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Home Remedies for Hives

Hives or urticaria is a common malady that affects 20 percent of the population at some point of their life (1). Hives is characterized by swollen, pale-red bumps or plaques (welts) on the skin accompanied by itching.

Hives are usually caused by an allergic reaction to a substance that you encountered or swallowed. In response to the allergic reaction, your body releases a protein called histamine, which in high levels results in itching, swelling, redness and many other symptoms.

Some of the common triggers of hives are certain foods (nuts, chocolate, fish, tomatoes, eggs, fresh berries and milk), latex, chemicals, pollen, food additives, animal dander, infections, medications and insect bites or stings.

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Also, hives can occur when you get too hot while spending time outside on a summer day, are exposed to ice cold water, or as a result of stress. Inflammation of the blood vessels can also trigger hives.

Many cases of hives are idiopathic, meaning that there is no known cause for the condition. However, it is observed that people who are prone to allergies are more likely to develop hives (2).

Alcoholic drinks, exercise, emotional stress and scratching can aggravate hives. Hives rashes usually have clearly defined edges, appear in varying shapes and sizes and can move around and also have a burning sensation. They may disappear or reappear within short intervals of time, and when the center of the hive is pressed it may turn white.

Both adults and children are prone to it; they can appear anywhere on the body. They may appear within minutes of exposure to a trigger, or you can have a delayed reaction of more than two hours.

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While hives can be uncomfortable, they are usually harmless and will disappear within a few hours or days. In very unusual cases hives can cause breathing difficulty due to swelling of the throat—in such cases kindly seek medical help immediately.

For common symptoms of hives, you can always explore your kitchen and garden for some simple natural remedies to get relief.

Hives home remedies

Here are the top 10 home remedies for hives.

1. Cold Compress

Most skin allergy specialists suggest cold compresses as the best topical natural remedy for hives. This is a good remedy provided your hives are not triggered by cold. Cold temperature helps shrink the blood vessels and block further release of histamine.

The swelling that is present in the spaces between the cells/tissues can be reduced only by compression, not the cold. This in turn alleviates swelling, inflammation and itching.

Another advantage of this remedy is that it minimizes the collection of blood outside broken capillaries. Cold also helps control the pain by superseding the pain impulse with the cold impulse (3).

For the cold compress to be very effective, it is vital to apply it as soon as you notice the first signs of discomfort.

  • Wrap some ice cubes in a cloth. Place it over the affected skin for 10 minutes at a time, 3 or 4 times a day.
  • You can also take a cool bath or shower as needed to calm skin inflamed by hives.

Note: Never put ice directly on the skin or for a prolonged period of time.

2. Baking Soda

Baking soda is another popular remedy for hives. Baking soda is naturally found in mineral form of natron. It has been used traditionally as a soother and cleanser.

Its anti-inflammatory property helps reduce inflammation as well as itching. This is said to give immediate relief from hives symptoms. Baking soda has been used as a treatment for scaly skin disorder for more than 100 years due to its alkaline pH (4).

  • Add ½ to 1 cup of baking soda to a bathtub filled with warm water. Mix it well and then soak in this water for 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Alternatively, put 2 tablespoons of baking soda in a small bowl. Add enough water to make a thick paste. Spread the paste on the affected area. Leave it on for 10 minutes before rinsing it off with warm water

You can use either of these remedies once daily or as needed.

3. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is another good remedy for hives. Its antihistamine properties will help relieve inflammation quickly and regulate the body’s immune system response. It also plays a key role in restoring your overall skin health.

In a study in 2004 regarding the effects of apple cider vinegar on chronic pain and inflammation in experimental animal models, demonstrated that apple cider vinegar had appreciable effect in controlling pain and inflammation (5).

  • Add 2 cups of apple cider vinegar to a bathtub filled with warm water. Soak in it for 15 to 20 minutes once daily.
  • Alternatively, dilute apple cider vinegar with an equal amount of water and use it to wash the affected skin 2 or 3 times a day.
  • You can also mix 1 or 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water. Add a little lemon juice and honey for taste. Drink this mixture 3 times daily.

4. Colloidal Oatmeal

Colloidal oatmeal works very well for hives. It’s anti-irritating, anti-inflammatory and soothing properties help provide relief from itching and help your skin heal quickly.

