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Causes and Treatment for Hives at Night

By Edited Nov 27, 2015 0 0

Do Hives Have You Awake at Night and Itching?

Hives at Night
Hives is a skin rash noticeable by pale, itchy red bumps on the skin. Urticaria, or hives, is most often caused by an allergic reaction and in this case will rarely last longer than 6 weeks. Chronic urticaria (lasting longer than 6 weeks) usually is from an unknown or idiopathic cause. This article will explore causes and treatment for hives at night.

 Night hives is a form of urticaria where the wheals (itchy raised part of the skin surrounded by a red base; from the size of a pin point to a few inches in diameter) only present themselves at night. It is not certain why these itchy red bumps become visible at night. A diligent study of the variables in the diet as well as pathogens that have come in contact is necessary to get to the bottom of the causes of these hives at night.

Where Do These Itchy Red Bumps on the Skin Come From?

What did you eat? What did you touch?

There are many reasons that a person will get hives. An allergic reaction to foods such as shellfish, nuts, wheat and soy is a main reason that hives will appear. There are however many other causes of hives at night. One reason that incites the urticaria is reaction to clothing or bedding. A new detergent could be the culprit that is responsible for inducing an outbreak.  Certain medications (even as simple as aspirin, ibuprofen and penicillin, among others) have been known to create a blowup of wheals. Stress from family, home life and work related incidents can also cause a flare up of urticaria.

A reason that hives may present themselves and appear only as dusk approaches could be because the amount of natural anti-histamines produced by the body start to slow.  As the body slows down to prepare for sleep, the lessened amount of anti-histamines can not prevent the dormant irritant from causing havoc. The pathogen starts to cause the body to release histamine from cutaneous mast cells. This release of histamines results in fluid leakage from superficial blood vessels; hives. These irritable welts are now the night hives that prevent a good night sleep. How can these welts be prevented and controlled?

Are There Remedies for Urticaria?

Be diligent in isolating the irritant.

Night Hives Outbreak Journal

Unfortunately there is very little that one can do in the terms of a quick fix for nocturnal hives. Record meals in a journal so when an outbreak occurs food can be cross-checked against other episodes of urticaria to try to find the cause. Jot down in the journal what clothing was worn, any extraordinary activity that was undertaken or any extreme temperatures that had recently been in contact. This journal can help you distinguish any repeating element in the events where an outbreak occurred. Though it may take time to pin point the cause, the removal of the irritant is the only thing that will eventually lead to cessation of the nightly disturbances. Many times the cause will remain unknown and the evening hives will stop on their own as the allergen is slowly removed from the environment.

Treatment for Hives at Night
One thing to do is to go on the offensive against the urticaria. The outbreak of small itchy red bumps on the skin is due to histamine release. Before bedtime one can take anti-histamines’ such as Benadryl (diphenhydramine) which offer a two-fold benefit: they block the histamine, reducing the swelling of the wheals as well as the itchiness and Benadryl causes drowsiness which will let you sleep through a painless night (though most likely a groggy morning).

A stress management plan can help to reduce the outbreaks. The more relaxed your body is the better shape it will be in to combat the foreign allergen.

If the outbreaks are unmanageable it is time to consult your doctor to undertake tests and get prescription medication like prednisone to bring the hives under control. 

Urticaria is a disturbing outbreak of itchy red bumps on the skin. A constant diligence in the attempt to avoid potential irritants can help mange a chronic outbreak. I hope this article has explained some of the causes and treatment for hives at night.



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  1. "Urticaria." Wikipedia. 13/05/2012 <Web >

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