They’re red, swollen, raised skin patches that get the best of you for being so itchy, it practically takes away your focus on whatever it is that you’re doing and scratching is all that you want to do. Have you been itching for a cure to finally bid your hives farewell once and for all? Relax because hope is here — 11 of them to be exact!
Facts And Myths About Hives
So, what are hives anyway? Before moving on to know the 11 ways on how to get rid of hives permanently, you have to be able to discern what’s true and what’s false when it comes to hives. Here are a few basic points you must know about this skin condition, whether you’re having this for the first time or, it you’ve been chronically suffering from this condition:
Fact No. 1: Hives Can Appear Out of Nowhere
Hives, contrary to popular notions that these bumps surface as a result of poor skin care issues, are commonly caused by allergic reaction to some allergen. Typically, people will have reactions to pollens, animal fibers and dung, certain foods, certain medicines, and even insect bites.
However, hives may also appear due to other, non-allergy-related causes. That includes sun exposure, heat, stress, and common infections such as colds and flu. There are even what are called exercise induced hives. In more serious cases, hives can also be a symptom of chronic diseases including lupus and thyroid sickness.
Fact No. 2: Hives are Not Contagious
It does not spread like an infection. What causes this condition is your body’s response to an allergen. When your immune system detects an allergen, it goes into a response mode suitable to an attack. It then releases histamines in an attempt to neutralize the “attack” which, in turn, causes fluids to leak which is what causes your skin to manifest bumps and appear swollen.
You can’t get hives from anyone and you can’t pass it on to anyone but, if you and your friend or family member share the same environment, chances are that there is an allergen in your surroundings that are making you develop hives.
Fact No. 3: Hives Don’t Last
How long do hives last? Typically, your symptoms of hives should disappear within 24 hours from the first hour it manifested on your skin. It can, however, disappear in one part but, appear in another. This happens when the so-called ‘trigger’ or main allergen causing you hives is still in your environment. This often develops into what can be considered as urticaria or chronic hives or, hives that last for more than 8 weeks.
Fact No. 4: Hives Have Different Types
Hives is a generic term for a larger class of allergies that appear to have the same symptoms but, which can have different underlying causes and period of reaction.
Fact No. 5: Hives Can Be Treated
In fact, the primary strategy is not really to treat the symptoms but rather manage these better when they appear. Your body resolves hives on its own but, while the itching and swelling is on, you may need help getting these under control.
11 Ways To Treat Hives
You may have had it just once but will still want to prevent them from happening again in the future or, your skin may have been experiencing strong reactions to some allergen.
Here are 11 things that you can do to help prevent, treat, and better manage hives:
1. Get To Know Your Triggers
The best way to reduce hives is by getting to know what causes it in the first place. Do you get it during the windy season? Then, it must be pollen. For which, closing your doors and windows and turning up the air conditioning can help you avoid this skin condition. Or, if a friend just recently gave you a pup, that could be your trigger.
2. Bathe morning and night
You may be reacting to dust and pollution that accumulate on your skin and clothing throughout the day. Clearing your skin of these impurities, therefore, can be a great way to prevent another episode of hives.
3. Stay Away From Environments That Are Making Your Skin React
If you know that your skin reacts to outdoor environments, sun, and heat rather easily, try to stay indoors as much as possible where you can easily influence the room temperature and humidity. It is a common recommendation on how to get rid of hives permanently. Keep your skin dry, cool, and well-hydrated.
4. Keep Indoor Environments Clean
Most allergens involve tiny specks of dust, pollen and fibers. Make sure to dust off indoor environments where you live, work and play to keep your skin from reacting to these triggers. Other means to avoid these are to change your sheets and towels regularly, cleaning windows and doors periodically, and brushing off dust from your filters and fans.
5. Give Yourself a Cold Compress
In fact, if you can, take a cold shower. Keep in mind that one of the biggest no-no’s of chronic hives skin care is getting your skin touched by warm water which can trigger more fluids to leak underneath your skin. In turn, these can cause your skin to appear even more raised and bumpy or, possibly even make your hives cover a larger area.
6. Keep a Mentholated Cream Near You
Forget the steroidal creams, a camphor oil or a mentholated cream can give you tons of help in relieving the itchiness and swelling of your hives. By helping yourself stop scratching alone, you are facilitating the faster healing of your hives.
7. Ephinephrine Injection
Some severe cases may call for epinephrine injection as a hive treatment option among adults. This treatment works by tightening the blood vessels, constricting these to control fluid leaks which, in turn, causes hives to appear less swollen.
The most common ways to relieve hives orally is by taking OTC antihistamine meds, some will have drowsiness as a side effect but, there are others that are non-drowse. If you need to stay awake, make sure to ask your pharmacist for a no drowse brand. Some stronger antihistamines are also available only with prescription.
The most common brand name will be Xolair. This drug is often prescribed only for patients who have been diagnosed with chronic idiopathic urticaria (CIU) which, more recent evidence suggests, may be an autoimmune condition, not just superficial hives, after all.
10.Get Emergency Care
Sometimes, what may appear as hives can be a symptom of some more complex, more serious disease that needs close medical attention, most especially when hives are accompanied by difficulty breathing and swallowing, dizziness or, general weakness.
11. Consider Acupuncture
Evidence suggests that acupuncture may help restore balance in the body, effectively treating the root cause — the autoimmune condition — that triggers hives. If you are a chronic sufferer, it could be a viable option.
Your skin is subjected to countless invasions and attacks from both internal and external causes everyday — both those that you can see and not. It pays to know your skin better, and learning about skin conditions like hives can help you manage your skin health better.
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