Test Hives, or in other words urticaria, is a common condition of our skin. It usually appears quite suddenly and usually as a result of an allergic reaction and may be described as a red, itchy rash, which is additionally swollen or bumpy.
Find out what the causes of hives are and learn the methods which you can use at home to get rid of the problem fast and with no side effects.
What Are The Causes of Hives
The main cause of hives is an allergic reaction to something you ate or touched. If you are allergic to some substance, your body starts to release a chemical compound known as histamine, which is responsible for such annoying symptoms as itching, redness, swelling, and others.
The most common food allergens are nuts, eggs, milk, fresh fruit, or various chemicals which are added to food. Hives, however, may also occur because of a contact dermatitis, which may be caused due to the encounter with various chemicals, latex, or pollen.
Certain medicines, insect bites, exposure to the sun, or even alcohol, may be the causes of hives. Thus, once it happens, you need to look into your diet and routines thoroughly to identify the culprit of your problem quickly.
Another common cause of hives, which might be surprising, is too much stress. You may not even notice or realize how stressful your life is. Thus, if you suspect that you may suffer from the stress hives, you need to find some time to relax.
Last but not least, you may also experience hives during the infection. The bacteria or virus which is in your organism, may simply lead to an itchy rash, which for you is a signal from your organism that something wrong is going on.
What Are The Types of Hives
It has already been mentioned that hives is a kind of a red and itchy rash, which can also be swollen or bumpy. It can actually develop on any area of your skin. You probably wonder if you can eliminate the problem of hives quickly. Apparently, it depends on the type of urticaria you’ve been suffering from.
The most common type is acute hives, which appears as a result of an allergic reaction to food, medicines, chemicals, fur of animals, and others. This type of hives will usually disappear once you identify its reason and remove it. That means that you can eliminate the rash even in a few hours or days. However, it’s believed that acute hives lasts for less than six weeks.
However, there is also another type of urticaria, which is known as chronic hives. It is much more difficult to cure as its cause has not been clearly identified. There are some studies which refer this type of hives to autoimmune conditions, proteins, or allergy cells. Chronic hives usually lasts for more than six weeks.
Top 10 Home Remedies to Get Rid of Hives Fast
If you notice hives on your skin, the first thing you should do is of course find the culprit of it. However, as it’s not always simple, in the meantime, you may try some natural, home solutions to hives, which will soothe your skin and help you get rid of the problem quicker.
1. Cool Compress
That’s probably the easiest and the cheapest solution, which will bring you immediate relief. Cold compress will soothe your skin at once, it will also stop you from scratching.
You can prepare the compress by soaking a clean and soft cloth in cold water and apply it on the itchy area of your skin. Leave it on the skin until the cloth feels warm and then repeat the whole process. Keep doing it until you feel some relief.
You may also use an ice pack. Just wrap a few ice cubes into a soft cloth or towel and apply it on your skin. If you don’t have ice, you may use a pack of some frozen vegetables. It’s important, though, not to put ice or frozen things directly on your skin as it may additionally irritate it. Also, don’t keep an ice pack for longer than ten minutes, but you can repeat it a few times a day.
2. Baking Soda
Baking soda has wonderful anti-inflammatory qualities, which make it a wonderful remedy to hives. It will reduce the redness, itching, inflammation and your skin will feel clean and soothed.
You can use baking soda in two ways – you can either add it to your bath or prepare a paste with baking soda. Fill a bathtub with warm, but not too hot, water and add to it about one-half glass of baking soda. Mix it and stay in the bath for about twenty minutes.
You can also prepare a remedial paste with baking soda. Simply mix around two tablespoons of soda with a small amount of water. The mixture should have the consistency of a thick paste. Apply the solution on the skin area affected with hives and wash it off with cool water after ten minutes.
Use this method once a day and you should quickly notice that your hives is less itchy and red. Be careful with baking soda, though, if your skin is sensitive as it may additionally irritate it.
Oatmeal is a good remedy to hives due to its fantastic soothing and anti-inflammatory qualities. It will bring you immediate relief from itching and redness that hives causes. Oatmeal will also speed up the process of skin healing.
To benefit from wonderful qualities of oatmeal you can prepare remedial bath. Mix two glasses of ground oatmeal with one glass of baking soda. Put it into a stocking or a cheesecloth, and tie it up. Hang it on your bath tap, under the running water as you’re filling the bath up.
Take a bath in this solution, but make sure that the water is not too hot or too cold as it can only additionally irritate your skin. Stay in the water for about twenty minutes.
