Hives on Black Skin: Appearance, Symptoms, and More – Healthline

Posted: February 11, 2021 at 5:51 am

Hives are a common condition that causes itchy, raised welts on the skin. The medical name for hives is urticaria. They are most often caused by an allergic reaction or an irritant in your environment.

When you search for images of hives, youll often see pictures of hives on white or light skin. In this case, the hives typically appear pink or red in color.

However, if you have brown or Black skin, hives can look very different from that. For example, the skin will appear inflamed but may not be red. Rather, the hives may be the same color as the surrounding skin.

Also, brown and Black skin can vary in pigmentation, and so too can the appearance of hives and other rashes. How hives appear on Black and brown skin can vary from person-to-person.

Sometimes, hives are mistaken for other rashes. Thats why it is important to see a board-certified dermatologist to help clarify what type of rash you have.

Continue reading as we discuss the appearance of hives on brown and Black skin, other symptoms to look out for, and potential treatment options.

Most available images of hives show the condition as it appears on white skin. In this case, the inflamed pink or red-colored patches of skin are often visible.

However, hives on Black and brown skin may not look exactly like that. Though the skin is still irritated and inflamed, skin reddening, or erythema, isnt always visible.

Instead, skin welts from hives are often similar in color to your skin tone. In some cases, they may be slightly lighter or darker, depending on whats causing them. Because of this, hives on Black skin can be more difficult to identify.

In fact, a 2020 study examined the ability of 177 medical students to accurately identify dermatologic conditions in white skin and skin of color. Researchers found that only 57.5 percent of the students correctly identified hives in skin of color.

You may be wondering how you can tell if you have hives. Look for skin welts that:

Angioedema is a condition similar to hives. It involves a reaction in the deeper layers of your skin and can appear by itself or along with hives. Some symptoms include:

In addition to hives, some of the other symptoms of anaphylaxis are:

Anaphylaxis can be life-threatening. If you or someone else has symptoms of anaphylaxis, call 911.

Though its possible for hives to appear for no identifiable reason, many times, they can occur following a trigger. Well go into specific triggers next, but generally, you may develop hives shortly after:

Its important to note that in 50 percent of patients with hives, the cause is not known.

One common cause of hives is an allergic reaction. This is when your immune system overreacts to something thats typically harmless.

Some examples of things that can trigger allergies include:

There are also other causes of hives that arent related to allergies. These are:

Its also possible that hives can have no known cause. When this happens, the condition is referred to as idiopathic.

In many cases, hives will go away on their own in a day or so, but chronic hives last longer. Various treatments can help to reduce itching and swelling. Some potential treatment options include:

You can try some of the following things at home to get symptom relief.

There are several types of medications to treat hives. These are:

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is a condition that can impact skin of color. It involves the affected area of skin becoming darker than the surrounding skin.

These pigmentation changes are caused by skin damage or irritation due to a variety of things, including allergic reactions, eczema, and acne.

The effects of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation are often temporary but can take from months to years to clear. The condition can be made worse by scratching and sun exposure.

Hives will often go away through using home remedies and OTC antihistamines. However, speak with your doctor if:

Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency. If you or someone else is experiencing symptoms like shortness of breath and swelling of the face, throat, or mouth, call 911.

Hives on Black and brown skin can be more difficult to recognize. If you have concerns about this, there are a couple of resources you can use to help find a dermatologist who focuses on skin of color.

The American Academy of Dermatology website is a good place to start. It has a search tool to help you find a dermatologist whos close to you. Be sure to use the filters under Practice Focus to find a provider with a focus on skin of color.

Another potential resource is the Skin of Color Society (SOCS), which aims to increase awareness of dermatologic conditions in skin of color. Its website has a large searchable list of dermatologists.

Hives are a skin reaction that causes raised, itchy welts to appear on the skin. Theyre often caused by allergies, but can also be due to infections, underlying health conditions, and environmental factors. In some cases, the cause of hives may be unknown.

Hives in Black and brown skin may look different compared with other skin types. While welts are still raised and itchy, they may not appear red. In many cases, welts may be similar in color to the surrounding skin. This can make them harder to recognize.

Most of the time, hives will go away on their own. In the meantime, you can use home remedies and OTC medications to soothe your symptoms.

Talk with your doctor if hives dont go away after a few days, are severe, or cover a large area of your body. Call 911 if youre experiencing hives that occur with symptoms of anaphylaxis.

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Hives on Black Skin: Appearance, Symptoms, and More - Healthline

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