By Briana McDonald (UtopiaSilver.com) Hives, also known as “Urticaria” and “Angioedema” are raised, itchy, red welts on the surface of the skin that can vary in size and shape. Although hives are pretty common it can still be a little frightening when we or a loved one experiences an outbreak. Thankfully you can soothe hives outbreaks with natural sources until the condition goes away on it’s own.
Symptoms of Hives
- swelling of the skin into red or skin-colored welts (also referred to as wheals) with clearly defined edges
- these wheals are round and can get larger, spread, and join together to form larger areas of flat, raised skin
- they can change shape, disappear, move around the body and reappear within minutes or hours
- itching can occur (1)
Causes of Hives Outbreaks
- certain foods especially food allergies to shellfish, tree nuts, milk and some kinds of fruit
- medications and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen and asprin
- allergy shots
- pets and other animals
- insect bites and stings
- extreme cold or sun exposure
- contact with chemicals
- autoimmune diseases
- OTC children’s painkillers (Stevens Johnson Syndrome)
When hives occur due to an allergy, high levels of histamine are released into the skin which cause your blood vessels to open up and result in the redness, swelling and extra fluid in the tissues. Conventional treatments for hives would be antihistamines but these can often come with not so pleasant side effects like drowsiness, dizziness, dry mouth/nose/throat, upset stomach, increased appetite and weight gain, nervousness or irritability. When severe onsets of hives break out a doctor may prescribe a steroid which also have negative side affects such as acne, blurred vision, cataracts or glaucoma, difficulty sleeping, high blood pressure, increased growth in body hair, weakness, stomach irritation or bleeding, sudden mood swings, puffy face, water retention, and swelling. (2)
NATURAL SOURCES FOR HIVES
A calming oatmeal bath can help to soothe hives outbreak. Just add a cup or two of uncooked oats into a stocking or cheesecloth and tie it up with a rubber band so the oats do not leak out. Put the oats under running water as your bath fills up. Oats are known for their ability to calm skin inflammation thanks to their high salicylic acid content. Make sure the bath is just warm, not too hot or cold as this can worsen hives.
A past composed of 1 tsp of baking soda and cold water can calm existing hives and help prevent new ones from occurring. Allow it to dry completely before washing it off with a soft cloth and cool water. You can use this remedy as many times throughout the day as necessary.
Dabbing witch hazel on hives several times per day can help to ease the inflammation and itching. Witch hazel is known for it’s ability to heal the skin quickly and it is a strong antioxidant and astringent.
Bromelain, a pineapple derivative can be applied directly to hives or taken orally as well.
Quercetin is a natural antihistamine and anti-inflammatory. Test tube studies have shown that quercetin prevents immune cells from releasing histamines which causes hives. (3)
At this point I don’t know what Aloe Vera isn’t good for! Simply apply the gel topically to the affected area. You can also buy fresh aloe vera juice which will help reduce the inflammation of hives. (4)
Please seek medical attention for yourself or your child if hives are severe or cover a large area of the body or if you also develop a fever or difficulty breathing. Chronic hives should be evaluated by an allergist or immunologist to determine proper treatment.
Briana MacDonald- Natural Health Writer
Briana McDonald-natural health writer is a Staff Writer of the Silver Bulletin e-News Magazine (Utopia Silver Supplements). She does website ad designing for the company as well as free-lance health article writing.