Hives, also known as urticaria, are itchy, red, and raised patches on the surface of the skin, often caused by some sort of allergen, an allergy-causing agent, which could be food, medicine, or an irritant in the environment. Other names for hives are welts, weals, or nettle rash.
Hives are usually temporary, and non-contagious. The body releases histamine (a protein) when it comes in contact with an allergen. On the release of this protein, capillaries release a fluid that accumulates over the skin and causes a swollen skin rash. The rashes are usually stingy and itchy, thereby must be treated with care.
Causes of Hives
To treat any allergy or infection, it’s important to understand the reason that causes the same. Following are the Causes of Hives, that trigger this condition:
- Exercise or some kind of workout that causes excessive sweating.
- Exposure to sunlight for long durations.
- The reaction of the water on the skin. (seawater that contains salt)
- Diseases like thyroid.
- Seasonal changes.
- Dust mites.
- Insects and their wastes.
- Insect or spider bites.
- Pet shedding and dander.
- High body temperature.
- Extreme temperature change.
- Infections such as common cold, hepatitis B.
- Foods such as nuts, seafood, wheat, or dairy products.
- Heavy medications including antibiotics or anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin, etc.
Symptoms of Hives
Symptoms of Hives include:
- Swelling on the infected area.
- Skin color, pink or red patches.
- Redness around the rashes.
- Rashes that are round or oval-shaped.
- The rashes may spread from a few millimeters to several inches through the body.
- The allergy causes itching and burning sensations.
- The rashes usually occur in batches on the face, hands, arms, legs back, or even simultaneously in one or more than these two areas.
- They are usually temporary and disappear within 24 hours, but new ones may also appear alongside.
- Chronic hives have severe symptoms and may last for weeks or months.
Types of Hives
- Chronic Hives: These are usually the ones with an unidentifiable cause. Chronic urticaria is a condition where hives keep recurring over a period of weeks or months and disrupt one’s lifestyle. This kind of hives cause discomfort and may be difficult to treat.
- Dermatographism: This is usually caused by excessive scratching, or when pressure is induced on the skin and is mild in nature. It is self-curable and usually disappears within a short span of time.
- Hives Caused by Infections: Viral and Bacterial infections can both lead to hives. Strep throat and urinal tract infections are common bacterial infections that cause hives.
- Hives Caused by Temperature: Sudden temperature change may sometimes cause hives in people who are temperature sensitive. Air exposure or acute cold temperature may induce cold hives while heat-induced hives may result from high body temperature, sun exposure, or heat generated by exercising.
Treatment of Hives
Taking certain precautions and treatments can cut short the span of hives and the rashes caused by them. Here we shall focus only on the natural treatment of hives (urticaria), some home remedies and lifestyle changes, and Ayurvedic measures to cure this condition.
Natural Treatments and Home Remedies
- Oatmeal Bath: Cool water bath with a cup of uncooked oatmeal can soothe the itch and the pain caused by the rashes.
- Aloe Vera Gel: The natural gel from the plant provides a cooling and supple effect over the skin. It also provides Vitamin E to the skin and helps in reducing the redness and the rash.
- Coconut Oil: Virgin coconut oil contains antioxidant and antimicrobial properties that provide a cooling effect over the skin and rash area. It also helps in the quick healing of hives.
- Tea Tree Oil: This oil contains anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties that help in treating hives. It must always be applied after diluting with another oil like coconut or olive oil. It efficiently works against viral, fungal, and bacterial infections.
- Baking Soda: Adding 1-2 cups of soda to a warm water solution and soak the infected area, rinse off and pat dry. Use a moisturizer post the procedure.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: This is an age-old remedy for treating various kinds of skin problems.
Herbs for Hives
- Witch Hazel: The tannins found naturally in the plant helps in relieving the irritation and the itching caused by hives.
- Nettle Leaf: It’s a magical tonic for cleansing the skin and for kidney support. It provides beneficial results in treating acne, hives, and various other skin conditions and allergies.
- Indigo Naturalis: This is a natural dark blue powder made from a dried Chinese herb called Qing Dai. This herb helps in soothing the inflammation caused by hives.
- Avoiding or totally cutting down alcohol consumption.
- Avoid antibiotics or strong medications that might aggravate such skin reactions.
- Eating healthy, fresh, and organic food.
- Cutting down on packaged and processed food.
- Avoiding stress by meditating, practicing yoga, etc.
- Use soaps, shampoos, moisturizers that are mild on the skin.
- Avoid processed and frozen meats, fish, seafood, etc.
- Avoid scratching on the infected area.
- Shower frequently with cool water, towel dry properly, fan to keep the area cool and moisture-free.
Practicing these lifestyle tips, whether or not suffering from hives, ensures that you don’t even develop one. For more such assistance and natural remedies, contact us at IAFA as we are the experts in promoting Ayurveda and Natural treatment to cure various skin conditions, allergies, and lifestyle concerns.