Hives or urticaria are the itchy red bumps formed on the skin surface, differing in shape and size. The episodes of hives may take a day or two or even six weeks to cure completely depending on its nature and intensity. The causes of these itchy rashes include food allergies, sensitivity to heat or cold, and insect bites or stings.Certain home remedies may help you in getting rid of hives.
Natural remedies for getting rid of itchy and swollen hives
Ginger: The anti-inflammatory and anti-histamine properties inherent in ginger make it useful in getting rid of hives naturally, also relieving swelling and reducing itching. Boil a tablespoon of ginger and one-fourth cup of brown sugar in about three-fourth cup of vinegar for some time. Mix this solution with warm water and apply it on your skin using a cotton ball many times in a day. Dabbing a piece of chilled ginger root on your swollen skin twice or thrice a day would also help.
Apple cider vinegar: It helps in alleviating swelling, reducing itching and inflammation as well as improving the body’s response to the immune system because of its anti-histamine properties. Mix apple cider vinegar (two cups) to your bath water (preferably warm) and sit in the tub for about twenty minutes to get rid of itchy hives.
You can also make a solution of apple cider vinegar by diluting it with water. Use it twice or thrice a day for washing the affected skin or gently dab the solution on your swelling with the help of a cotton ball.
Drinking a mixture of about two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar and water along with lemon juice or honey would also facilitate the healing process. Another alternative remedy would be the application of apple cider vinegar and cornstarch paste on the affected area. Allow it to dry and then wash it off.
Aloe Vera: The topical application of aloe vera aids in minimizing redness, itching, and inflammation. Extract the gel from a fresh aloe vera leaf after cutting it into halves and apply it gently on the swelling. Rinse it with lukewarm water after about fifteen minutes. Repeat this remedy many times in a day till your skin is healed completely. The gel acts as a natural barrier preventing dust or any allergens from settling on the welts.
Drinking about two tablespoons of aloe vera juice on a regular basis helps in boosting your immune system, thus reducing the risk of infectious conditions like hives.
Turmeric: Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric helps in stimulating the natural anti-inflammatory corticosteroids present in the body, thus soothing swelling and itching. Prepare a paste of turmeric and water, apply it on your face, arms or anywhere else, wash it after fifteen minutes with cool water and dry your skin using a clean towel. Continue this treatment twice or thrice in a day till the rashes and discomfort subside.
You can also add a teaspoon of this spice in a glass of warm milk or water and have it two times in a day. Using The spice in your daily cooking allows you to derive its benefits on a regular basis. However, if you are on blood-thinning medications then go for the topical applications only.
Pineapple: Researches prove that the presence of the enzyme bromelain in pineapple juice makes it highly effective in combating allergic reactions. Applying ripe pineapple pulp on the skin is another anti-itch home remedy that might help you to get rid of the inflammation and swelling as well.
Make a pineapple poultice with crushed pineapple and apply them on the itchy welts many times in a day. Store it in a closed container in the fridge between uses. However, change the pineapples in every twenty-four hours.
Nettle: Because of its anti-inflammatory, astringent and antihistamine properties, nettle has been highly recommended by herbalists as a remedy to get rid of hives. Prepare a tea by adding dried nettle (one tablespoon) to one cup of hot water and steeping it for ten to fifteen minutes. Drink this herbal infusion twice or thrice a day till your condition gets better.
The extract of stinging nettle can be applied externally to get rid of hives though you should be extremely cautious and avoid the fine hairs from coming in contact with your skin as it may intensify the condition further.
Basil: Take a tablespoon of basil leaves (dried), add it to hot water and allow it to cool. Apply it gentle on your reddish, itchy skin using a cotton cloth.
Mint: The cooling effect of mint, in addition to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties makes it useful to treat the rashes. You may use chilled mint water for washing your inflamed skin by crushing about two teaspoons of mint leaves, boiling it in a cup of water for about five minutes and refrigerating it. Repeat this many times in a day till your hives are healed.
