Hives is a skin condition that causes the formation of reddened patches which are often very itchy and increase in intensity to result in swollen welts. Hives, also referred to as urticaria, is often the result of a trigger in response to an allergic reaction due to ingestion or topical interaction. The biology behind the formation of these swellings revolves around the production of a compound known as histamine in response to the allergy. Histamine is the reason why the skin becomes itchy and swells when hives set in.

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Some of the most common food allergens include specific foods depending on an individual’s body (such as milk, nuts and eggs among others), pollen grains, animal fur, different medications as well as insect bites. In some individuals, hives develop when an individual is exposed to extreme weather patterns such as too much heat or an icy cold environment. It is also important to be cognizant of the fact that some hives are idiopathic. This simply means that the exact cause of the hives remains unknown. In addition, hives may appear almost immediately after contact with the triggers or may have a delayed onset.

Hives are not usually fatal, but can be quite uncomfortable. This is why you should be on the lookout for some simple home remedies that you can use to ease the discomfort and provide much needed relief. For each of the remedies, you will find the approximate time it takes to prepare and apply the remedy, the ingredients required and the level of difficulty.


1. Oatmeal:

Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: 2 Cups of oatmeal (ground), 1 cup of baking soda and warm water in bath tub. Alternatively, prepare a paste using the following: 2 cups of oatmeal, 4 teaspoons of cornstarch and warm water.
Difficulty: Easy

 

Oatmeal is one of the most soothing home remedies you can use for the natural treatment of hives. The oatmeal, when mixed with water, swells and soothes the affected skin. This is a great way to relieve the itching and allow for quick healing of the skin. Oatmeal is also pretty gentle on the skin, and is excellent at keeping the irritation at bay. There are two ways you may opt to use the oatmeal: either soak in water to which it has been added or use it to prepare a paste for topical application. Both options take approximately half an hour, making them easy to use on the go.

Directions:

Soaking in Bath Water

  1. Place 2 cups of oatmeal and 1 cup of baking soda in a container and mix well.
  2. Transfer the oatmeal mixture to the tub and allow the warm water to run.
  3. Stir the water some more so that the ingredients mix well.
  4. Soak in this water for half an hour and gently dry the affected skin.
  5. Use this remedy two times daily until the symptoms ease.

 


2. Cold Compress:

Time Required: 15 Min
What You Need: Ice cubes on a clean cloth or a cold shower.
Difficulty: Easy

 

Cold compress works like magic for the natural treatment of hives. This is because the low temperatures allow the constriction of the blood vessels, thus preventing the flareups that result from histamine production. In effect, this lowers the rate of swelling and reduces the inflammation on the affected skin. A cold compress works well as its effects are localized while a cold shower works in instances where the itching is felt across the body. Note that with the use of the former, you are advised against using ice cubes directly on the skin to avert the risk of frost bite.

Directions:

  1. Place the ice cubes on the cloth and wrap to get a pack.
  2. Put the ice cold pack on the affected skin for 5 minutes at a go, taking a minute-long break.
  3. Do this thrice daily until the condition improves.
  4. The other alternative to using ice cubes is to take a cold shower, preferably with the jets of water targeted on the affected skin.

 


3. Aloe Vera Gel:

Time Required: 15 Min
What You Need: Freshly cut aloe vera leaf, cotton wool and warm water to rinse.
Difficulty: Easy

 

Aloe vera is one of the most popular home remedies across the globe, thanks to its diverse healing characteristics. When used for the natural treatment of hives, the gel’s anti-inflammatory properties help deal with the inflammation and swelling. This, in turn, reduces the itching and swelling, making it an easy topical remedy. In the absence of the gel, you can always opt for aloe vera juice which is taken internally to boost the immune response and eliminate the causative toxins. Follow the steps below to treat hives using a simple but effective home remedy.

Directions:

  1. Squeeze the juice from the edges of the freshly cut leaf and collect in a bowl.
  2. Use cotton wool to scoop some of the gel and apply it on the affected skin.
  3. A generous layer of the gel on the red patches should work just fine.
  4. Let the gel remain on the skin for 20 minutes to allow its healing properties set in.
  5. Rinse the skin with warm water. Apply the gel thrice daily until the hives disappear
  6. Alternatively, take 5 teaspoons of aloe vera juice daily to improve your immune response.
  7. Note that this method is not applicable for children, expectant ladies and lactating mothers.

 


4. Baking Soda

Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: 1 Cup of baking soda and warm water in a bathtub. Alternatively, prepare a paste using 5 teaspoons of baking soda and some warm water.
Difficulty: Easy

 

Baking soda is recommended for the natural treatment of hives as its anti-inflammatory properties go a long way in reducing the inflammation on the affected site. The baking soda also has a soothing effect on the skin. You have two options as far as the use of this remedy is concerned: you may either soak in a bath to which the baking soda has been added or simply prepare a paste and apply it topically.

