Hives are a very common issue which tends to affect women more often than men. This is a type of skin rash that can cause a wide degree of skin problems. You may notice itchy or scratchy skin, raised portions of skin or redness in the affected area. This is caused when your skin reacts to an allergen in the environment. When the body comes in contact with something it is allergic to it will release histamines in the mast cells which will move into the blood stream to fight off these invaders. This will cause the blood vessels to leak fluid which will raise portions of the skin. Hives can appear in a variety of shapes and sizes. They can also travel from one part of the body to another in a few hours. Understanding how hives work can help you narrow down the best way to treat them.
Hives Treatment: Take Medications
- Antihistamines: Antihistamines such as hydroxyzine hydrochloride, cimetidine and diphenhydramine can be prescribed by your doctor to ward off allergic reactions. These will help to stabilize the immune system so your hives will disappear.
- Adrenal Cortical Steroid: These steroids are typically prescribed to help manage severe or chronic hives. They will help speed the healing process so you can return your skin to normal in a timelier manner.
- Epinephrine: Those that tend to deal with hives on a recurring basis often do so because they have received improper treatment for their condition initially. When this happens your doctor can provide you with an injection of epinephrine to help cure your hives.
Hives Treatment: Avoid Allergens
- Foods: People with food allergies often note that hives are a common symptom when they have an attack. Strawberries are particularly known for causing this type of reaction. Nuts, fish, tomatoes, chocolate, milk and berries are also known for causing people to break out in hives if they are allergic. Hives caused by food allergies will typically appear within 30 minutes of eating the substance causing the trouble.
- Food Additives: Some flavoring agents, food coloring, preservatives, stabilizers or emulsifiers can cause people to have an allergic reaction. Read food labels carefully and look for ingredients like sulfites, salicylates or polysorbate that could be causing your discomfort.
- Medications: Some people are allergic to certain types of medication. Aspirin and penicillin will commonly cause allergic reactions that cause people to break out in hives. Antibiotics can also cause these reactions to occur.
- Heat and Cold: Some people get what is known as "prickly heat," where their skin breaks out in hives if they spend too much time out in a warm temperature. Similarly, some people break out in hives if they come in contact with items or environments that are too cold. Typically, the skin returns to normal when the person moves to an area with a more agreeable temperature.
- Insect Bites and Stings: Many insects spread venom when the bit that can cause an allergic reaction. Some people have a body-wide reaction to this venom that can be quite dangerous.
Hives Treatment: Try Natrual Remedies
- Drink Herbal Tea: Herbal teas such as chamomile or peppermint can act as a sedative, calming frazzled nerves that can be contributing to your hives. This can also help soothe the itching so your hives are less uncomfortable.
- Take Vitamin C: Increasing your intake of vitamin C can help your body reduce the amount of histamine it produces which will in turn reduce your risk of breaking out in hives.
- Use Milk of Magnesia or Vitamin E Oil: Apply milk of magnesia over your hives with a cotton ball three times a day. This has soothing properties that can be helpful in repairing the skin. Vitamin E oil will typically have similar results.
- Work with Essential Oils: Sandalwood oil can be applied to your hives every few hours to improve healing time. Mint oil can also help calm the swelling and pain associated with hives.
- Apply Aloe Vera Gel or Homemade Pastes: Aloe Vera gel is commonly known for soothing the skin. You can also make a paste of cornstarch and oatmeal that will help sooth your skin. Leave these substances on your hives for 30 minutes, and then gently wash them away.
- Mix Grapefruit Seed Extract with Water: Mix a few drops of the grapefruit seed oil into a cup of water and apply it to your rash to help improve recovery time.
- Swim in Chlorinated Water: While chlorine can be harsh on the skin, they can help to dry out or rid your body of things that can be causing you to break out in hives. Hives are not usually contagious so there should be no health issues associated with using a public pool for this remedy.
- Use Calamine Lotion: Calamine lotion can help reduce itching and erosion commonly caused by hives. This will not cure your hives but it can rid you of your symptoms so you can get relief.
Other Hives Treatments
- Infections: Yeast, bacterial or viral components can also cause hives to appear. In some cases a person may break out in hives if they are running a fever.
- Everyday Items: If something is putting too much pressure on your skin it can cause you to break out in hives. Bed sheets, towels, armbands, furniture or tight clothing are all common offenders.
- Stress: In some cases people will break out in hives when their stress levels are excessively high.
- Diseases: Thyroid disease, lupus, hepatitis and some cancers will cause a person to break out in hives making it vital that you check into these symptoms if they constantly occur.
- Get a Cold Compress: Applying a cold compress to an area suffering from hives can help relieve the itching and pain. Cooling down your skin will help reduce the histamine content in your bloodstream, helping your hives to fade. Avoid any warm things like showers or direct sunlight that can dilate the blood vessels as this can make your condition worse.