Hives are generally harmless rashes or bumps that are often traceable to an allergy. The medical term for the condition is urticaria. Certain foods such as peanuts and dairy products, as well as insect bites, medications, and pollen, are some of the triggers for hives, though occurrences cannot always be linked to a trigger. If you have a new case of hives that will not go away, it is best to consult a doctor to be sure it’s not something more serious. Otherwise, hives usually heal on their own in a few days, but some home remedies can speed healing and alleviate discomfort.
Baking soda has anti-inflammatory qualities that make it a popular choice for treating hives. Mix baking soda in warm water until it forms into a thick paste and spread this over the rash. Leave the poultice in place for about ten minutes, then wash the area with warm water. This treatment can be reapplied daily until the hives have healed.
Although it can be difficult or impossible to identify the cause of hives in some cases, when triggers can be identified, the affected individual can avoid them when possible. Hives may develop within a few hours of contact, which makes triggers easier to uncover. People who are uncertain of their triggers can try eliminating the most likely culprits, such as milk products and nuts. Doing so may reduce or eliminate the frequency of hives.
Increase Vitamin C
Some research suggests that vitamin C may reduce histamine, which is involved in the inflammatory response of allergic reactions. Eating more citrus fruits is the easiest and most enjoyable way to boost vitamin C naturally, but if for some reason this option does not appeal, health food shops sell a range of supplements.
Nettles are rich in antihistamine and anti-inflammatories. Drinking dried nettle leaves with honey is a long-celebrated natural solution for hives. Nettles are also available in pill form. Some people and medications may react negatively to this herb, however, so it is best to speak to a doctor before trying this remedy.
Ginger contains strong antihistamine and anti-inflammatory substances that may help reduce the occurrence of hives associated with allergic reactions. Some people prefer to make an ointment from a mixture of ginger, vinegar, brown sugar, and warm water and dab this solution onto the rash a couple of times per day. However, fresh ginger may cause a burning sensation on the skin so be sure to test it on a small patch first. Drinking ginger tea and chewing the root can also help speed up the recovery from an allergic reaction.
Apply a Cold Compress
Cold compresses are a popular home remedy for a variety of complaints, providing effective relief from the discomfort of hives. Many store-bought ice packs exist, but wrapping a few ice cubes in a clean cloth and placing this homemade pack over the affected skin for about ten minutes works just as well. Never apply ice directly to the skin and don’t leave the ice pack on for more than five to eight minutes.
An Oatmeal Bath
Oatmeal baths can offer relief to people with hives. In addition to its skin-nourishing qualities, oatmeal also possesses anti-inflammatory agents that aid healing. Mix two cups of oatmeal with a cup of baking soda. Pour this mixture into a tub of warm water, and wait a few minutes until it is completely absorbed. Bathing with this mixture twice a day can help alleviate the symptoms of hives, and the rash itself.
Studies show that stress increases the likelihood of developing hives. Most people could benefit from reducing stress, and there are many ways to achieve this. Some meditate or listen to calming music. Taking relaxing walks or practicing other mindfulness techniques can also help. Ensuring one is getting enough quality sleep each night will also help reduce the number of stress hormones in the body.
Mint has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities that make it a logical choice for inclusion as a natural remedy for hives. Some prefer to drink a solution composed of crushed mint leaves and a few teaspoons of sugar boiled in water. Alternatively, cool the liquid from boiled mint leaves and wash the affected areas a couple of times each day.
Apple Cider Vinegar
The treatment of skin diseases is only one of the areas where the anti-inflammatory qualities of apple cider vinegar are especially helpful. Mix ACV with water and lemon juice and either drink the liquid or apply it topically to the affected area. Always dilute apple cider vinegar before drinking it as it can cause an upset stomach. Apple cider vinegar is not recommended for people with acid reflux or chronic indigestion.