Hives, also known as urticaria, are swollen, pale red welts that appear on the skin after an allergic reaction. Hives can be caused by an allergic reaction to almost anything, including insect stings, medication, chemicals in food, stress, even sun exposure. Hives form when blood plasma leaks out of blood vessels in the skin. This occurs as a result of a reaction to histamine, a chemical released from cells along the skin’s blood vessels. The hives that result can last for a few hours to several days before fading. They typically itch and sometimes burn or sting. While generally not a serious health concern, hives are uncomfortable, so it’s helpful to know how to relieve them.
Hives are an indication of your body experiencing an allergic reaction. Hives look like red welts and typically itch. For frequent sufferers, hives can be a real nuisance, and can appear unsightly. There are several ways to treat hives, including some home remedies. With the right products in your medicine cabinet, you can combat any outbreak of hives as soon as it begins, and reduce the duration and intensity of the outbreak.
• Discover hives (or urticaria) can appear on any part of the body in various sizes. These itchy, swollen spots are red and most often are acute reactions to a food, latex or drug.
• Realize that hives can be acute or chronic. While acute often resolves without treatment, one must treat chronic hives for control of itching.
• Understand that allergies can cause angioedema (swelling of the skin) in conjunction with hives. Angioedema is known to be caused by aspirin, ibuprofen, pain medications containing codeine and certain blood pressure medications.
• Recognize that allergens such as pollen, insect bites and animal dander can cause hives.
• Find physical factors such as heat, cold, stress and exercise in the list of potential causes for hives.
• Discover that hives can flare up and go away off and on for several days to weeks. They may last for a few minutes to hours.
How to Treat Hives Naturally:
• Put cool, wet compresses on red areas to soothe itching.
• Take a bath in oatmeal if hives cover a large area.
• Add cornstarch to your regular bath.
• Apply aloe vera gel to soothe skin and reduce discomfort.
• Take acidophilus to help reduce an allergic reaction.
• Take quercetin to help relieve inflammation and allergic reactions.
• Supplement with 1,000mg vitamin C a day to help your immune system respond to allergens.
• Use the herbs alfalfa, yellow dock, echinacea, ginseng, licorice and nettles.
• Investigate the cause of the hives. Medications, insect bites or stings, certain foods and food additives, and certain plants are common culprits.
• Avoid the substance that caused your hives.
• Use an antihistamine for temporary relief of symptoms, particularly if hives are very severe or if overall allergic reaction is severe.
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