Colloidal oatmeal is highly beneficial for skin disorders like psoriasis, eczema and dry skin. It is also indicated for hives.

The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of oatmeal are due to chemical compounds called phenols present in it (6).

Colloidal oatmeal is the powder obtained from grinding and processing of whole grain oats, with not less than 0.2 percent fat as defined by the United States Pharmacopeia (7).

  • Combine 1 cup of baking soda and 2 cups of ground oatmeal. Add this mixture to a bathtub filled with warm water. Stir it well and soak in this water for at least 15 minutes. Enjoy this soothing bath twice daily until your condition improves.
  • Alternatively, mix together 2 cups of oatmeal, 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and enough water to form a paste. Apply the paste on the affected skin for 15 to 20 minutes. Wash it off with lukewarm water. Follow this remedy once daily.

5. Ginger

Known as a ‘wonder drug’, ginger can be used to treat hives due to its strong anti-inflammatory and antihistaminic properties.

Ginger is rich in many phytochemicals like gingerols and shogaols. These compounds possess very powerful anti-inflammatory properties (8).

Basically, ginger targets the genes and enzymes that trigger inflammation, in turn improving circulation to the skin, relieving swelling and reducing itching.

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  • Boil ¼ cup of brown sugar and 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger in ¾ cup of vinegar for several minutes. Mix a little of this solution with warm water and dab on the affected skin several times a day.
  • Alternatively, peel the skin off a small piece of fresh ginger root and gently dab the ginger onto the inflamed skin. Do this 2 or 3 times daily. You can chill the ginger root in the refrigerator first for an added cooling effect.
  • You can also drink ginger tea or chew on fresh ginger pieces a few times daily. To prepare ginger tea, simply simmer 1 teaspoon of minced or sliced ginger in a cup of water for 5 minutes, cover and let it steep for another 5 minutes, then strain it.

6. Aloe Vera

Aloe vera gel is another great natural remedy for hives. It contains anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that help reduce redness, inflammation and itching when applied topically. Also, when taken internally, it stimulates immunity and helps eliminate inflammatory toxins.

Aloe gel speeds up the rate of recovery from hives. The evidence gathered from many studies lend some amount of scientific validity to the topical use of aloe products for symptoms associated with psoriasis and types of rashes (9).

  • Apply fresh aloe vera gel to the affected skin. Leave it on for 15 minutes and then rinse it off with lukewarm water. Follow this remedy several times a day until your skin heals completely.
  • You can also drink 2 tablespoons of aloe vera juice daily to boost your immune system.

Note: Aloe vera should be applied only after doing a skin patch test as it may cause skin irritation in some individuals. Avoid using it in case of children and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Please take care to drain out the yellow liquid completely from fresh aloe leaf before cutting for gel preparation as it can cause skin irritation.

7. Turmeric

The active substances in turmeric are flavonoids called curcuminoids. Curcumin is the major curcuminoid in turmeric.

Turmeric is known for its anti-inflammatory properties and helps stimulate the body’s natural anti-inflammatory corticosteroids. It is also considered a very effective natural antihistamine and antioxidant for hives and a variety of inflammatory skin ailments.

Turmeric is used along with other herbs for the treatment of hives in Ayurvedic system of medicine. Oral intake of turmeric was reported to drastically reduce inflammatory swelling (10).

  • Mix 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder in a glass of hot milk or water. Drink it twice daily.
  • You can also use turmeric in your cooking and take turmeric supplements but only after consulting a doctor.

Note: Do not take turmeric if you are taking prescription blood thinners.

8. Nettle

Herbalists also recommend nettle as an effective alternative treatment for hives. Nettles have been in use as a remedy for more than 2000 years to fight various diseases.

This herb is rich in bioactive compounds like phenols, vitamins and minerals. Being a natural antihistamine, and having anti-inflammatory and astringent properties, it relieves swelling, inflammation and itching.

In addition to these pharmacological properties, it also has strong antioxidant and analgesic, along with immunostimulatory properties. Nettle is considered to be relatively safe with hardly any side effects when ingested up to 18 grams per day (11).

