If you have ever experienced hives, you know how uncomfortable they can be. Unfortunately, they often appear suddenly with little warning, leaving you searching for a quick hives treatment option that will provide you with some relief. If you do find some treatment options, it can be difficult to figure out what causes hives and which treatment you should use to relieve your problem with hives.
- 1 What are Hives?
- 2 What Causes Hives?
- 3 Signs and Symptoms of Hives
- 4 Tips for Preventing Hives
- 5 Work to Avoid Triggers
- 6 Reduce Stress
- 7 Avoid Extreme Temperatures
- 8 Choose Natural, Loose Clothing
- 9 Eat a Healthy Diet
- 10 Medical Hives Treatment Options
- 11 Over the Counter and Prescription Antihistamines
- 12 Topical Treatments
- 13 How to Cure Hives Naturally
- 14 Natural Treatment #1 – Use Cool Compresses on Skin
- 15 Natural Treatment #2 – Water and Baking Soda Paste
- 16 Natural Treatment #3 – Cool Oatmeal Bath
- 17 Natural Treatment #4 – Drink Various Herbal Teas
- 18 Natural Treatment #5 – Milk of Magnesia
- 19 Natural Treatment #6 – Mint Leaves or Mint Oil
- 20 Natural Treatment #7 – Natural Herbal Antihistamines
- 21 Natural Treatment #8 – Aloe Vera Gel
- 22 Conclusion
What are Hives?
Before delving into the various hives treatment options, it’s important to understand hives, what causes them and the symptoms to watch out for if you think you may have hives. Hives, known as urticaria medically, is a skin reaction that involves an outbreak of reddish wheals or bumps. In most cases, this reaction occurs suddenly and often occurs due to an allergic reaction.
While hives may occur anywhere on the body, they generally start showing up on areas of the body that are covered, such as the stomach, rash on the neck, back, chest, upper thighs and upper arms. They may only be the size of a pencil eraser or they could be as large as a dinner plate. Sometimes hives even join, forming large plaques on the skin. Sometimes hives may only stick around for a few hours, but they could last 24 hours, or even longer.
What Causes Hives?
You may be wondering what causes hives. Generally, hives are a result of an allergic reaction. Allergic reactions cause the release of histamines within the body, which may cause hives to appear. Certain chemicals found in foods, exposure to the sun, reactions to medications or even insect stings could cause hives. For some people, a concrete cause for hives is never found.
Signs and Symptoms of Hives
It’s important to know the signs and symptoms of hives so you can begin using a hives treatment as soon as you notice them.
Early Signs and Symptoms
- Raised reddish or pink bumps that are smooth and of various sizes.
- Itching around the bumps.
- Bumps start on areas of the skin that are covered.
- Wheals or bumps may appear, disappear and be replaced by new ones.
- In the beginning, hives may only appear in small patches, but patches could start running together until most of your body is covered.
- Burning and discomfort from the bumps/wheals.
Severe Symptoms That Requires Immediate Medical Attention
- Wheezing or difficulty breathing
- Irregular or fast heart beat
- Low blood pressure
- Swelling of the tongue, throat or face
- Throat or chest tightness
- Problems swallowing
- Loss of consciousness
Tips for Preventing Hives
While finding good hives treatment options is important, it’s better to try to prevent hives if possible. In this chapter, learn important tips that will help you prevent hives before they happen, saving you from all the discomfort that comes with hives.
Work to Avoid Triggers
Try Keeping a Diary to Find TriggersOne tip to follow if you want to prevent hives is to work on avoiding triggers. You may already know what triggers your hives and you can use this information to prevent them in the future. Maybe your triggers are food additives, particular foods or drinking alcohol. Whatever your triggers are, make sure you avoid them to avoid further problems with hives.
Another important tip is to try keeping a diary to find your triggers. Keep a daily diary that tracks what you eat, your activities, where you went and what time it is when hives occur. As you continue to keep your diary, you and your doctor may be able to see patterns that will help you figure out what is triggering your hives. Once you identify the triggers, you have a better chance at preventing future issues.
Chronic stress causes hives in some individuals, so you may need to work on reducing stress as a way to prevent hives. Stress can reduce the immune response of your body, making it hard for your body to take care of allergens. Your skin, which is the largest organ of your body, is susceptible to chronic stress, which means that regular stress could result in a breakout of hives.
When your body is dealing with too much stress, it starts to produce various stress hormones, such as adrenaline, vasoactive intestinal peptide and cortisol. Sometimes these hormones may actually damage tissues in your body, resulting in increased production of histamines, which can lead to a hives breakout.
Start making changes in your life to reduce your stress levels. Exercise, try meditation, take time for fun hobbies and use other ideas to relax and let the stress melt away. While you can’t totally eliminate stress, you can work to reduce stress in your life, effectively preventing hives.
