Hives occur as an outbreak on the skin as a result of allergens, or for unknown reasons. A burning sensation and itching sometimes accompany it. They last for hours or up to one day before fading. The medical explanation of what causes hives can be answered merely as blood plasma leaking out from the small blood vessels of the skin in reaction to histamine. As there are many reasons which might trigger the histamine release, it is quite challenging to identify a specific cause.
Over the counter, antihistamine medication is almost always the first resort sought. It is recommended to seek medical help as that will help identify the trigger, and proper treatment can then be sought.
If the hives are mild, these are some tips and easy to do remedies to help treat hives:
- Identify what causes the outbreak and avoid that trigger.
- Apply an over the counter anti-itch lotion.
- Apply a cold and wet compress.
- Take a cold shower.
- Wear loose-fitting cotton clothing.
To avoid reoccurrence of hives, the first step recommended by medical practitioners is to identify the trigger that causes the outbreak. As the triggers can be many things (food, medication, latex, insect stings, pollen, temperature, etc.), a simple habit like maintaining a diary and journaling the symptoms and probable triggers, would help identify the triggers and aid treat hives.
Antihistamines are the most common treatment for hives. Commonly available over the counter antihistamine drugs that help reduce itching are loratadine, cetirizine, and diphenhydramine. When hives are severe, oral steroids are prescribed.
Tests conducted to analyze the effectiveness of natural elements in controlling hives have identified quercetin and evening primrose as getting the job done. These contain an antihistamine and anti-inflammatory properties that prevent the body’s immune cells from releasing histamine. An added benefit of these natural remedies is, there are little or no known side effects. Additionally, one can also take Vitamin B12, Vitamin C, and fish oil supplements.