You can also prepare a beneficial paste. Just mix two glasses of water with two tablespoons of cornstarch, and a small amount of water so that the ingredients will form a thick paste. Place the mixture on the skin area affected with hives. After around twenty minutes wash it off with warm water.
Use one of these methods once a day and your hives will go away quicker and its course won’t be so annoying.
4. Aloe Vera Gel
Fresh Aloe vera gel is a well known remedy to various skin disorders. It fantastically soothes and moisturizes irritated skin and because of these qualities aloe vera gel is also an effective solution to hives and other itchy rashes.
However, if you haven’t used aloe vera gel on skin before, do a skin patch which means that you should use only a very small amount of it and wait twenty four hours to check if you aren’t allergic to the substance.
You can use aloe vera gel topically by applying it on your skin. To obtain the gel you need to cut a leaf and pick the liquid. You can gently massage the gel into your skin or you can wash it off after fifteen minutes. You can repeat the process even a few times a day if your hives is particularly bothersome.
Aloe vera gel can be used internally too. Just consume two tablespoons of aloe vera gel every day. It will not only help you to eliminate your hives, but it will also boost your immune system. Thus, it can be a wonderful energizing treatment.
Despite its wonderful qualities, aloe vera gel is a strong substance and because of that it shouldn’t be used by pregnant women and children.
5. Apple Cider Vinegar
This common kitchen ingredient is actually a natural antihistamine substance too. Therefore, it will help you if your skin is inflamed or swollen due to hives. Apple cider vinegar can also boost your immune system.
There are various ways in which you can use apple cider vinegar to skin. The easiest and at the same time the most relaxing way is by adding two glasses of apple cider vinegar into a bathtub filled with water. Stay in the water for about fifteen minutes.
If you don’t like or don’t have time to take long baths, dilute some apple cider vinegar with the same amount of water. Now, simply wash the skin area affected with hives with the mixture.
You may also use apple cider vinegar internally. Just add two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to one glass of water. To make it tastier, add some honey and fresh lemon juice too. Drink it twice every day.
Apple cider vinegar will speed up the healing process of hives and will make its symptoms less annoying.
For sure, you’ve used mint to refresh your breathe as it gives a pleasant, cooling sensation. It can have a similar effect when applied on skin. The most annoying symptoms of hives include irritation and itching. As mint has great anti-inflammatory properties and it’s a natural antioxidant it can quickly alleviate the unpleasant sensations caused by your hives.
Mint can be used either externally or internally. In the former method you need to boil some mint first. It will be enough to boil two teaspoons of fresh mint leaves in a glass of water for around five minutes. Cool the liquid down and use it to rinse the skin areas affected with hives. You can store the solution in the fridge and use it even a few times a day.
If you prefer to use mint internally, you can simply drink mint tea on a daily basis. Prepare a teaspoon of fresh leaves of the herb, add a teaspoon of sugar and boil the mixture for a few minutes. Once it cools down, sip it throughout the day.
7. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is good for you not only when you’ve got a cold or flu, but it’s also an effective remedy to hives or other rashes, which cause inflammation and discomfort. The reason for that is the fact that vitamin C has antihistamine properties.
To intensify the effect, prepare one tablet of vitamin C and one tablet of zinc. Crush the tablets, add just a drop of water to obtain the consistency of a thick paste. Apply the mixture on the skin area affected with hives and wash it off after ten minutes.
If you have these compounds in drops, mix a few drops each and massage the solution into your hives. Wait a moment until your skin absorbs it. You can repeat it in the morning and in the evening. Your hives won’t cause so much discomfort and it will go away quicker.
8. Green Tea
Green tea can actually help you get rid of hives faster, alleviate its annoying symptoms, and prevent it in the future. The most powerful compound of green tea is known as catechin. It has a positive effect on your organism overall. It’s important, though, to drink green tea every day and not only occasionally.
When you prepare the tea, brew it for about ten minutes. You can choose either fresh or dried green tea. As it has quite a bitter taste, you may add a little bit of honey to it. Drink the tea about two or three times every day and you will soon eliminate hives.
Nettle is not only a common type of weed as some people think. It’s actually a very powerful herbal remedy, which is packed with various vitamins and minerals. It’s widely used it creams or herbal medicines, and it’s also a well-known solution to hives.
Of course, you don’t have to collect the nettle on your own as you will get nettle tea in a herbal shop. Once you make your nettle tea, use it both internally and externally, which means that you should drink it when it’s warm and rinse your skin with it when it cools down.
You can use nettle tea every day and you will see that not only your hives reduced, but that your hair, skin, and nails look better too.
