Are you suffering from hives? You don’t have to suffer any longer. In this article, you will learn about the best home remedies for treating hives quickly and safely.
Quick facts: Treating Hives At Home
Identify the Cause
Identifying the cause of your hives is the first step to treating them at home. Hives are the result of an allergic reaction, and it is important to identify the allergen that is causing the reaction. Once you identify the allergen, you can take steps to avoid it in the future and treat the hives more effectively.
Check for food allergies
If you suffer from hives that appear to be caused by food intake, then it is important to find out which foods are causing it. Common foods that cause hives include peanuts, eggs, shellfish, and wheat. The best way to identify a food allergy is to eliminate the suspected food for a period of time and monitor the reaction of your body. Make sure you track what you eat to help identify any possible triggers. If after elimination, the symptoms of hives persist and/or return once reintroduced back into your diet, then this will likely be a sign of a food allergy. An allergist can also perform tests or suggest an elimination diet if necessary.
Treatment for food allergies include:
- Avoiding the allergen as much as possible.
- Taking medications such as antihistamines for symptom relief.
Check for environmental allergens
One of the most common causes of hives is an allergic reaction. To identify the cause, check for environmental allergens in your home or at work such as dust, pollen, pet dander, or mold. If an allergen is present and you are exposed to it on a regular basis, it may be triggering your hives. You will likely need to avoid the allergen in order to reduce and even eliminate your hives.
In some cases, medications like antihistamines can be used to reduce the reaction. However, if possible it’s best to first try natural remedies like:
- Removing the allergen from your environment
- Using topical treatments such as aloe vera gel or calamine lotion
If none of these treatments provide relief from symptoms, then you should seek medical advice from a doctor.
Check for medication allergies
One of the major causes of hives is an allergy to a medication. To determine if this is the cause, you should check all medications that you are currently taking. If any of them appear to be causing an allergic reaction, you should stop taking them immediately and contact your doctor. Your doctor may prescribe another medication or recommend an alternative treatment plan.
It’s also important to note that not all allergies are the same and some can take time to develop even if the medication was taken for a long period of time. Therefore, it’s best to speak with your doctor when in doubt about a medication’s side effects or possible allergic reactions.
Reduce the Symptoms
Hives, also known as urticaria, are itchy and uncomfortable skin rashes that often appear in response to an allergen. Although hives cannot be cured, there are things that can be done to reduce the symptoms.
Here are some ideas for how to manage hives at home:
Apply a cold compress
Applying a cold compress is a great way to reduce the symptoms of hives. The coolness helps to soothe and reduce the burning, stinging sensation that often accompanies hives.
To treat hives at home with a cold compress, use a cloth soaked in cold water or wrap an ice pack in a towel and apply it directly to the skin for about 15-20 minutes at a time. You can also try taking an antihistamine or applying over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream to provide further relief from itching.
It’s important to note that if your symptoms are severe and/or not improving after trying these home remedies, you should contact your doctor as soon as possible for more advice and treatment.
Take an antihistamine
Taking an antihistamine is a simple and effective way to reduce the symptoms of hives at home. Antihistamines block the release of histamine in the body, a chemical involved in allergic reactions that can cause redness, swelling and itching. The most common types are those containing diphenhydramine (e.g. Benadryl) or loratadine (Claritin). For severe cases, prescription-strength oral or injectable medications may be needed.
When taking an antihistamine, it’s important to follow the directions provided by your doctor as well as any warning labels on the packaging. Taking too much can cause drowsiness, dry mouth and other side effects. Additionally, it’s best to avoid taking multiple antihistamines at once as this can result in a dangerous overdose so always consult your doctor first before taking more than one type of medication for hives relief.
Take a lukewarm bath
Taking a lukewarm bath is an effective way to reduce the itching and discomfort that comes with hives. Fill a warm bath and add five to 10 drops of essential oils, such as chamomile, to the water. Soak in the bathtub for 15 minutes and rinse off afterwards. Alternatively chamomile tea can be used.
To use chamomile tea:
- Boil three cups of water.
- Steep two chamomile tea bags in it for 10 minutes.
- Strain out the tea bags.
- Add the mixture to your bathwater when it’s lukewarm enough and soak for 15 minutes.
Both methods can help reduce skin itchiness caused by hives and help reduce symptoms overall. Additionally, avoid using hot water because it could make your rash worse by increasing circulation to your skin which could make symptoms worse.
Treat the Rash
One of the simplest and most effective ways to treat hives at home is to use cold compresses. Applying a cold compress to the area of the rash for 10 to 15 minutes several times a day can help reduce the swelling, itching, and discomfort associated with hives.