Avoid Extreme Temperatures
Some people find that extreme temperatures cause their hives, so it’s a good idea to avoid extreme temperatures if you want to prevent hives. Not only should you avoid extreme outdoor temperatures, but you need to avoid extreme temperatures when you are showering or bathing. Instead of cranking up the hot water, a lukewarm or cool shower or bath is less likely to end up irritating your skin.
Choose Natural, Loose Clothing
Keeping your skin cool is important, so choose natural, loose clothing to prevent hives. Try to stick with clothes made of natural fibers, such as cotton, which will allow your skin to breathe. Clothing should be comfortable and loose. Avoid clothing that makes you itch or sweat, since this could increase your chance of breaking out in hives. Choosing breathable, lightweight clothing is especially important right after you have had an attack of hives.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Last, eat a healthy diet if you want to prevent hives. Making sure that you eat healthy foods that offer your body good immune system support is essential. Vitamin C is an important vitamin that helps support your immune system, so work on eating foods that have a large amount of vitamin C. Great foods to add to your diet that contain vitamin C include tomatoes, spinach, strawberries, green peppers, citrus fruits, cantaloupe and turnip greens.
It’s also important to eat foods that have plenty of vitamin B12 in them, such as soy products, poultry, dairy, eggs and fish. Getting plenty of quercetin in your diet is also important, since quercetin contains natural antioxidants and antihistamines. Foods that have quercetin in them include cherries, broccoli, apples, green tea, raspberries, onions, leafy greens, red grapes and red wine. Drink plenty of water as well, which is just as important as a healthy diet.
Medical Hives Treatment Options
Several medical hives treatment options are available. In most cases, these medications will not actually be able to cure hives, but they are designed to help treat your symptoms. If you see your doctor, he will probably use one of these treatment options to try to ease your discomfort.
Over the Counter and Prescription Antihistamines
Antihistamines are the most common type of medical treatment for hives. These medications work by helping to reduce the effects of histamines in the body. Many antihistamines do make your drowsy, which is something to consider before taking them.
Fexofenadine or Allegra and Loratadine or Claritin are also over the counter antihistamines, but they are less likely to result in drowsiness when you take them. If you need to take antihistamines during the day, these two options may be better choices.Over the counter antihistamines include chlorpheniramine or Chlor-Trimeton and diphenhydramine or Benadryl. Both of these medications can be taken three times daily, but they do cause drowsiness, so many people prefer to take them when they go to bed. If you do take them during the day, take them with caution.
Your doctor may prescribe you prescription antihistamines as well, such as levocetirizine (Xyzal) and cyproheptadine (Periactin). While the cyproheptadine can make your drowsy, levocetirizine does not. In some cases, H2 blockers, another type of antihistamine may be combined with these medications, including cimetidine (Tagamet) and ranitidine (Zantac). Always take these prescription medications as directed.
Topical medical treatments are available hives treatment options. However, many people find that they provide little relief. These treatments include lotions and creams, which helps to treat itching and numb the nerve endings in your skin. Common ingredients in these treatments include pramoxine, camphor, diphenhydramine and menthol. Sometimes cortisone creams are prescribed, but they may not eliminate the itching and burning that often accompanies hives.
How to Cure Hives Naturally
If you don’t like the idea of using medications to cure hives, you may want to consider natural hives treatment options. Many home remedies and herbal treatments offer great results and you won’t have to worry about the side effects that often come with medications used to treat hives. While not every natural treatment works for everyone, the following treatments generally offer great results. You can try one or more of these natural treatments to finally enjoy relief from the itching and pain that comes with hives.
Natural Treatment #1 – Use Cool Compresses on Skin
One of the easiest hives treatment options is to use cool compresses on skin that is affected by hives. In fact, cold compresses often offer instant relief from the itching and pain associated with hives. Applying cold compresses to the skin can sooth the affected skin and helps to reduce swelling. As the skin is cooled and soothed, this helps to reduce the histamines in the body, providing relief. Cold compresses can be used every couple of hours and can be left on for 20-30 minutes, or until they lose their coolness.
If hives affect a significant amount of the body, a cool bath may be used instead of a cold compress. It’s very important to avoid taking hot showers or baths, since this could dilate your blood vessels, making the hives even worse. Some people even choose to use ice packs on the skin, but if you do use ice packs, always use a cloth around the ice pack to avoid damaging skin. Ice packs or ice should never be applied directly to bare skin.
Learn how to create a cool compress at home (video instructions)
Natural Treatment #2 – Water and Baking Soda Paste
Another excellent hives treatment to consider is a water and baking soda paste. Baking soda will help to relieve some of the itching that you are experiencing due to the hives. It also helps to relieve stinging and burning, which many people experience when hives flare up. To make your own baking soda paste, mix a bit of baking soda with a little water until you have a thick paste. Apply the paste to the skin and allow the paste to sit on skin for 15-20 minutes. Gently wash it away with cool water. You can do this as often as you need to for hives relief.