Oatmeal bath (Colloidal): The anti-inflammatory and soothing properties of oatmeal makes it an ideal natural remedy to treat hives, especially if you have them on your chest, legs, feet, and back. A mixture of two cups of oatmeal and a cup of baking soda may be added to your bath water (warm if your hives are due to cold and cool if you have heat hives). Sit in the bathtub for fifteen minutes and do it twice a day until you are cured. It is also one of the best treatments for hives during pregnancy.
You can also make a paste of oatmeal (two cups) and cornstarch (two tablespoons) and apply it once a day for fifteen to twenty minutes especially if you have hives on your face or the region around the eyes. Wash it using lukewarm water when dried.
Mustard Oil: As it is known to relieve itching, massaging your body with warm mustard oil for about fifteen minutes would bring in relief. Wash it off using soap and water.
You can alternatively add around two teaspoons of this oil along with the juice squeezed from one-fourth of a lemon to half a bowl of curd. Apply it on the affected skin part for five to ten minutes, preferably before bath.
Coconut oil: The antibacterial and antiviral properties of coconut oil help it in soothing the skin as well as preventing infection of any kind. Take a cotton ball, dip it into the oil and dab it gently on the skin. You may also dilute it with lavender and peppermint essential oils.
Milk: Make a compress by wetting a cloth with chilled milk and apply it on your skin for ten to fifteen minutes to soothe hives.
Red alder bark: Drink a cup of red alder tea prepared by boiling the dried bark in a cup of water and steeping it for ten minutes. You might even grind the red alder bark and apply it to the affected areas.
How to get rid of hives fast with home remedies
Cold compress: If you have heat hives then a cold compress would be the easiest and fastest way of getting rid of it as it helps in shrinking the blood vessels, also preventing histamine to be released any further. Placing a poultice made of ice on the red hives for approximately ten minutes, thrice or four times a day would bring in fast relief. You can also dip a cloth or bandage in the chilled water and make a dressing around your hives. Another alternative option would be to take a cold shower to soothe your itchy skin and relieve swelling.
Baking soda: It is a perfect remedy especially for pregnant women suffering from hives. Add half or one cup of baking powder to your warm bath water. Soak in it for a span of twenty to thirty minutes. If you have hives on a particular part of your body like face, arms or legs you can apply a thick paste of baking soda (two tablespoons) mixed with equal amount of water for ten minutes, wash it off after it has dried.
Milk of magnesia: The alkaline properties of milk of magnesia aids in relieving the itchy feeling brought about by hives. Apply this solution on the affected places using a cotton ball.
Calamine lotion: Due to the astringent properties present in calamine lotion it contributes towards lessening the flow of histamines, soothing the skin and relieving itching. Take some of it in a cotton ball and gently dab on the welts. It is an ideal remedy to treat hives in babies too. However, products like Caladryl are not recommended for young children.
What not to do when you have hives
- Avoid scratching the welts as it might slow down the healing process.
- Try analyzing the foods that triggered your allergy and avoid eating peanuts, shellfish, eggs, cheese, chocolates and anything else that you feel might not adjust with your digestive system
- Avoid exposure to intense heat as this might aggravate the allergic reactions.
- Do not wear woolen, silk or nylon outfits as it may lead to friction and irritation delaying healing.
- Refrain from taking medications like ibuprofen, aspirin, ketoprofen and naproxen sodium as it might cause your hives to deteriorate further.
How to prevent hives
- As stress triggers histamine secretion resulting in hives, try relaxation techniques like meditation and listening to music
- Drink a glass of green tea daily helps in countering hives because of its antihistamine and antioxidant properties that prevent the tissues of our body from getting damaged.
If your condition is getting no better even after trying out these home remedies, or if you experience severe swelling on your tongue and throat along with shortness of breath and wheezing, do not delay in consulting a doctor.