Directions:

  1. Place the cup of baking soda in the tub and allow the arm water to run over it.
  2. Stir the water and proceed to soak in it for half an hour. Do this until the hives heal are completely healed.
  3. If you opt to prepare the paste, simply place 5 teaspoons of the baking soda in a bowl and add just enough water to create a thick paste.
  4. Apply the paste on the skin and leave it on for 15 minutes.
  5. After this rinse with warm water and then dab a clean towel on the affected skin as gently as you can.
  6. Use this remedy twice daily.

 


5. Prepare a Pineapple Compress:

Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Fresh/canned pineapple slices, a cotton towel and rubber band.
Difficulty: Easy

 

Pineapple is an excellent remedy for the natural treatment of hives. This is attributed to the presence of bromelain, one of the active ingredients found in the fruit. When applied on the skin, the bromelain helps reduce the swelling as well as the intensity of the itchiness. Note that when the compress is not in use, it is advisable to refrigerate it in order to preserve its potency. You may use the compress as often as required, but ensure that you replace the compress at least once every 24 hours.

Directions:

  1. Crush one pineapple slice in order to increase its surface area.
  2. Place the crushed pineapple on the towel.
  3. Gather the four corners of the cotton towel and tie to create a firm compress. You will use a rubber band for this purpose.
  4. Rub the pineapple-soaked towel on the part of the skin affected by the hives for about 10 minutes. This may cause a stinging sensation at the onset, but the effects are well worth the healing properties.
  5. When not in use, remember to refrigerate the pineapple compress.
  6. If you are in a hurry, placing the pineapple slices directly on the hives should work just as well.
  7. Use this remedy thrice daily until the symptoms ease.

 


6. Vinegar:

Time Required: 15 Min
What You Need: 1 Tablespoon of vinegar, 1 tablespoon of warm water and cotton wool.
Difficulty: Easy

 

Vinegar is packed with numerous healing properties that make it one of the most-sought after home remedies for the treatment of different conditions. In treating hives, the vinegar is applied topically for the purposes of relieving the inflammation and itchiness. It is important to note that vinegar may cause further irritation in some people. For this reason, it is advisable to carry out a patch test first on a discrete part of the body. If there i o irritation, you may carry on with the directions indicated below. If you experience irritation, discontinue the use of the remedy immediately.

Directions:

  1. Mix the vinegar and warm water to get a diluted solution.
  2. Soak the cotton wool in the resulting solution and the apply on the hives.
  3. Leave the solution on for some 15 minutes.
  4. Use this remedy twice daily until the skin is healed.

 


7. Nettle:

Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: 2 Teaspoons of dried nettle leaf, 1 cup of hot water,a strainer, 1 tablespoon of honey and a clean towel.
Difficulty: Easy

 

Nettle has long been considered nature’s own anti-histamine. This is because it counters the effects of histamine produced in response to the presence of the allergens. In addition to this, nettle is also packed with anti-inflammatory properties that deal with the inflammation and relieve the swelling. You may either drink the tea or use the towel to apply it on the skin, although the latter is preferred for quick healing.

Directions:

  1. Place the dried nettle in a cup and add the hot water.
  2. Cover and allow the tea to steep for 15 minutes.
  3. Pass the tea through the strainer and let it cool if you intend to drink it.
  4. If you prefer to use this remedy topically, simply soak the towel in a separate bowl and use it to apply the remedy on the hives.
  5. Use this remedy thrice daily until the hives clear.

 


8. Turmeric Milk:

Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 1 Teaspoon of turmeric powder and 1 glass of hot milk. Raw honey (optional).
Difficulty: Easy

 

Turmeric milk is best known for its effective anti-inflammatory properties, thanks to the presence of a compound known as curcumin. The herb works by stimulating the production of the body’s anti-inflammatory molecules. The result is a reduction in the inflammation as well as the rate of swelling. Note that this remedy is not intended for patients taking medication for blood thinners as it hampers with the efficiency of the prescribed drug.

Directions:

  1. Add a teaspoon of turmeric to the hot milk and stir.
  2. You may add a tablespoon of raw honey.
  3. Drink this milk twice daily.

 


9. Mint:

Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: Fresh mint leaves, 1 cup of boiling water, a pestle and mortar, a strainer and ice cubes/refrigerator.
Difficulty: Easy

 

Mint is well-known for its cooling properties, which is precisely why it is recommended for the natural treatment of hives. Additionally, the herb is packed with anti-inflammatory properties that speed up the process of recovery. Follow the directions below to prepare mint tea for thsi purpose.

Directions:

  1. Sort and crush the fresh mint leaves using a pestle and mortar.
  2. Once crushed, steep the leaves in a cup of boiling water for 5-10 minutes.
  3. Pass the tea through a strainer and place ice cubes in it.
  4. You may also refrigerate for a few minutes.
  5. Once cooled, wash the hives using the cool mint tea at least thrice daily.

 


10. Additional Tips:

Alongside the remedies listed above, the following tips should help ease the intensity of the hives.

These include:

  1. Keeping a diary to establish what triggers cause the hives, and therefore help you avoid them altogether.
  2. Make a conscious effort to remain stress-free as this often aggravates the inflammation.
  3. It helps to stay indoors, and especially away from direct sunlight as this only intensifies the itching and prolongs the recovery period.
  4. Lastly, wear loose fitting clothes to prevent skin irritation.