Another way to use baking soda is in your bath. If you take a cool bath, you can sprinkle baking soda into the bath water. Then, soak your body for 20-30 minutes, allowing the baking soda to relieve itching, burning and stinging.
Make your own water and baking soda paste (video instructions)
Natural Treatment #3 – Cool Oatmeal Bath
Oatmeal baths are a popular skin treatment for people who deal with skin issues that cause itching, and a cool oatmeal bath offers significant relief for people looking for a way to cure hives. The oats help to soothe skin, relieving a lot of the itchiness you’re dealing with. They should also help to reduce some of the inflammation that comes with this skin problem. To make your own oatmeal bath, start by placing some rolled oats in a food processor or blender. Then, you process until the oats turn into a very fine powder. Run a cool or tepid bath and add ½ cup of the oat powder into the bath water. Soak your entire body in the oatmeal bath for 25-30 minutes to enjoy the best results.
How to prepare a cool oatmean bath yourself (video instructions)
Natural Treatment #4 – Drink Various Herbal Teas
Many different herbal teas make great hives treatment options as well. You can buy tea leaves or herb leaves loose to make teas or you can purchase tea bags. If you’re using loose leaf herbs or tea leaves, you’ll need about a teaspoon of leaves or flowers for one cup of water. Flower or leaf herbs should be steeped for 10 minutes, while root herbs need to be stepped for 20 minutes. For the best results, you’ll want to drink 2-4 cups of herbal tea each day. The following are some of the best types of herbal tea for treating hives:
Many people find chamomile tea to be effective for treating hives. Some people find that it relaxes them, reducing problems with stress induced hives. People who take warfarin should not use chamomile tea.
Green tea is not only packed with antioxidants, but it also has antihistamine effects, which will help to fight off the histamines within the body, reducing the symptoms of hives.
Although goldenseal is well known for all the gastrointestinal benefits it offers, it also may help to reduce the symptoms of allergic reactions and may help individuals who have hives triggered by food allergies.
Licorice Root Tea
Licorice root tea boosts the immune system response, which may help you to recover from hives faster. It also helps to reduce inflammation, which often comes with hives. However, licorice root should not be used by people with edema, high blood pressure or heart conditions and those taking diuretics and blood thinners should consult with their doctor before using it.
Devil’s Claw Tea
Devil’s claw helps to reduce inflammation and may reduce the skin lesions that can occur when hive outbreaks become severe. However, individuals taking blood-thinning medications or blood pressure medications, and those with diabetes, should not use Devil’s Claw.
Natural Treatment #5 – Milk of Magnesia
If you’re dealing with a lot of itching or pain from the hives, milk of magnesia may offer an excellent hives treatment. This natural cure involves simply soaking a cotton ball in the milk of magnesia and then applying to the affected areas of skin. The alkaline properties of milk of magnesia help to reduce pain and soothe the skin. You can apply the milk of magnesia 2-3 times daily.
Natural Treatment #6 – Mint Leaves or Mint Oil
Both mint leaves and mint oil can be used as a hives treatment. You can chill mint leaves and apply them directly to the affected skin. You can also freeze mint leaves in ice cubes and then wrap the ice cubes in a cloth, applying to the skin. Mint essential oil can be chilled and use on skin to help reduce pain, inflammation and swelling.
Natural Treatment #7 – Natural Herbal Antihistamines
Instead of using over the counter or prescription antihistamines, you can use all-natural, herbal antihistamines instead if you want to cure hives. Some natural antihistamines you may want to try include:
Basil may help to reduce the level of histamines in the body and may calm the body so it stops fighting itself. To use basil, steam some basil leaves and apply the lives right to the hives.
This herb also has natural antihistamine properties and it has been used for decades in Europe to help treat various skin conditions. You can take coldsfoot as a pill or you can grind the leaves and make a paste from the leaves, applying the paste directly to skin.
Some doctors have patients take freeze-dried preparations of this herb because it is supposed to help reduce the histamines within the body, providing relief from hives.
Natural Treatment #8 – Aloe Vera Gel
Aloe Vera is well known as an herbal remedy for skin conditions and it offers an excellent natural hives treatment that provides great results. You can apply Aloe Vera gel topically to the area affected by hives. It will help to reduce inflammation, relieves itching, eliminates pain and stinging, cools the surrounding tissue and reduces redness as well. The gel also increases the rate of healing, helping your skin recover from hives even faster. You can also use the Aloe Vera gel on skin that has not yet been infected, which may help to keep the hives from spreading to those areas.
When you’re dealing with hives, you want to find a way to cure hives. While the treatments outlined in this guide offer great results, it’s always better to try to prevent hives before they occur. To learn more about hives treatment, symptoms, causes, dangers and more, simply browse through the website.