Urticaria, commonly known as hives, is the itchy bumps that appear on your skin.
Its size can be very tiny to several inches wide. Multiple hives can even appear to be connected to form very spacious bumps on the skin.
Usually, these bumps are red or pink in color.
Individual hives can last for a few hours to a week. In chronic cases of Urticaria (UC), when the old hives disappear new ones appear again in the same area of the skin.
Warning: While starting any new treatment or diet, seek advice from your physician or any other qualified health provider.
Allergic reactions are the most common reason for Urticaria. It can be also caused by insect bites, colds, stress, medications, food chemicals, and many more.
The allergies that give rise to the hives are triggered by foods, environmental factors, or cosmetics. The patient should be aware of the allergenic factors and avoid them to prevent the occurrence of hives.
Overstressed persons are highly prone to get Urticaria on the skin.
Another major cause of this skin disease is bacterial and fungal infections that affect the skin.
Prominent symptoms of hives include:
- Hives spread or join together to form a large mass of reddish bumps;
- The bumps are usually red or pink with visibly raised edges;
- Regularly changes the appearance of the infected area;
- Recurrence of new bumps in the place of old ones is common.
Simple Way To Rid Of Hives
If you are wondering how to get rid of hives fast, the solution is insanely simple and practical.
It is easy to remove and cure hives within a day or two by applying natural remedies at home. You need to consult a doctor to treat this skin ailment only if you are suffering from chronic Urticaria.
Let us now look at some of the best-known DIY solutions that are effective in curing and preventing Urticaria.
1. Cool Compress
You can soothe and comfort the irritated skin by doing a cool compress on the affected areas.
This is beneficial for stopping itching and reducing the bumps. You can wet a washcloth in ice-cold water and lay it over your skin.
Alternatively, you can also use the ice pack (do not place ice directly on the skin). If you do not have the formal ice pack, you can bundle the ice cubes in a towel and use it for compressing.
You can do the ice compress on the affected areas 2-3 times a day.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is an effective natural remedy widely used for treating various skin diseases.
ACV contains acetic acid and beneficial bacteria that can help in getting rid of skin infections.
For curing the hives, you can mix an ounce of ACV in 2 ounces of thick cornstarch to make a thick paste. Apply this paste to the affected area of the skin.
Let the applied paste remain on the affected area for an hour before you rinse it off with cold water.
3. Red Alder Bark
Red Alder bark is a traditional remedy used for curing Urticaria.
Make a herbal tea by brewing the alder bark and drinking it thrice a day.
You can also grind the bark into paste form and apply it directly to the affected areas of the skin.
The bark you use for making the tea must be clean and brew in boiling water for 10 minutes.
4. Raw Oatmeal
The first step to achieving faster healing of Urticaria is to stop itching and picking the affected area.
Raw oatmeal treatment for hives helps in reducing itching and irritation.
Grind the uncooked oatmeal into powder; take half a bowl of oatmeal powder and add one tablespoon baking soda to it.
Blend the mixture and make it into a thick paste by adding the required amount of water. Apply this paste on the affected areas of the skin and rinse off the paste after 2o minutes.
For fast relief from hives, you can repeat this treatment twice or thrice a day.
5. Vitamin C
Allergic reactions can result in the release of histamine that triggers the symptoms of hives.
Vitamin C can reduce the release of histamine by the white blood cells and increase its detoxification.
Research shows that 1,000mg of vitamin C reduces blood histamine by approximately 20 percent, and 2,000mg reduces histamine by over 30 percent.
You can consume 1000mg Vitamin C supplement daily; this will help in reducing the recurrence of hives, especially those caused by allergic reactions.
6. Stinging Nettle
Many of the natural remedies used for various skin diseases usually have the Stinging Nettle as a major ingredient in them.
Actually, the hair-like projections from stinging nettle leaves usually create a stinging effect on the skin that causes red rashes on the skin similar to the hives.
However, the leaf and root extracts of stinging nettle are an effective remedy for treating hives when they are consumed internally.
