Hives also called as urticaria is a kind of skin rash notable for pale red, raised, itchy bumps, each one characteristically lasts no longer than six to 12 hours. Hives are common, affecting between 10 and 20 percent of people at some point in their lives, and typically is not associated with long-term or serious complications. Although the cause of hives is not always known, they are often a response to the body releasing histamines, which it does when we have an allergic reaction to food, medicine or other allergens. Less common causes of hives include friction, pressure, temperature extremes, exercise, and sunlight. Many people use over-the-counter antihistamines when they have a bout of hives, but they often cause drowsiness. However, you can always explore your kitchen and garden for some simple natural remedies to get relief from the symptoms.
Here are the top 9 home remedies for hives.
1. Baking Soda
Baking Soda is an age old home remedy to treat hives. Its anti-inflammatory properties help reduce inflammation as well as itching. Make a thick paste out of baking soda and water. Spread on infected area. Alternatively, add one-half to one cup of baking soda to a bathtub filled with warm water. Mix it in well and then soak in this water for 20 to 30 minutes. Cornstarch can also be added to the water for more effective results.
2. Cold Compress
Most skin allergy specialists suggest cold compresses as the best topical natural remedy for hives. Cold shrinks the blood vessels and keeps them from swelling. It also controls the allergic reaction by slowing the body’s release of histamine. Dampen a paper towel with cold water or wrap some ice cubes in a cloth, lay it on your affected skin for 15 minutes at a time, three or four times a day. Note: Never put ice directly on the skin.
3. Aloe vera gel
Aloe vera gel is one of the most commonly used home remedies for hives. Aloe vera is such a magical plant. It not only reduces the inflammation caused by hives but also provides a protective coating on the surface of the skin. Simple apply fresh aloe vera gel to the affected skin. Leave it on for 15 minutes and then rinse it off with lukewarm water. Pure aloe vera gel can be applied on the skin welts safely without causing any unpleasant side effects.
Tea made from stinging nettles should be consumed at least twice a day and is a very effective natural treatment for hives. Being a natural antihistamine and having anti-inflammatory and astringent properties, it relieves swelling, inflammation and itching. In case it is not possible to drink raw nettle tea, you can add honey or lemon to enhance the taste. Nettle is also available in capsule form. Consult a doctor before taking nettle capsules.
5. Oatmeal Bath
Oatmeal bath can also provide relief from the itching and pain resulting from hives. Its anti-irritating, anti-inflammatory and soothing properties help provide relief from itching and helps your skin heal quickly. Take a cup of raw and uncooked oatmeal and put in a bucket of water. Stir it well and soak in this water for at least 15 minutes. Enjoy this soothing bath twice daily until your condition improves. Take care not to use hot water for a shower or bath, however, because this can exacerbate the symptoms.
6. Use ginger
Known as a “wonder drug”, ginger can be used to treat hives due to its strong anti-inflammatory and antihistamine properties. Ginger could be taken in a myriad of ways: integrated into meals, taken in tablet-form, or utilized in steam treatments. To experience the most benefits of ginger, peel the skin off a small piece of fresh ginger root and gently dab the ginger onto the inflamed skin. You can chill the ginger root in the refrigerator first for an added cooling effect. Additionally, you can also take ginger paste diluted in a cup of water orally, add three-fourth cup of vinegar and one-fourth cup of brown sugar to enhance the taste.
7. Vitamin C
Increase the amount of vitamin C in your diet. High doses of vitamin C have been found to lower histamine levels. This may ward off an attack of the hives. Vitamin C rich foods include oranges and other citrus fruits, strawberries, raspberries, cantaloupe, tomatoes, red peppers and green leafy vegetables. In addition, you can take vitamin C supplements, least 2,000 mg a day is necessary to alter histamine levels. The positive effects of vitamin C on allergies may be more pronounced when vitamin C is consumed together with vitamin E because these two vitamins work synergistically and protect each other.
8. Olive Oil and Grape seed Oil Blend
Olive oil is very rich in vitamins, minerals and natural fatty acids. It’s also convenient for a sensitive skin. Grape seed extract has been shown to penetrate all tissues, especially the skin. It is a natural Cox-2 anti-inflammatory. Take three tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a clean glass bowl. To the virgin olive oil, add three to four drops of organic grape seed oil. Applying this mixture on the affected area is a simple home remedy to get rid of hives.
9. Green Tea
Though human research is lacking, green tea is still used as a home remedy for treating hives around the world. The green tea can help soothe your skin and get rid of the hives because it has an antihistamine (the active ingredient in some allergy medications) effect on the skin when you drink it. You can also apply freshly brewed green tea directly on the skin welts.
Avoid hot baths and showers during an outbreak, which could cause further itching and irritation to the sensitive tissue.
Avoid exposure to wind, sleeping in the daytime, sunbathing, and excessive indulgence in sex.
There are times when hives can be more serious. If your symptoms remain for more than one week or you have complications like difficulty breathing, seek medical attention immediately.