What are Some Home Remedies for Hives?

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  • Written By: Shannon Kietzman
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 01 January 2020
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Hives are the body’s response to allergens. They generally look like a rash or like welts on the skin and appear after exposure to an allergen to which the body is susceptible. Common allergens that cause hives include fish, milk products, nuts, food additives, flavorings, preservatives, penicillin, and aspirin. Stress, temperature extremes, pressure on the skin, and insect bites can also cause hives to appear.

Since hives are caused by some sort of stimulus, the first step in treating them is to determine what caused them to develop. In this way, the cause can be removed and avoided in the future. In most cases, simply being away from the trigger for a period of time is all it takes to cause the hives to go away. Usually, it only takes a few hours.

Until hives disappear, they can be quite irritating. To help alleviate any itching the hives cause, calamine lotion can be applied to the area. Alternatively, a cold compress can be held on the area to treat the symptoms of hives.

A bath can also be used as a remedy for hives. In order to get the greatest effect, three tablespoons of cornstarch and five to six tablespoons of oatmeal should be added to the water. Sodium bicarbonate can be used to substitute for the cornstarch.


If the hives are persistent and have not gone away on their own in a few hours, an over-the-counter oral antihistamine can help relieve symptoms. If the hives persist for a few days, however, a doctor should be consulted. For individuals with severe problems with hives, prescription antihistamines may be necessary to alleviate the problem. Oral corticosteroids can help reduce swelling associated with hives if the antihistamines are not effective. If a person develops hives in response to cold, ultraviolet light treatments are sometimes helpful.

Certain symptoms that may develop along with hives should not be treated at home. Rather, a doctor should be contacted immediately. These symptoms include nausea, cough, cold sweats, dry throat, dizziness, a drop in blood pressure, difficulty breathing, and itchy or burning welts in the throat.



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