Take 3 doses of stinging nettle root extract daily for two weeks to get rid of hives. You can get the nettle root extract supplements from any Pharmaceutical store or purchase them from online vendors.
You can also daily drink 2 cups of stinging nettle leaf extract tea for getting fast relief from UC.
5. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera gel is well known for several benefits it has in fighting various skin disorders and infections.
Applying Aloe Vera gel to the UC-affected areas instantly soothes and removes the itching and irritation.
Aloe vera gel also prevents possible inflammation from UC. It helps moisturize the skin that becomes dry from bumps caused by hives.
You can slice the fresh Aloe Vera leaves and rub them gently over the affected areas of the skin. For fast relief from UC apply the treatment 3-5 times a day.
6. Essential Oils Bath Soak
Essential oils contain anti-inflammatory, anti-itch, and soothing properties that can give instant relief from irritation and itches caused by UC.
The essential oils that work best in managing UC are Peppermint, Lavender, Myrrh, Tea Tree, Lemon, German Chamomile, and Helichrysum.
Fill your bathtub with cold water and add 10-15 drops of essential oil blend to it; the most effective ones are Tea Tree Oil, Lavender, and Peppermint oils.
Soak your body, especially the UC-affected parts, in cold water treated with essential oils for 15 minutes. Repeat this treatment once a day to get quick relief from itching and irritation from hives.
8. Green Tea
Green tea contains catechins (a type of natural phenol) and antioxidants that help soothe and remove the symptoms of Urticaria.
You can choose fresh leaves or dried green tea leaves for brewing the tea.
Consume 3-4 cups of brewed green tea daily to prevent and heal UC.
9. Licorice Root Tea
Researchers have identified several healing substances in licorice, including compounds called flavonoids and various plant estrogens (phytoestrogens).
Licorice root contains many anti-depressant compounds. Possibly by its action on the adrenal glands, licorice has the ability to improve resistance to stress; effective for preventing Urticaria caused by stress.
Licorice tea has effective anti-inflammatory properties that work well for containing the inflammation caused by UC.
It is effective for getting rid of allergic reactions that give rise to hives.
However, Licorice Root tea is not recommended for diabetes patients as this herb is very high in sugar.
You can make licorice tea by boiling the roots. To a pot, add 0.5 oz (=one tablespoon) licorice root for every one cup of water.
It is good to add 5 grams of cinnamon and ginger root to the licorice tea for added health benefits.
Drink one cup of licorice tea twice a day.
10. Witch Hazel
Witch hazel is an astringent anti-inflammatory compound, produced from the leaves and bark of the North American Witch-hazel shrub.
The astringent properties in this shrub shrink the blood vessels beneath the skin. This helps restrict the body from releasing histamine that may cause hives on the skin. The irritation and burning associated with hives can be reduced by using witch hazel.
Apply the witch hazel to the affected area of the skin; after 15 minutes you can rinse off the application.
For better results, you can use a mixture of Aloe Vera gel and witch hazel.
Regular Solutions For Hives
Most people prefer to use prescription medicines for getting relief from hives. Many are unaware of the natural remedies for Urticaria or do not have the convenience to execute them.
If you have a severe Urticaria problem, then you should certainly consult a doctor. Let us look at some of the medical options and emergency treatments you can try for getting rid of hives fast:
1. Get Emergency Services
In severe cases of Urticaria, some find difficulty in breathing. The patient experiences a feeling of throat getting closed and forceful efforts are required to inhale and exhale. In such cases, the patient needs to be given emergency medical care and call an ambulance immediately.
Usually, the doctor administers an epinephrine injection that quickly reduces the swelling in the throat caused by hives.
2. Antihistamine For Hives
Antihistamine is the most popularly used prescription medicine for treating Urticaria. This medicine is effective at reducing itching and swelling.
You can find the antihistamines in different brand names like Cetirizine, Fexofenadine, and Loratadine. The most commonly used over-the-counter antihistamine pill is the Diphenhydramine (Benadryl).