It is also important to take steps to reduce the itching, such as avoiding hot baths, wearing loose-fitting clothing, and avoiding scratching.
Let’s look at some more treatments you can do at home:
Use a topical corticosteroid
Topical corticosteroids are creams and ointments that work to reduce inflammation in the affected area. They can also be used to soothe the itching of hives. These topical medications are generally used for mild cases of hives.
They come in many forms including
When applying a corticosteroid cream or ointment it is important not to apply it on broken skin since this could further worsen the rash. It is also recommended that you talk to your doctor about the strength of the topical corticosteroid and use it as directed since improper use can lead to additional side effects such as thinning skin or stretch marks.
Use an oral antihistamine
An oral antihistamine is the most common treatment for hives and is often effective in reducing the symptoms. Antihistamines work by blocking histamine, a substance released by your body’s immune system that causes swelling and redness. Examples of oral antihistamines include loratadine (Claritin), fexofenadine (Allegra), and cetirizine (Zyrtec).
These medications are available over-the-counter or by prescription, depending on the strength of the medication. If you have chronic hives, your doctor may recommend a prescription medication that’s stronger than an over-the-counter version.
To help reduce the risk of side effects, take your medication with food. It’s also important to note that since there are different types of antihistamine medications, one may be more effective than another for you. If you’re unsure which type to use, talk to your doctor or pharmacist for guidance.
Use an oral corticosteroid
An oral corticosteroid, such as prednisone, is a type of medication that can help reduce the inflammation caused by hives. These types of medications are usually taken in pill form, and they start to take effect within a few days. However, they should only be taken if your doctor recommends them as they can have serious side-effects.
In between doses, antihistamines may be used to help keep hives at bay until the steroid takes full effect. It’s important to remember to tell your doctor if you experience any side-effects while taking an oral corticosteroid, such as weight gain or mood swings.
Over time and with proper care, your rash should begin to heal and fade away.
Seek Medical Attention
It is important to seek medical attention if you have hives that are very uncomfortable. Your doctor can advise you on the best way to treat them and can prescribe medication if necessary. However, there are some home remedies that you can try while you wait for your appointment.
Let’s take a look at some home treatments that could help relieve hives:
Monitor your symptoms
When you experience hives, it is important to monitor your symptoms closely. At first sign of hives, take note of their size, shape, and color. Also consider the area of your body they are appearing on and any accompanying signs such as itching or swelling.
If the hives start to spread or increase in size, difficulty breathing or swallowing occurs, or wheezing sounds are heard coming from your chest, seek prompt medical attention. These types of symptoms could indicate a severe reaction to whatever triggered the hives and should be treated by a medical professional immediately.
Taking steps to monitor your symptoms closely can help you stay ahead of any potential issues and provide peace of mind when trying to treat hives at home.
Seek medical attention if the rash persists
If the rash is severe and persists for more than 48 hours, it’s important to seek medical attention. Hives can be a sign of a more serious allergic reaction and even indicate the possibility of anaphylaxis. A doctor will be able to provide diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
If the rash appears in conjunction with other symptoms such as difficulty breathing, chest pain, or swelling around the face, it is especially important to seek medical attention right away.
In addition to medications like antihistamines or corticosteroids, a doctor may recommend additional lifestyle changes such as:
- Avoiding triggers like certain foods or environmental allergens
- Taking warm baths to reduce the occurrence of hives in the future.
Seek medical attention if the rash is severe
If hives are severe and cause itching, inflammation and swelling, it’s important to seek medical attention. Severe hives could be a sign of a serious underlying condition, such as an infection or an allergy. The earlier the medical attention is sought out, the better the chances of avoiding any serious complications.
In addition to seeking medical attention if hives are severe, it’s also important to be seen by a doctor if the rash doesn’t respond to at-home treatments. Chronic hives may require medication such as steroids or an antihistamine that can only be prescribed by a doctor. Your doctor may also recommend other treatments to manage symptoms or perform tests to try to identify the underlying cause of your hives.
FAQs about: Treating Hives At Home
Q: What are hives?
A: Hives are itchy, raised welts on the skin that can range in size and appear in different shapes. They are usually caused by an allergic reaction to a medication or food.
Q: What are some home remedies for hives?
A: Some home remedies for hives include taking an antihistamine such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl), applying a cold compress, taking a warm bath, and avoiding triggers such as certain foods and medications.
Q: When should I see a doctor for hives?
A: If hives last longer than 6 weeks, or if you experience any difficulty breathing, swelling of the face or throat, or other severe symptoms, you should see a doctor as soon as possible.