Hives or urticaria are allergic reactions manifesting in the form of itchy red bumpy welts. The size of the rash can be tiny to a 6-8 inch patch with clearly defined edges.
Anything that can cause allergy can cause hives and the most common suspects are food, chemicals, latex, pollen, animal dander, insect bites, food additives, medicines and certain types of infection.
When you encounter the triggers, the body cells release a chemical called histamine which forces blood vessels to leak fluid in the deeper layers of skin.
From over the counter antihistamine to many natural remedies for hives are available to get relief.
Hives can appear as soon as a trigger is encountered or it may take a long time to appear. Some people are more prone to hives than the others. The same trigger at the same time may not affect all people exposed to the trigger.
Since there are thousands of other known and unknown causes of hives, you may not actually know why you got the allergic reaction.
5 Natural Remedies for Hives
Irrespective of the cause, it is clear that the body cells have released histamines to create these bumpy rashes of hives. Therefore the remedy must be to get rid of histamines. Following natural ingredients will help you to get relief from hives.
1. Avoid Triggers
It is common sense to avoid triggers to get relief. You will have to figure out the actual cause of hives. If you have a past history then you would know what triggers hives. Otherwise keep a dairy to track what causes hives in your case.
Once you have identified various triggers of hives, avoid them. Sometimes it is difficult to identify the trigger but since you are prone to hives you can avoid those most common triggers of hives.
2. Cold Bath
Cold bath or cold compress will help you to get relief from the symptoms of hives. Cold shrinks the blood vessels as a result it reduces or even stops releasing histamines. This will immediately reduce the rashes and you will feel relief.
You can add a cup of oatmeal to your bathtub and soak it for 10-15 minutes before you enter the cold water for bath. The oatmeal will reduce the itching.
3. Apply Lotions
There are so many astringents that can help you to get itch relief from hives. Dab the affected area with calamine lotion, witch hazel, milk of magnesia or any other calamine lotion. These items help shrink the blood vessels which then stops releasing histamine.
4. Reduce Stress
In some people stress alone can be a trigger for hives, however in most cases the stress aggravates the condition. Therefore, reducing stress will give you relief.
Any nerve calming exercise such as meditation, yoga or progressive relaxation will greatly help. Just do deep breathing if you can't do anything else.
Deep breathing for 10-15 minutes is one of the best relaxation techniques. After deep breathing lie down on your back. keep your eyes closed and let loose your body and sleep to 10 minutes.
You can drink chamomile or other herbal tea which soothes your stress.
5. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar with its antihistamine properties is a great remedy to get instant relief from hives.
Add equal quantities of cold water and apple cider vinegar in a cup and mix it well to get diluted apple cider vinegar. Concentrated vinegar may give you a sting. It is important to use cold water as cold helps in shrinking blood vessels.
keep dabbing the diluted apple cider vinegar on the affected area for 5 minutes. It may not only give you instant relief but in some cases the rashes can completely disappear.
Hives usually disappear in hours. If the allergic reaction stays longer than a day and you are uncomfortable then visit your doctor.