Dealing With Hives? Try These Remedies
Hives can be extremely uncomfortable and often interrupt daily routines. Hives (i.e., urticaria) are itchy welts on the skin that usually itch. Hives can an appear on any area of the skin. The welts often vary in shape and size and can connect to make bigger welts. Hives are usually present for up to 24 hours, but new welts may begin to appear after the old ones are gone. Hives typically last for approximately three days to six weeks. Hives lasting less than six weeks are diagnosed as acute hives. If hives are present for more than six weeks, they are diagnosed as chronic hives. Keep in mind that hives can range from mild to severe and sometimes require immediate medical attention. Hives can be the result of several underlying causes.
What Causes Hives?
Hives that are acute typically result from exposure to an allergen. Hives typically occur very quickly after an exposure to an allergen. Allergens that can cause hives include:
- Insect stings or bites
- Foods (e.g., eggs, milk, tree nuts, shellfish, and peanuts)
- Allergy shots
Other environmental causes that may produce hives include:
- Certain illnesses (e.g., lupus, thyroid disease, and vasculitis)
- Exposure to elements (e.g., heat, cold, sun, or water)
- Pressure on the surface of the skin, which may be caused from sitting or lying down for an extended period of time
- Scratching of the skin
- Coming into contact with chemical substances
Medical Treatment Options
Dermatologists are highly skilled in treating hives. They will make a diagnosis after assessing the skin. The dermatologist will then do an extensive review of health history, conduct a physical exam, as well as ask questions. The dermatologist may then order an allergy test, a skin biopsy, and blood work. Blood work is typically ordered in cases like these to rule out any illness or infection that may be present. After receiving a diagnosis, the dermatologist will prescribe an antihistamine to relieve itching and swelling. They may also prescribe a corticosteroid that may help prevent swelling. Corticosteroids are prescribed for only short-term use. Another medication that may be prescribed is omalizumab. This is a medication that is injected and typically used to treat and prevent the occurrence chronic hives.
Natural Hives Remedies
There are several methods that can be done to treat hives naturally at home. Applying a cold compress to the welts may help reduce inflammation and reduce the level of itchiness. Another remedy is to take a warm bath with either oatmeal or baking soda added. Taking a bath with these natural ingredients may help reduce swelling as well as provide temporary relief from itching. Applying aloe vera to the welt may reduce itching and reduce swelling and redness of the welts. Finally, avoiding any allergens or irritants that may increase the itchiness and swelling of the welts is advised. Irritants can include the sun, soaps with fragrance, moisturizers with fragrance, and perfumes.
No information on this website should be used to start the use of dietary supplements and vitamins, natural and herbal products, homeopathic medicine and other mentioned products prior to a consultation with a physician or certified healthcare provider.