  • Add 1 tablespoon of dried nettle leaf to a cup of hot water. Cover and steep for 10 minutes. Strain and add a little honey. Drink this tea 2 or 3 times a day until your condition improves.
  • Alternatively, you can take up to five 300-milligram capsules of nettle daily. Consult a doctor before taking nettle capsules.

9. Basil

Basil also works as a natural antihistamine and hence is very effective for treating hives. This culinary herb is rich in ursolic acid, rosmarinic acid, eugenol, linalol, caryophyllene, etc.

Ursolic acid is a bioactive constituent that is now in vogue in the cosmetic industry. A lipid encapsulated version of ursolic acid was demonstrated to increase the levels of ceramides and collagens, both of which play a very vital role in skin rejuvenation (12). Plus, it can effectively combat itching and inflammation.

  • Put 1 tablespoon of dried basil leaves in a jar and add hot water to it. Cover the jar and allow it to cool. Apply this mixture on the affected area using a cotton cloth.
  • Crush some fresh basil leaves with your hand. Gently apply the paste on the hives. Allow it to dry and then rinse off with cool water.

Follow either of these remedies as many times as needed for relief.

10. Mint

Due to its cooling effect, mint is also a popular remedy for hives. Mint is rich in many bioactive substances, among which menthol, menthone, limonene are a few of the prominent ones.

Plus, it has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that help reduce the itching and burning sensation very quickly. Many of the compounds from mint have been shown to possess antihistaminic and antiallergenic activities.

  • Simmer 2 teaspoons of freshly crushed mint leaves in 1 cup of boiling water for 5 minutes. Strain and put the liquid in the refrigerator. Use this cool mint water to wash the inflamed and irritated skin several times a day.
  • Boil 1 teaspoon of crushed mint leaves in 1 cup of water for 5 minutes. Strain and allow it to cool. Drink this once or twice daily, depending on the severity of your condition.

Additional Tips

  • Start keeping a daily diary to figure out what triggers your hives. This will help you avoid the triggers.
  • Wear loose, smooth-textured cotton clothing to avoid further skin irritation.
  • Reduce stress as it can make your condition worse.
  • Increase the amount of vitamin C in your diet.
  • Avoid hot baths and showers during an outbreak.
  • Stay out of direct sunlight as much as possible.

These remedies and tips will help reduce the intensity of hives. However, if your symptoms remain for more than one week or you have complications like difficulty breathing, seek medical attention immediately.

Resources:

  1. Hives (Urticaria) | Causes, Symptoms & Treatment | ACAAI Public Website. http://acaai.org/allergies/types/skin-allergies/hives-urticaria.
  2. Hives. https://medlineplus.gov/hives.html.
  3. Hardy M, Woodall W. Therapeutic effects of heat, cold, and stretch on connective tissue. J Hand Ther. 1998;11(2):148-156. doi:10.1016/S0894-1130(98)80013-6.
  4. Milstone LM. Scaly skin and bath pH: Rediscovering baking soda. doi:10.1016/j.jaad.2009.04.011.
  5. Dānishgāh-i ʻUlūm-i Pizishkī-i Shahīd Bihishtī. School of Pharmacy. S, Barahoyee A. Iranian Journal of Pharmaceutical Research. Vol 0. School of Pharmacy, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences; 2010. http://ijpr.sbmu.ac.ir/?_action=articleInfo&article=466.
  6. Kurtz ES, Wallo W. Colloidal oatmeal: history, chemistry and clinical properties. J Drugs Dermatol. 2007;6(2):167-170. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17373175.
  7. History of Oatmeal. http://nebula.wsimg.com/97eb5904fd1c312d4c580a740da0bf16?AccessKeyId=424EC4B3280015FB20E8&disposition=0&alloworigin=1.
  8. White B. Ginger: An Overview. https://www.anaboliclabs.com/User/Document/Articles/Pro-Enz/3. White, Ginger, 2007.pdf.
  9. Aloe Vera | NCCIH. https://nccih.nih.gov/health/aloevera.
  10. 10. Naga Harish D, Vinutha N, Siva Krishna P, Ravi Kumar A, Shaik R. Phytochemical Evaluation Curcuma Longa and Curcumin. Int J Pharm Chem Sci ISSN. 2277;5(4). www.ijpcsonline.com. Accessed March 5, 2018.
  11. Benmoussa A. HIGHLIGHTS ON NUTRITIONAL AND THERAPEUTIC VALUE OF STINGING NETTLE ( URTICA DIOICA ) AMAL AIT HAJ SAID 1 * , IBRAHIM SBAI EL OTMANI 2 , SANAE DERFOUFI. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Amal_Ait_Haj_Said/publication/283675999_Highlights_on_nutritional_and_therapeutic_value_of_stinging_nettle_Urtica_Dioica/links/5852f6bd08ae7d33e01ab3a2.pdf.
  12. Yarosh DB, Both D, Brown D. Liposomal Ursolic Acid (Merotaine) Increases Ceramides and Collagen in Human Skin. Horm Res Paediatr. 2000;54(5-6):318-321. doi:10.1159/000053280.

