What You Need to Know About Hives
Hives (urticaria) is a well-known skin condition, which affects millions of individuals each year. They can appear on any parts of the body, rarely appearing on the bottom of feet, or palms. A hive is a red circular lesion, which is normally red in appearance.
The shape of the lesion can change over minutes to hours. They are normally itchy lesions. The itchiness can range from mild to severe. Depending upon the person hives will cause burning or tingling feelings.
What is Hives?
Hives are white, light pink, or red welts that form on the skin, usually as the result of an allergic reaction. They come in a wide range of sizes, with the smallest being about 2 mm. Hives are often very itchy; they can also burn or sting.
They can form on any area of the body but are most commonly found on the upper arms, upper legs, and trunk of the body. Normally, each welt lasts less than 24 hours, with new hives forming as the older ones vanish.
Hives are quite common and usually subside without treatment, although most sufferers prefer to do something to alleviate their symptoms. Serious cases, although rare, require a doctor’s care.
Many people who contract hives have them for a relatively short time, and they never return; this is considered to be an acute form of the condition. Those whose outbreaks last longer than six weeks or recur over the years are diagnosed with chronic hives.
What Causes of Hives?
Allergic reactions are usually the cause of hives. But there are other reasons which may bring on hives. There are other contributors to hives such as;
- excessive heat temperatures, or direct contact with other materials.
Sometimes, individuals may never know the cause of their hives. Hives are brought on in the body when the chemical histamine is released by mast cells. Histamine will cause blood vessels to leak fluid into the tissues in the body. These lesions can appear at any time, and as quickly as they appear; they will disappear.
How to Get Rid of Hives?
There are many natural remedies for hives and other allergic reactions. These range from herb tea to baking soda. Read on to discover some of the best natural remedies for hives and other allergic reactions.
1. Basil Tea
Basil tea is used as one of the best natural remedies for hives and allergic reactions among Chinese healers. The skin is bathed in the tea of the basil leaf, which contains caffeic acid, an anti-allergen that will soothe the skin and eliminate hives.
To make basil tea, put one ounce of the dried leaves in one quart of boiling water. Cover the jar and allow the tea to cool to room temperature. Wash the skin with the cooled tea for hives or other allergic skin reactions.
2. Baking Soda Bath
One of the best natural remedies for hives and allergic reactions is to take a baking soda bath. This natural remedy is still used quite often in New England. The body is soaked in a warm bath of baking soda and water.
Mix a few handfuls of baking soda in a warm bath and soak the body for thirty minutes. You can take a baking soda bath as often as needed to soothe hives. This is one of the most effective natural remedies for hives.
Don’t let the name fool you. Devil’s dung, also known as Asafoetida, is another of the best natural remedies for hives and allergic reactions. It is an herbal relative of onion and garlic and is extremely popular in the southern United States.
The powder is often found in the grocery store spice section. It contains constituents with an anti-allergic and anti-inflammatory property, making it one of the most effective natural remedies for hives.
To use devil’s dung, or asafoetida, to treat hives, mix ¼ teaspoon of the powdered herb in four tablespoons of warm castor oil. Apply the mixture directly to the affected area. Be careful as the solution will have a very strong, garlic-like odor that some people might find offensive.
4.Apply Ice to your hives
Unless you’re prone to hives caused by cold, rubbing ice over your hives for several minutes will cause them to shrink. It will also relieve the itching. Taking a cool shower can also help you feel a lot better.
When you have hives, any kind of heat (whether from the weather, warm water, or an indoor heating system) can make them worse, as well as making you itch more. So avoid heat as much as possible.
Soaking in an oatmeal bath for 15 minutes. It can go a long way towards alleviating the itching caused by hives. Remember to use lukewarm, rather than hot or very warm, water.
Hives are a common condition that can strike anyone at any time. There are risk factors that increase the likelihood of an outbreak. A personal or family history of hives or allergies is a good indicator that you are at risk for developing hives.
Also, you’re more susceptible to hives if you have lupus, lymphoma, or thyroid disease. Children and young adults are more likely to have acute hives, while the chronic form is more common in women.
There are many triggers for hives. Some of the most common triggers are
- Insect bites,
- Animal dander,
- Food allergies,
- Extreme temperature swings,
Although raw food is more likely than cooked food to cause hives, it’s also possible for food additives to trigger an outbreak.
One interesting type of hives is known as dermographism, which is triggered when the skin is scratched. Shortly after the scratch occurs, hives appear along the scratch line.
If you suffer from hives. It’s best to see a dermatologist for treatment. Before your appointment, make a list of possible causes and try to see how the welts react to heat, cold, pressure, or vibration.
You can relay these findings to your doctor, who will then try to ascertain what is causing the problem. You’ll probably have to undergo allergy skin tests or lab tests. If there’s a reason to suspect the condition is hereditary, your doctor may order additional tests. In chronic cases, a biopsy may be necessary.
If necessary, your doctor will advise you to take an antihistamine. It’s also possible that you’ll leave with a prescription for an oral corticosteroid such as prednisone.
Cool showers and cool compresses may relieve a mild case of hives. Also, loose clothing would be helpful. Tighter clothes could just make things worse by causing more friction and subsequently more hives.
Avoid coarse fabrics, and don’t scratch the affected areas. Some people suffering from hives find it helpful to avoid strenuous activity.
When should you see a doctor?
Hives aren’t usually a serious condition. But you should see a doctor if:
- You have hives in your mouth.
- You have hives in your throat, which could cause your throat to swell shut.
- There are hives around your eyes.
- You’re having trouble breathing.
- Your hives are extremely severe and are causing you discomfort.
- Your hives last for twenty-four hours or more.
- The hives go away, but there are bruises in their place.
Hives aren’t a serious condition. But the itchiness and discomfort they cause aren’t a whole lot of fun. And, with these home remedies, you can deal with hives fast.