10. Over-The-Counter Remedies
If natural methods don’t seem to help you and the hives doesn’t want to go away, you may also try over-the-counter solutions. They are mainly antihistamine substances, which reduce the symptoms of hives very quickly.
The most common antihistamines which you take orally include diphenhydramine, cetirizine, loratadine, and fexofenadine. They quickly reduce the inflammation, swelling, itching, and the feeling of discomfort caused by hives.
Unfortunately, over-the-counter remedies, unlike natural methods, may cause unpleasant side effects, such as stomach irritation, weakness, sleeping difficulties, problems with blood pressure, and many others. Thus, it’s always better to ask your doctor about them and always use the recommended dosage only.
Other Ways to Get Rid of Hives Fast
Apart from the methods described in the previous section there are also some other methods which you should try in order to get rid of hives fast.
The most important tip is trying to find the trigger of your hives. It’s crucial especially if you frequently suffer from hives, it keeps coming back, and you have no idea what causes it. Keeping a food diary is probably the best way to identify the culprit of your problem. Just note down in it everything you consume every day. After a few weeks you may notice which food product is responsible for your allergy.
The food products which cause various allergic reactions are usually nuts, fish, fresh fruit, especially strawberries and citrus fruit, chocolate, milk, caffeine, and alcohol. Sometimes, however, there is something in the environment that may cause hives. The most common triggers include dust, animal fur, pollen, and chemicals present in food we consume or cosmetics we apply on our skin.
Another factor you need to remember about in case of hives is wearing loose clothes, which are made of soft, preferably organic cotton. Thanks to this your skin will be cool and dry. It’s important as hives often appears due to excessive sweating.
Thus, avoid fabrics which have scratchy texture, such as polyester and wool. If you want to wear them, at least don’t put them directly on your skin as it will sweat and overheat easily. That, on the other hand, may quickly lead to skin irritation and in consequence to hives. Similarly, avoid very hot and long showers or baths too.
Last but not least, you need to be aware that the most common cause of hives, after allergies, is stress. If you suffer from hives when you are under a big pressure or there have been some stressful events in your life recently, you need to learn some techniques which will help you reduce the negative effects of stress.
One of the easiest and most popular techniques is meditation. You can do it everywhere as it’s a myth that you can only meditate sitting in a lotus position. You can actually do it sitting, lying, or even standing providing that you are in some quiet place where your can clear and relax your mind.
Simply close your eyes and breathe deeply and slowly, focusing only on that activity. If you keep coming back with your thoughts to your daily life, try to repeat some word, known as mantra, which will help you stay concentrated on your breathing only.
Meditate any time you feel that you’re about to explode or when you feel that everything overwhelms you. Don’t give up after the first sessions as in the beginning it’s usually hard to sit still even for a few minutes. If you are persistent, you will see that after a few attempts you will be able to switch off your mind for even an hour.
Another relaxing technique, which you’ve probably heard of, is regular exercising. Find a sporting activity which is fun for you and do it a few times a week. It’s recommended to mix stretching exercises with cardio, and weightlifting workouts.
If you combine the above described solutions, not only will you eliminate your hives, but the overall condition of your mind and body will improve.
When to See a Doctor
Your hives should be examined by your doctor if it lasts for more than a few weeks and when nothing seems to work on it. The specialist will examine you thoroughly and then offer you the possible treatments.
For sure he will recommend you some prescribed antihistamines, which are stronger than over-the-counter products. He may also suggest you using creams known as corticosteroids, which are mainly used when any antihistamines help. Unfortunately, they often cause some unpleasant side effects such as insomnia, weight problems, or nervousness. Thus, they should be used as short as possible.
A recent solution to hives is also a light therapy, during which you are exposed to ultraviolet light. For a positive effect you will probably need a few sessions of it. The greatest disadvantage of this way, however, is that it increases the risk of developing skin cancer.
If apart from hives, you get such worrying symptoms as breathing difficulties or the feeling of swelling in your throat, call emergency service at once. That may suggest that your hives is actually a strong allergic reaction which may even lead to death if you don’t respond to it immediately.
Probably you will be given an injection with epinephrine, which is a type of adrenaline used to fight strong allergic reactions. It will quickly eliminate the inflammation and swelling.
There are various solutions which can effectively help you get rid of hives fast. The most important is to find the culprit of your problem and eliminate it as quickly as possible. Before you turn to conventional treatment, always try natural methods first as they are often equally successful, but they don’t cause any unpleasant side effects. If you are unsure of any of them, consult your doctor before you try it.