Home Remedies for Hives was last modified: June 17th, 2018 by Top10HomeRemedies
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23 thoughts on “Home Remedies for Hives”

  1. we’re new to hives thanks for the information we not have a good way to fight my girlfriends Bartow with these awful hives she feels miserable at times and we appriciate this information. thank tou for your suggestions

  2. I have had a horrible allergic reaction to aloe Vera after putting a small amount from a plant on a sunburn on my bra line on one shoulder. I now have blistering, hives all over my chest and neck that itch profusely, the Dr. put me on prednisone because the reaction is so bad.
    I have used aloe all my life with no issues until now. I am going to try Apple cider vinegar compresses to see if it will help.

  3. My mother sometimes faces sudden red itchy feeling and it goes away on its own but sometimes he feel irritated.. this is helpful thank you as she avoids antibiotics .. which is safe antihistamine she can take in case of total non avoidance

  4. ive tried apple cider vinegar and itl think my skin has improved a lot , it pooks much smoother and fresh looking. i have yet to find out if its reappy effectve for my hives

  5. my skin has improved a pot and became much smoother and fresher. but i have yet to prove if its effective for my hives

  6. I’ve had a bad case of hives since Sunday morning. Haven’t eaten anything different but I do have a lot of extra stress. More than usual with my mother having bad case if dementia and now my sister is under hospice care. I’ve tried the baths with epsome salts and baking soda. Work wonders but only for a limited time. I’m currently trying the apple cider vinegar compress. Thanks for all the different options

  7. I was up all night Gene and I went online and saw that apple cider vinegar help and I drink it with a cup of water and I thought we leave instantly thank you

  8. Thanks a lot I’m gonna try this I think what caused my hives is stress I had someone really close to me die and for the last 5 months I had hives I tried everything but natural remedies. To let others know do not try prednisone steroid if offered temporary solution same as all other tablets once you stop all comes back. If any of you have any other methods email me

  9. I’m having a sudden bout of an inflammatory response to “SOMETHING”! I remembered that Vitamin C is an anti-histamine, so started taking 500mg chewable. ThenI remembered I had some reconstituted lemon juice in the fridge. Poured some onto a paper towel and patted it on one arm. Immediate relief, even though it stung a little–I’d been clawing my skin off for several hours. I decided to pour some into a small squirt bottle and began spraying myself. I also had some Avalon Organics Vitamin C cream and gently rubbed som on top of the sprayed on juice.

    In 10 minutes I am feeling MUCH better, Hives are still visible, but the horrible itch continues subsiding.

    I did put some ACV on both arms after reading this info. I will bathe in a combo of the two until this is done.

    Thanks for the rest of the tips.

  10. I’ve had what most dermatologists are calling hives for 2yrs now. They ITCH like you can’t imagine. In the last six months what seemed mostly contained to my arms, neck, chest and scalp has moved/spread to my face and eyes.

    I am in a living hell.

    I’ve taken several kinds of anithistamines along with ranitidine every morning and night. I’ve done topical ointments. None of this works well but it does keep me from wanting to peel my flesh off. My eyes however for the last 6months have burned and itched every second of the day and night. I’ve been using prescribed eye drops (not with antihistamines though bc those are like $100 and the VA doesn’t carry them.)

    These symptoms have persisted through trips to 8 different countries, hotels, camping, new apartment, new bedding, new soaps, no soaps, new diet, pets, no pets, new clothes, etc etc etc. You name it I’ve tried it.

