The medical condition known as hives or urticaria is characterized by the development of rashes in a person’s body. Hives are usually thought of as an allergic reaction but they may also be the result certain other factors such as infection, temperatures that are cold, sunlight, insect stings or bites, certain medications, and stressful situations. It is crucial that individuals be able to identify what initiated the rash or the person’s hives. Once identified, the individual will usually be advised to simply avoid the factor that triggered the hives in the first place. This will ideally prevent the possibility of the formation of other hives or rashes.
Hives or urticaria usually do not require any form of treatment from an individual’s healthcare partner and will usually resolve on their own within the day or 24 hours. However, patients are advised to seek further medical attention if they experience other symptoms together with the appearance of rashes. These other symptoms include breathing difficulties, swelling of the face or throat, and the feeling of dizziness. The aforementioned symptoms may be the result of an extreme allergic reaction and require immediate medical attention.
Tips on How to Get Rid of Hives
As mentioned earlier in the article, people who think that they may be having extreme allergic reactions must immediately seek medical attention as this is considered an emergency case. However, individuals with milder hive symptoms may look at the list below to check on quick home remedies against their rashes:
1. Cold compress
Using a cold compress can aid in lessening skin irritation. Any cold compress would do but alternative methods to apply something cool on the skin may also be utilized. A plastic of frozen vegetables or some ice wrapped in a towel may be used and applied to the portion of skin with hives. This procedure may be repeated as needed in intervals of 10 minutes per application.
2. Anti-itch solutions while taking a bath
Several products are available in the market at present which can be added to an individual’s bath to help reduce and address the itching caused by hives. Some of these products are baking soda and colloidal oatmeal for baths.
3. Avoiding products that may cause irritation or allergic reactions
Some bath soaps may cause itching and irritation in some individuals and may even trigger an allergic reaction. For individuals with such a reaction to the aforementioned soaps, it is recommended that they avoid the use of the identified “trigger” product. These non-allergic soap or bath products are usually stripped of their scents and other chemical additives. Skin lotions and moisturizers which may cause irritation and allergic reactions should also be avoided by individuals experiencing hives or urticaria. If uncertain, individuals are advised to go for options that consider sensitive skin. Immediately applying the said solutions right after taking a bath may help address hives and irritation as well.
4. Keeping the environment and surrounding area cool
Evidence suggests that heat can actually aggravate itching and allergies. It is best to wear lightweight garments and to keep the surrounding area comfortable and cool. In addition, staying under direct sunlight for extended periods of time should be avoided as this can worsen the itching experienced by individuals.
5. Natural Treatments
While the natural home remedies listed above may help some individuals, they may not work for some patients. These other patients may opt to try other natural treatments or remedies such as:
- Witch Hazel: Witch hazel has tannins that can help alleviate irritation and itching. With hazel, preparations may be used or applied like a mask on the skin multiple times a day. It should ideally be left to sit on the areas affected by hives for around twenty (20) minutes before rinsing off.
- Aloe vera: Known for its healing and medicinal properties, aloe vera can help against various skin conditions. While it has anti-inflammatory properties, people are advised to use aloe vera with caution as ti may result in contact dermatitis for some individuals. Aloe vera can liberally be applied to the affected portion of the skin throughout the day and may be used in cream or gel form.
6. Other remedies
Hives can also be treated by other treatment options such as over-the-counter options and prescription drugs. One such over the counter or OTC option for treating hives is calamine lotion. This lotion can help cool the skin and therefore help alleviate itching and irritation. Calamine lotion is generally safe and can be applied topically to the affected area of the skin. Another Over the Counter or OTC treatment for hives or urticaria is dipenhydramine which is used an oral antihistamine which can lessen itching and the occurrence of rashes.
Dipendhydramine may have an hour of delayed effect but the benefits will be felt all throughout the day. It must be mentioned, though, that diphenhdramine can cause drowsiness. Fexofenadine, cetirizine, and loratadine may also be used as other over-the-counter or otc treatment options for hives and they can be used for longer periods of relief from hives. They also have less chance of causing drowsiness in patients compared to diphenhydramine. Dosage for the said over-the-counter drugs may need to be checked with the patient’s doctor to ensure that appropriate dosing is administered.