How to Treat Hives

There are quite a few solutions to treat hives. Hives is a type of an itchy rash and could be quite irritating. It occurs as a result of an allergic reaction. Check out the article below to find out about treatment of hives.
Almost all of us have had our 'rash' phases. Well, the pun was unintended there! By rash here I mean the red, blotchy and itchy protrusions on the skin. One of such rashes is hives. Hives is caused as a result of allergies and sometimes even stress. It is also called urticaria and is generally harmless. Depending on the cause of hives, the treatment for hives is determined, in most cases. But in some cases, the causes are not known. The normal and standard course of treatment prevails.

How to Treat Hives at Home?
  • For starters, use cool and wet compress on the affected areas. This will help in providing relief from itching.
  • If the area of your body affected by hives is large, a bath in oatmeal my prove to be helpful.
  • If oatmeal is not available, add cornstarch to your bath. Take oral anti-histamine medication like diphenhydramine (Benadryl) or sometimes hydroxyzine (Atarax) and cyproheptadine (Periactin) can also be prescribed.
  • Aloe vera gel is very useful for treating hives. It will soothe the irritated and bruised skin and will decrease the discomfort.
  • Hives can be caused due to infections which can easily affect us if our immune system is not strong enough. So, to boost the immune system 1000 mg of vitamin C a day will be perfect. That will ward off the allergens.
  • Herbs such as licorice, alfalfa, echinacea, ginseng, yellow dock and nettles are also useful for treating hives at home.
Basically, if the cause of hives is found out, it becomes easier to decide upon the treatment. Now, for instance, for stress related hives, the course of treatment could be slightly different, because there is no physical culprit for the rash. Then how do we treat hives caused by stress?

Treating Hives Caused by Stress

A common indicator of hives caused by stress is that it affects the face and the upper portion of the trunk. These may itch and the worst part is that they can lead to the swelling of the eyelids, which can be really painful and frustrating. Tongue may also undergo swelling, in addition to breathing difficulties. The first and the foremost thing to deal with hives is to bring about a change in the diet. Observe what foodstuffs you are allergic to, like nuts, coffee, cured meats, chocolates and so on and avoid eating them. As previously stated, vitamin C and in addition to that vitamin B are the two essential vitamins needed in the treatment of hives. Needless to say, oral histamines are inevitable again. For those who have severe outbreaks of hives frequently, injections of adrenaline, that is also known as epinephrine might prove to be helpful. Of course, this has to be taken in consultation with a doctor. Green tea also can prove useful in treatment of hives.

Hives Treatment for Children

With regards to children, the primary mantra is to start the requisite treatment immediately. In addition to the standard ice compresses, bathing is essential, but hot shower baths are a big no-no as they can aggravate the itchy bumps on the skin. Bath should be given to the child with lukewarm or cold water and of course, soap. That will result in removal of any substance from the skin which is acting as a trigger for the allergic reaction. This is particularly effective when the child is exposed to a topical allergen. Apart from this, a hydrocortisone cream is available for relief from extremely itchy hives rash. Buy the cream which has the weakest potency to start off. Eventually, allergy testing and immunotherapy can be considered if the hives is frequent and severe. A close monitoring would be required for that.

Hives, although not a fatal condition, should not be ignored. As soon as you see some symptoms of hives, you should consult a doctor. It is better not to wait for it to go away on its own.
By Medha Godbole
Published: 2/3/2010
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