    I have scabs from scratching.

    I wake my self up every night from scratching. Have not slept more than 5hrs in so long I can’t remember.

    I’ve done multiple allergy tests both skin and blood work with mixed results ranging from no allergies to blood work showing I’m deathly allergic to dust. Which seems new since I have never had any allergies that I’ve noticed for the first 45yrs.

    I’m begging, praying, screaming, crying for help.

    Prednisone and prednisolone (steroid) work like a champ and I’ve taken those 10-20mg a day on and off with the longest period being around two months which I was told to stop doing but it seems to be the only thing that truly stops this hell.

    Clariton, Telfast, singular, cetirizine, etc.

    Any help? Or hope?

    Not that I’m vain or anything but now for months my forehead looks terrible. Eyes are red and Luffy all the time.

    Help

    1. I had a case of the hives for 8 and 1/2 months and had accepted the possibility that I had an autoimmune condition where it was speculated that a histamine was being produced in my blood to which I had an allergy. I googled autoimmune conditions and found that Hydro Colon Therapy was recommended for many autoimmune conditions. I found a licensed therapist who told me that I could have something in my colon that my body was trying to detox through my skin. I scheduled a visit and began seeing her. On the first visit she told me that she thought I needed 3-4 visits. On my 3rd visit , my session was very productive and I quit breaking out. That was in 2011. I have just woken up for the 3rd night in a row broken out in hives on the backs of my legs. I have seen my therapist on a regular basis since I first started and will be making an appointment in the morning. Meanwhile she has recommended Vitamin C and Pantothenic Acid and lots of water. Good luck! I know how frustrating it is!

    2. Listen very carefully my dear Friend all u have to do is ”tis get up in the morning drink 2 glasses of water on empty stomach n exercise for 15minutes. Then have a warm shower have a decent breakfast n go to work.

    3. Cut out any dairy, wheat, and refined sugar from your diet and see if that helps at all. A lot of times the hives can be an allergic reaction to any or all of these.

  11. U need to get a biopsy done. Maybe it’s a staff infection and your body is constantly keeping it at bay but cannot destroy it. I once had MERCA for about 5 months and was Mia diagnosed 4 times when finally they took a biopsy and was a deadly staff infection.

  12. Hi…I’m not a doctor or a dermatologist. I have had hives 2 years ago. Drink 1 glass of pure pomegranate juice (without adding sugar or anything to it) REGULARLY everyday​ WITHOUT SKIPPING even one day for 3 months. Drinking this juice naturally purifies blood. Have patience. You would see the results after 3 months but not immediately. I did this and got rid of hives. This might work for you. Try it.

  13. Use Virgin coconut oil for the itchy skin, it is 100% effective. Rub the oil around the itchy skin for about 30 seconds, it will be absorded into your skin. By rubbing the oil for 30 seconds, your skin will absord the VCO

  14. It all started with salmon that I had for Dinner Aug 16,2017 the next day I wake up to my ears inflated, I came home from work to take Benadryl and let my body rest, what I thought was over only just begun. I started to feel inflammation all through my body the hives were huge never had hives like this before, I went to the ER they gave me steroids and Benadryl what I thought was working was only making my body worse.
    I started to get stomach pains from the medication my body was reacting in defense mode to everything and anything. 2 weeks later I wake up to half of my face swollen and had to rush to the ER again they gave me IV Steroids and Benadryl, feeling better they again prescribed me with more steroids and Benadryl the next day its as if nothing ever happened I was fine, Sunday came around the hives started to come back, huge and they hurt so bad I was crying everyday, finally went to my primary doctor where they gave me an antibiotic shot in my behind, which clamed everything down, gave me some hydrocortisone pills to take for itch and burn was taking those for a bit and stopped because I was getting stomach pains, the hives yes after 7 weeks are still here, I just want them to go away and all these doctors don’t know what is causing it, I done it all change the sheets stop eating this and that and they still appear I can tolerate them but they are still there.
    I just want help to take this away for good something that will boost my immune system to stop my body from fighting with itself.

    1. Maybe your body needs a major detox & also remove any dairy, refined sugar, and wheat from your diet period and see if that helps.

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