Can You Catch Hives From Someone Else?
There are those people who suffer with hives and those who do not and a large number from both groups will often ask whether or not hives is a contagious condition, so don’t feel like you’re being stupid for asking the question, you are certainly not alone!
I’m going to be bold here and provide you with the answer to this question at the start of this post rather than hiding it within the post like so many other sites. By doing so I am hoping that you will still read the rest of this post and check out the rest of this site as I’m sure it will answer many more questions that you might not have thought of yet and provide some help in dealing with hives.
The simple answer to the question – ‘Are hives contagious?’ is no, they are not. There was once a belief that hives was a contagious skin condition because there is a certain type of hives called ‘pressure hives’ which flares up in the same location as someone has touched and it has now been ascertained that it is the pressure from the touch and not a cross over of the infection that causes the hives.
Hives is an extremely common condition that affects the skin and it is believed that the condition will affect up to 20 percent of all US citizens at some point in their lives. Hives is not as straightforward a condition as many of us would like it to be. There are quite a few different variations of the hives condition all of which flare up in response to different triggers.
What are the Prime Causes of Hives?
Pinpointing the actual root cause of any single case of hives can be extremely difficult. The condition can be induced by increased stress levels, sudden fluctuations in temperature (hot or cold) or any number of environmental changes. However, the most frequently acknowledged cause of a hives outbreak is an allergic reaction which triggers the body’s release of histamines. Yet again, pinpointing the cause of such an allergic reaction isn’t always easy and anything from nuts to dairy produce or cat fur to pollen can be to blame.
Certain medicines are also known to be major contributory factors in causing hives flare ups with antibiotics, painkillers and penicillin at the top of the list for treatments that are most culpable.
What Exactly Are Hives?
Hives, also known as urticaria, is a skin condition as mentioned earlier, and is identified by areas of raised skin that are predominantly red becoming paler the closer to the center of the swelling you look. Hives are extremely itchy and the raised areas can be quite small, from a couple of millimeters in diameter to several inches and they can also appear anywhere upon the body.
The raised rashes or wheals can change in both size and location and it is not uncommon for the appearance and location of the hives outbreak to change within a few hours. The one saving grace is that a hives flare up rarely lasts beyond 24 hours.
Who is Most Likely to be Troubled by Hives?
Women are more likely to suffer hives than men but apart from that the condition is not restricted by race or age and can strike sufferers at any time. Hives is a condition that is hard to predict, appearing suddenly and then disappearing just as quickly. However, returning to the initial question, the one thing that we can be absolutely sure about is the fact that hives is not contagious.
See Also: How to get rid of chronic hives