A person who takes the antihistamine pills usually feels sleepy; it is better to avoid driving or other works that require intense concentration after taking this pill.
This medicine will not work to its fullest potential if the patient takes alcoholic drinks or do smoking during the treatment period.
It is also not recommended for pregnant women and patients under complicated health conditions.
3. Corticosteroids For Hives
Corticosteroid is an alternative medicine to antihistamines, especially when the latter has failed to produce satisfactory results.
This medicine works by reducing the immune response of the patient. This treatment involves a 3 to 5 days regimen of Prednisolone.
Please note that patients with health issues such as glaucoma, diabetes, cataracts, or high blood pressure should not take this medicine without the approval of the physician.
Prolonged consumption of Corticosteroids may cause side effects like weight gain, insomnia, and mood alteration.
4. Cyclosporine For Urticaria
“Cyclosporine is effective and capable of inducing remission in chronic urticaria in both observational and randomized controlled trials.”
This medication suppresses the immune system which reacts to the histamine to cause hives.
Regular intake of this medicine may cause side effects like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, headaches, kidney problems, and vulnerability to infections. It is best to limit the use of this medicine to a short-term period.
5. Alternatives To Antihistamines
Here are some of the commonly prescribed medicines instead of antihistamine medication.
- Menthol cream is an aqueous cream that is useful to cool the skin and help to relieve the itch.
- H2 antihistamines like antihistamines help in narrowing the blood vessels and reduce swelling and redness. It is not recommended for a prolonged period of use as it may cause side effects like diarrhea, headaches, and dizziness.
- Leukotriene is usually prescribed instead of corticosteroids as it has fewer side effects. The side effects include headaches and nausea.
Some of the severe forms of hives respond to narrowband ultraviolet B phototherapy.
It is usually done by exposing the hives-affected area of the skin to narrowband ultraviolet B phototherapy for a few minutes.
This treatment requires several sessions of phototherapy for one or two months, the disease is effectively healed.
Phototherapy therapy treatment if repeated for too many sessions, may cause sunburn and increase the risk of getting skin cancer.
However, laser therapy used for hair or scar removal can make hives severe or cause fresh hives in some people.
Tips For Preventing Hives
You can prevent the occurrences of Urticaria by making necessary changes in your lifestyle habits and adopting other preventive measures.
1. If you have hives caused by allergies, try to avoid the conditions, substances, and insects that trigger the allergy. Some of the common allergenic agents that can produce rashes on the skin are pollen, mites, animal dander, latex, perfumes, cosmetics, sanitation products, etc.
2. You have to protect your skin against the stings and bites of insects; the chemicals that insects leave on the skin after biting can produce allergic reactions on the skin causing hives. You can minimize the stings from bees and wasps by applying insect repellents to the skin.
3. Shield your skin from extreme temperature fluctuations caused by harsh environmental factors such as heat, cold, sunlight, and pressure on the skin.
4. Wear loose and soft clothing to keep your skin cool and dry. Avoid tight clothes that prevent the skin from breathing and hold sweat against your skin. Do not wear scratchy fabrics like wool and velvet dresses.
5. Reduce stress and tension through techniques like meditation, deep breathing, visualizing calming images, regularly engaging in exercises and leisure activities.
6. Identify the particular diets that may be causing the Urticaria in you. Maintain a food diary to track the foods that consume each day, especially be mindful of the particular changes you have made from the usual food habits. Usually, foods with certain chemicals such as vasoactive amines, salicylates, caffeine, and alcohol are more likely to trigger hives.
7. Be watchful of the reactions caused by some medications that you may be having. If you think that a particular medication is giving you hives, you should discuss the matter with your physician. Some of the common medicines that may cause Urticaria are penicillin, aspirin, naproxen, ibuprofen, and blood pressure medicines.
8. Do a medical examination to determine whether your hives could be a symptom of another underlying health condition. Some of the health issues like intestinal parasites, bacterial infections, viral infections, lupus, thyroid, Lymphoma, genetic disorders, and blood transfusions can cause hives.