Hives typically occur when the body has an allergic reaction to some kind of stimulus. These swollen, red and sometimes painful blotches can be inconvenient and uncomfortable, and in some cases must just be managed with techniques to provide relief until they fade. Individuals can try removing the stimulant, such as blocking out the sun; taking over-the-counter antihistamines; and using topical creams. Cool compresses may help reduce swelling as well. In most cases, hives will fade on their own and anything done to manage them is simply to relieve symptoms.
While sometimes an individual might develop swelling from hives for no concrete reason, other times it is a reaction to the surroundings. If he or she has developed hives because of exposure to heat or sunlight, getting out of this environment can help relieve some of the swelling associated with it. In some cases, hives will disappear completely in only a matter of hours with the removal of the stimulus that caused them to appear.
Other times, hives are a result of an allergy to something that has been ingested; in these cases, it isn't something from which an individual can remove himself. Antihistamines and over-the-counter allergy medications can provide some relief from the swelling from hives. These types of medications can help manage the reaction of the body to the histamines that cause the swelling and can reduce the severity. Since some of these medications can also cause side effects, such as drowsiness and headache, caution should be taken when administering these drugs to treat hives.
Swelling from hives can also be managed with the use of topical creams. These creams are applied to the skin whenever and wherever needed and can help alleviate some of the itching and tight feeling that can result from swelling. Medicated lotions can also help manage some of the other discomforts that go along with hives.
If the afflicted area is small enough, applying cool, wet compresses can also help reduce some of the swelling from hives. This can be as simple as wetting a cloth and holding it over the area until it gets warm, much like reducing the swelling in a joint that has been sprained. Refraining from wearing tight-fitting clothing can also relieve some of the swelling and will not put painful pressure on the afflicted areas. Adjusting a work area can also help, making sure to not put any added pressure on swollen areas. This also can help prevent the hives from getting tender and sore.
The swelling from hives can make sleeping difficult and uncomfortable, and turning on the air conditioning or shutting off the heat can also help manage the symptoms. This will also help prevent the tight, feverish feeling that often goes along with the condition. Cool showers can also provide some relief and help manage some of the tightness that goes along with the swelling.