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Where is The Worst Place to Suffer a Breakout?

From plane trips to graduation days, our writers are sharing the worst places that they’ve ever suffered a breakout. 

All of our writers have experienced it: a breakout at what seems like the worst time. But let’s be clear, there is never a good time for a breakout. It‘s painful, embarrasing and inconvenient even if it is just an ordinary day.

Our writers living with urticaria shared their most awkward or embarrassing places they experienced a breakout – and how they handled the situation. Take a look through their stories below:


It was my graduation. I was finally going to receive my diploma – in front of hundreds of people – with hives on my face. Eek. The first thing I did when I noticed them (my hives) in the mirror that morning was what most people would do: I panicked. My thoughts began to race about what people would say or think, and how my day was ruined. All I wanted to do was crawl into bed and stay there forever.

I was devastated. When I arrived at the ceremony and took my seat, I was ready to be barraged with questions from my classmates and/or laughed at on stage - but none of that happened. In fact, for a brief moment when I got up on that stage, I forgot about the hives on my face. I remember smiling, taking my diploma and soaking in the applause from the audience.

I was relieved that I made myself get up that morning and just get on with it. Experiences are still important even if they’re not perfect. There’s no reason to hide from your life.


The worst place I suffered a breakout was on a plane.

I knew there was a breakout on the way because as I got in my seat, my eyelids started to itch and my lips began to swell. I remember trying my best not to scratch my body so I wouldn’t worry my fellow passengers. My scalp and neck were areas that I thought I could scratch discreetly, which I did.  Unfortunately, the person sitting next to me tapped me on my shoulder and said “I think you’re having an allergic reaction,” to which I thought, “Oh no! Now I’ve got everyone’s attention.” Completely embarrassed, I calmly replied that it was nothing to worry about. I could feel the person’s eyes wander in my direction every so often with an unsettling and worried look as the hives worsened. By the time we landed, it looked like I got punched in the face a few times and my neck and forehead had developed welts and bumps. It wasn’t pleasant at all…

The takeaway? A long flight is the perfect chance to generate awareness about urticaria. In my case, I should have taken the time to explain what urticaria was to the passenger next to me, and how it is not contagious.


I was walking the beach to meet up with some friends. I had moved furniture around my home the day before, and was experiencing a particularly conspicuous breakout as a result. I was in typical beach attire - shorts and a tank top - and was aware that my arms and thighs were covered in huge bright red welts. I didn’t think anything of it, until I started getting stares. And I’m not talking about some half-hidden, sideways glances...several people actually gawked at me. It wasn’t until I got in front of a mirror that I realized I vaguely resembled a burn victim, and I had absolutely nothing to cover myself with. For a few minutes I felt downright awful. How unfair is it that I have to worry about people staring and judging me in addition to dealing with an already painful disease!

However, there was a silver lining to this. The visible breakout made my friends ask me questions like how it felt, what had been my trigger and so on. It meant so much to me that they took the time to ask these questions. It showed that people care enough to find out more about urticaria – and what had began as an incredibly embarrassing experience ended in a productive, positive discussion.

Although their experiences are all different, Luke, Shelly and Arna were able to derive positivity from their episodes and gain confidence to move forward. There is an important message in their stories: even when it seems like times are tough with urticaria, a single struggle can potentially lead to many moments of empowerment. Onwards and upwards!

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