5 Skin Disorders You Might Mistake for Hives
Red or swollen, itchy bumps on your skin could be hives, or it could easily
be a similar-looking condition.
Self-diagnosis of skin disorders is never an easy task. It's made more
difficult when different conditions have similar symptoms. Hives, for
example, come in two types -- acute and chronic -- and are usually caused
by your body releasing histamine in reaction to an allergy. Histamine is an
organic compound in your body responsible for triggering the inflammatory
process. With hives, the histamine causes fluid to release from the blood
vessels and makes the skin swell.
It can be easy to mistake hives for other disorders because the allergy
triggers can be difficult to find. Another problem with diagnosing hives is
that the symptoms are relatively generic -- red, itchy welts on your skin
are a common symptom among many skin disorders.
Hives can be caused from allergens as well as physical and environmental
factors such as stress, heat, sunlight or water. Untreated, the symptoms
can last from a couple hours up to six weeks. As we'll see throughout this
article, many skin disorders share these causes and triggers, so close
attention to detail is key when figuring out the mystery of your skin
Because blood and allergy tests exist to confirm hives at the doctor's
office, and antihistamines are readily available over the counter,
determining the diagnosis and appropriate treatment might seem easy.
However, since many of these disorders show the same symptoms and have
different treatment methods, it's important to be aware of the similarities
and differences between them. So, read on to learn about five common skin
disorders that may look and feel a lot like hives.
1. Heat Rash
Overdressing babies when they're out in the sun can cause heat rash,
because babies' sweat ducts aren't as developed as adults'.
As with hives, heat rash features raised, red bumps on the skin. While heat
rash shares its redness, swelling and itchiness with hives, the raised
bumps on the skin are usually smaller than affect any age group.
Heat rash develops when sweat ducts are blocked in hot temperatures, and it
commonly happens to infants because their sweat ducts aren't as developed
as adults. It can occur when a baby is overdressed for weather, when heavy
creams or clothing block the pores or during physical activity that causes
Most cases of heat rash will disappear in a couple days if you air dry the
skin, loosen and remove clothing and keep the temperature controlled
whenever possible. If those things don't work, you can apply calamine
lotion or hydrocortisone cream to calm the rash, but you'll want to avoid
other types of lotions or ointments because they can act as an irritant on
the sensitive skin.
2. Contact Dermatitis
Allergic or Contact?
Contact dermatitis can be divided into two different types:
Allergic contact dermatitis
is the result of skin contact with an allergen such as
weeds, perfume ingredients, metal jewelry, poison ivy,
nickel and many others. This contact causes a red rash,
bumps and sometimes blisters.
Irritant contact dermatitis
, the more common of the two, is caused by repeated contact
with a substance that rubs and damage the surface of the
skin. These substances can include things like cosmetics,
soap, deodorant and jewelry, and it usually affects the
skin with red, dry, itchy patches.
Contact dermatitis can be confused with hives on first glance because it
shares many of the same symptoms. The red rash and bumps are accompanied by
itchy, dry skin. The only difference is that hives can show up on several
areas of the skin, but contact dermatitis appears only on the areas that
are exposed to an allergen or an irritant. It generally lasts about the
same length of time as hives, usually resolving itself without medication
in two to four weeks.
Much like hives, the treatment will come from antihistamines. You'll also
need to avoid the irritant to prevent future outbreaks. If the symptoms are
mild to moderate you can usually get away with applying a wet compress to
the affected area or using an anti-itch cream.
Although hives is rarely a chronic disorder, rosacea is always one. It may
start out similar to a case of hives on your face -- rosacea features
small, red bumps on the nose, cheeks, forehead and chin as well as reddened
areas across the face. But the similarities stop there.
Before the onset of rosacea, you may begin to notice that you blush easily
and the redness continues across your face. When rosacea is inflamed, the
small, red bumps crop up on the skin. Unlike hives, though, which can
affect different parts of the body, rosacea is limited to the face.
The cause of rosacea is unknown, but it may have roots in hereditary
factors as well as environmental ones. That said, there are certain things
that aggravate the condition, such as exercise, consuming hot foods or
alcohol, or exposure to sunlight, heat or stress.
There is no complete treatment for rosacea, but there are topical and oral
medications that have been known to help lessen its effects. Antibiotics
may be prescribed both as an oral and topical measure, while certain
topical treatments like benzoyl peroxide and azelaic acid might be
prescribed to keep inflammation and redness down.
4. Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis)
Who Gets Eczema?
Eczema can appear at any age but tends to show up for the
first time in children under the age of five. It is
estimated that between 10 to 20 percent of the world's
population develops it at some point in their lives.
Atopic dermatitis, the most common type of eczema, is aesthetically similar
to hives at first glance. Eczema's symptoms include red patches of itchy
skin often accompanied by small, raised bumps and cracked skin. As is the
case with hives, it tends to appear behind the knees, around ankles,
wrists, face, neck and the upper chest area, and it can even affect the
area around your eyes, including the eyelids. Unlike hives, though, eczema
doesn't go away permanently.
Although the exact cause of eczema is unknown, it's thought to be linked
with dry and irritated skin as well as an overactive immune system, which
may cause the body to trigger allergic reactions when they're not
necessary. It's also commonly linked with Staphylococcus bacteria, which
can increase the severity of the symptoms. The symptoms can also be
worsened by stress, sweating, dry skin, low humidity, dust, cigarette
smoke, foods and wool or manmade clothing.
Eczema might look like hives on the surface, but where treatment is
concerned, it's completely different. Even though eczema has been
associated with allergies, getting rid of allergens is rarely helpful to
the condition. Treatment is limited to things that lessen the pain of
eczema, including corticosteroid creams and antihistamines to relieve
itching, oral corticosteroids to decrease inflammation, and
immunomodulators, which work with the immune system to reduce flare-ups.
Light therapy is also known to be effective in dealing with eczema because
ultraviolet rays can slow the inflammatory process.
5. Pityriasis Rosea
What is pityriasis?
Pityriasis refers to the flaking of the skin and has several different
incarnations other than rosea. One of the most commonly known disorders
that fall under this classification is pityriasis capitis, a type of
Like hives and everything else on this list, pityriasis rosea begins with
large, raised red patches of skin. Pityriasis rosea may also come with a
headache, fever, sore throat and stuffy nose. At the outset, pityriasis
rosea begins with a herald patch, often confused for both hives and
ringworm. As it progresses, it spreads around the initial patch with small,
scaly spots resembling a pine tree.
The cause of pityriasis rosea is unknown. No bacteria, fungus or virus has
been attributed to its onset. It is possible that certain types of herpes
may play a role, but no definitive cause has been found.
Generally, pityriasis rosea will go away on its own in four to six weeks,
but in certain cases, a doctor may treat the rash. Certain antiviral
medications are known to reduce the duration by a couple weeks, but usually
oral antihistamines and steroid creams are prescribed to help counter the
Proudly Made in the USA!
Every LifeSource Vitamins product exceeds all regulatory standards and
requirements set forth in the FDA's Code of Federal Regulation. (
21 CFR, part 111
as well as all Good Manufacturing Practices enforced by the FDA. CGMP's
provide for systems that assure proper design, monitoring, and control of
manufacturing processes and facilities. (
LifeSource Vitamins: Driven by Faith ~ Powered by God
Have Questions on this or any other product or health issue for you or a
loved one? It can be overwhelming we know. Call us, we will walk you
through what supplements will help you and which ones you really don’t
need. It’s what we do! Toll-Free: 800-567-8122
LifeSource Vitamins – Founded in 1992
100% of our profits are donated to Christian Organizations like these
and many others worldwide:
Campus Crusade for Christ - CRU
The Jesus Film Project
The Tim Tebow Foundation
The Herman and Sharron Show on CTN (Christian Television Network)
and many more…
E-mail Us: info@LifesourceVitamins.com
or Call Us: 800.567.8122
We Are Built on Compassion - Driven by Faith & Powered by God!
None of the above statements have been evaluated by the FDA. These products
are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
As always, consult your physician before taking any and all
LifeSource Vitamins. Individual results may vary.
All the information contained throughout this website is based upon the
opinions of the founder of LifeSource Vitamins, Bruce Brightman, and the
entire team at LifeSource Vitamins whose relentless research and studies
have been ongoing since 1992. Other articles and information are based on
the opinions of the authors, who retain the copyright as marked in the
article. The information on this site is not intended to replace your
health care professional, but to enhance your relationship with them. Doing
your own studying and research and taking your health care into your own
hands is always best, especially in partnership with your health care
If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medications, or have any medical
conditions, always consult your health care professional before taking
supplements based on the information on this site.
LifeSource Vitamins: from the nutrients we choose, to the way we run
our business, we answer to God in all we do!