Among the triggers of hives, infection plays a prominent role. Various infections can play a role in triggering hives: infection with bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites come to mind. Helicobacter pylori, the bacteria that have been associated with the development of some stomach ulcers, have also been shown to be associated with hives. Some medical studies on patients with Helicobacter pylori have shown that, upon antibiotic treatment for this bacterial infection, hives and stomach ulcers alike are cured.
In addition to Helicobacter pylori infections, other bacterial infections have been shown to trigger hives: Cystitis and tonsillitis have been associated with acute hives. Infection with Yesinia and various streptococci and staphylococci, especially in the gastrointestinal, upper respiratory, dental and ENT regions has been tied to chronic hives. The successful treatment of all these bacterial infections using antibiotics cures the patients’ hives.
Viral Infection and Hives
As mentioned above, infections of various kinds are responsible for triggering different forms of hives. Viral infection is a common acute hives trigger among children. Rubella, herpes, influenza, the common cold and infectious mononucleosis are just a few examples of viral infections that have been associated with hives in children.
The mechanisms by which viral infections trigger hives are often not clearly understood. Thus, it would be problematic to unambiguously assert that viral infections caused hives. However, it is appropriate to say that viral infections trigger hives. The word “trigger” implies that sometimes viral infections play a role in setting the hives mechanism into motion, even though such a role might not be direct.
When they are triggered by a viral infection, hives tend to appear spread out on different parts of the body. This is referred to as a generalized skin condition. It is distinctly different from the localized skin condition known as contact urticaria. Contact urticaria is provoked by direct contact with allergenic substances. Hence the rash develops in the area of skin that comes into direct contact with the allergen. Something similar happens with forms of physical urticaria such as dermatographism: The urticarial wheals develop on the areas of skin that are subjected to physical pressure.
Yeast Infection, Hives and the Connection between Them
Candida albicans is the fungus responsible for causing oral thrush and vaginal yeast. When the body’s friendly bacteria, Lactobacillus acidophilus fails to keep the growth of Candida and other organisms under control, then they allow the development of a yeast infection. Hives is sometimes associated with yeast infections: it has shown to be a factor in sensitizing the body and predisposing it towards developing chronic hives. Infection with yeast has the added disadvantage of playing a role in the development of conditions like psoriasis, irritable bowel syndrome and asthma.