warmed, and swelling subsides when cooled. Too much cooling is not good, but if itching is strong, you should try cooling.

However, in the case of cold urticaria, it may be worsened by cooling, so do not cool it.

improve sleep and lifestyle

Irregular life and lack of sleep have a great negative effect on the body. In particular, irregular sleep can lead to worsening of hives.

If you have itchy hives and can’t sleep, you should see a dermatologist or other medical institution as soon as possible, as hives may get worse due to lack of sleep or stress.

improve your diet

Eating foods that contain or release chemicals such as histamine and choline can cause hives. Specifically, foods such as blue fish, crustaceans, shellfish, pork, eggs, and chocolate.

Other causes include bamboo shoots, spinach, fruit, and buckwheat. If food is thought to be the cause, it would be a good idea to have an examination at the hospital to identify the cause and refrain from these foods.

Urticaria caused by stress should be dealt with early.

Stress is one of the causes of hives. The cause of urticaria is said to be unknown in about 70% of cases, but even if the cause is unknown, it can be treated with medicine.

The itching caused by hives and the accompanying lack of sleep can cause further stress and worsen the symptoms of hives. Treatment is important.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *