10 Home Remedies For Hives + Causes And Treatment

by Atulya Satishkumar

Hives is a condition that results in the development of red, itchy, raised bumps on the skin. It is usually caused due to an allergic reaction to food, medication, physical stimuli, or stress. While hives usually clear up on their own in most cases, the unbearable itching may prompt you to look for home remedies for relief. Scroll down to find some home remedies for hives.

What Causes Hives?

Hives is a condition that causes the skin to develop itchy red patches. It is also known as urticaria. It may appear as tiny spots or large blotches on the surface of the skin. It usually occurs as an allergic reaction to certain substances, medication, or food. When the human body triggers an allergic reaction, it causes histamine to be released, which results in the leakage of fluid into the skin’s layers. This makes the skin appear bumpy, red, and itchy.

Usually, hives resolve on their own. If your condition is chronic, you need to contact a doctor immediately and take the prescribed medication. However, mild cases of hives can be treated with the home remedies listed below.

Home Remedies For Hives

1. Aloe Vera

Aloe vera possesses healing, soothing, and anti-inflammatory properties (1). These properties may help soothe the skin and promote faster healing.

You Will Need

Aloe vera gel

What You Have To Do
  1. Apply aloe vera gel to the hives.
  2. Leave it on overnight and rinse it in the morning.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this once every night until the itching subsides.

2. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties (2). Hence, it may help reduce skin irritation and itching caused by hives.

You Will Need

1 tablespoon coconut oil

What You Have To Do
  1. Apply coconut oil to the affected area.
  2. You can leave it on for about 20 minutes and wash it off with water.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this once a day.

3. Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil exhibits strong antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties (3). This may decrease the swelling caused by hives and also heal rashes.

You Will Need
  • A few drops of tea tree oil
  • 1 tablespoon of carrier oil (jojoba or sweet almond oil)
What You Have To Do
  1. Add a few drops of tea tree oil to jojoba oil or sweet almond oil.
  2. Heat the mixture slightly.
  3. Apply this warm mixture on the affected areas and massage gently.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this 1-2 times a day.

Note: Do a patch test before application as it may cause skin irritation.

4. Witch Hazel

Studies show that witch hazel contains bioactive compounds, like tannins and proanthocyanidins, that exhibit anti-inflammatory activities (4). This may help in soothing the rashes and reducing swelling in the affected area.

You Will Need

Witch hazel extract

What You Have To Do
  1. Dab a small amount of witch hazel extract on a cotton ball or Q-tip and apply it to the affected areas.
  2. Let it dry.
  3. Wash off with plain water.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this 2 times a day.

5. Baking Soda

Baking soda baths were found to alleviate skin itching and irritation (5). Hence, baking soda may help in soothing the symptoms of hives.

You Will Need
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • Water
What You Have To Do
  1. Prepare a thick paste with baking soda and water.
  2. Apply a coat of this paste on the affected area.
  3. Rinse thoroughly with water after 10 minutes.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this once a day.

6. Turmeric

The curcumin in turmeric is effective in improving conditions like pruritus and psoriasis (6). Hence, it may help soothe the symptoms of hives.

You Will Need
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • Water (as needed)
What You Have To Do
  1. Prepare a fine paste of turmeric powder and water.
  2. Apply this paste to the hives and leave it on until it dries.
  3. Wash it off with lukewarm water.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this 2 times a day.

7. Epsom Salt

Epsom salt baths help in relieving inflammation and soothing the skin (7). This may help relieve itching associated with hives.

You Will Need
  • A tub of warm water
  • 1-2 cups of Epsom salt
What You Have To Do
  1. Fill your bathtub with warm water.
  2. Add a few cups of Epsom salt to the water.
  3. Soak in the bath for about 15-20 minutes.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this once every day until the hives subside.

8. Supplements

Fish oil and vitamin D supplements may help in relieving the symptoms of hives.

Fish oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids that exhibit anti-inflammatory properties (8). These properties may help soothe your symptoms.

Vitamin D supplements were found to help in the treatment and management of chronic cases of urticaria (9).

Caution: Please consult a doctor before consuming these supplements.

9. Green Tea

Green tea is rich in polyphenols that have anti-inflammatory properties (10). Hence, it may help in reducing swelling in the affected area.

You Will Need
  • Water
  • Green tea leaves
What You Have To Do
  1. Steep some tea leaves in hot water.
  2. Add some honey to this decoction and consume it while warm.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this 2 times a day.

10. Ginger

Ginger is rich in bioactive compounds that impart analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties to it (11). These properties may help in reducing pain and inflammation in the affected area.

You Will Need
  • 1 teaspoon of ginger juice
  • 1 teaspoon of honey
What You Have To Do
  1. Extract ginger juice and add honey to it.
  2. Consume this mixture.
When You Need To Do This

Do this 2-3 times a day.

Make sure you try these home remedies after consulting your doctor. Listed below are some over-the-counter medications to treat hives.

Over-the-Counter Treatment Options

Medical treatment options for hives include:

  • Calamine lotion
  • Fexofenadine (Allegra)
  • loratadine (Claritin)
  • Cetirizine (Zyrtec)

These are commonly administered antihistamine medications that may combat allergic reactions that give rise to hives. Make sure to take these medications only if a doctor recommends it.

When To See Your Doctor

Most cases of urticaria are usually mild. In such cases, you may treat it at home. However, if your symptoms do not subside after a few days, consult a doctor. If you experience any trouble in breathing or feel a swelling develop in your throat, seek immediate medical help.

Here are some prevention tips that will help you.

Prevention Tips For Hives

Generally, hives occur as a reaction to a substance or food that you may be allergic to. You must avoid contact with all such substances and refrain from consuming any foods that may cause the release of histamine into your bloodstream.

Additionally, some people may develop hives when they step out in the sun. Make sure to limit exposure to sunlight by covering up or applying sunscreen.

If followed diligently, these remedies may help manage and treat the symptoms of hives and provide relief from the discomfort. Seek medical help immediately if your symptoms don’t subside within three days. 

Expert’s Answers for Readers Questions

Does scratching hives make them worse? Can hives spread by scratching?

Scratching hives may make them sore and also increase the discomfort. It can also make them more severe and cause them to spread.

Why do hives get worse at night?

Skin itchiness may increase at night due to increased blood flow to your skin and increased loss of moisture from the skin surface at night. These factors may make hives itchier at night.

Are hives contagious?

In most cases, hives are not contagious as they are caused by the release of histamine in your bloodstream. In very rare cases, hives that are caused by viruses may be contagious.

How long do hives last?

Hives may last from a few minutes to several hours. In mild cases, it may last for a few minutes or last the whole day.

11 sources

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