Ask the Patient Leaders: Chronic Hives At Work
Last updated: January 2023
It can be difficult to manage a condition like chronic hives while also trying to get your job done. Workplaces can sometimes foster environments where stigma or misunderstandings can grow, leading to difficult and uncomfortable interpersonal situations.
It is important to be able to perform your job, but many roadblocks can enter your path when sharing space and projects with other people. At times, chronic hives can affect your daily functioning, while you appear "healthy" to others.
So we asked our patient leaders: Have you experienced misunderstandings or stigma at work due to chronic hives?
Supporting your employees
Response from Andressa
At this point on my life I haven’t experienced any negative things from my workplace. But I would say that employees can support their employers in different ways.
For example: when you feel tired due to medication or your energy level is low, that they understand that it has nothing to do with them, but that you are just struggling with the meds.
Another things is the hives. When you have the red “episodes” or itchiness during work, that they give you your privacy instead of staring at you.
Sometimes it’s uncomfortable to explain to people why you are “red”. I was in a meeting a couple of weeks ago via Zoom and one of my team members looked at me and said “are you ok?” She was so in shock. Because via my camera it was so weird to see my color changing. I explained to her what I have and we started to talk about allergies. I appreciated her question, because it was respectful.
Effective jobs are safe jobs
Response from CJ
Although I haven't experienced misunderstandings or stigma at work, I believe that employers are best able to support employees living with chronic hives by making sure they're aware of their medical condition and following the ADA's Disability Accommodation Guidelines.
Have you experienced misunderstandings or stigma at your workplace due to chronic hives? How did you handle the situation(s)? What tips would you give to others? Let us know in the comments, share your story, or start a conversation in the forums! Telling your story may be good for your health.
How well do you feel you manage your chronic hives?