If you have ever experienced hives, you will know that they can make your life hell. There are so many allergens that can trigger a reaction that for some people it is truly unbearable.
Common culprits include:
But if you are sensitive, then just about anything can trigger off a nasty response. It’s worth knowing that it is not all about allergies, it can be a chemical that triggers off histamine which is the same chemical in the body that can be found in an allergic reaction. Hives, also known as Urticaria, actually form wheals on the skin. They are different from other skin conditions and these swollen areas can be small or extremely large. Typically, they are short-lived, a few hours but can be for much longer, but during that time, new wheals can develop causing an unbearable itch as they start to form.
Sometimes a reaction can be caused through secondary contact, food that has been cooked where a peanut substance had been used previously. Sometimes it is impossible to determine the cause. Even medications can cause a flare-up and aspirin or penicillin are often two of the main culprits.
Foods can certainly trigger off a response too and berries, milk, eggs, nuts can be significant causes and even chocolate for some people becomes a trigger. Usually a hive occurs within about 30 minutes or so from coming into contact with the actual trigger and this can help to narrow down the actual cause. Food additives, flavorings, preservatives, coloring’s and emulsifiers again can be responsible. So if any of these are likely causes, it is time to reduce or eradicate processed foods from your diet.
Strangely getting too hot or too cold can also trigger a nasty response but these tend to return to normal fairly quickly when normal temperature resumes. Even stress can be responsible.
Hives can be a great inconvenience in life but there are natural remedies that can help:
Because the wheals are itchy, soothe them by dabbing calamine lotion onto them or you can try witch-hazel too. Both help to shrink the blood vessels.If your hives are caused by anything other than a reaction to the cold, try applying a cold compress. You can also add colloidal oatmeal to cool bathwater and lie immersed for approximately 15-20 minutes. The oatmeal can help to reduce itching. Alternatively mix up some baking soda with water – so that a smooth paste is achieved, spread this paste onto each hive and allow to dry on the skin. This can really help to reduce itching.
“Image courtesy of [Witthaya Phonsawat] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net”.