Hives are itchy and swollen patches on your skin. They appear when your skin reacts to an allergen, a substance the produces an allergic reaction in your body. Hives are not life threatening, but it can be a chronic condition and often makes you feel uncomfortable. Sometimes it’s hard to know what causes hives, but there are certain medications and conditions that affect the release of histamine in your blood that can contribute to your hives. Here are some way you can manage your hives:
How to treat hives
The only way to treat your hives is to know what is causing your hives. There can be many factors involved that requires your doctor’s help. Let your doctor know the following:
- Have your changed laundry detergent?
- Are you taking a new drug or herbal?
- Did you eat something different that you haven’t eaten before?
- Are you using a new perfume or lotion?
These questions will help your doctor identify what is causing your hives. Usually, you doctor will recommend home treatment for hive before giving prescription. In most cases, over-the-counter antihistamines are able to reduce the symptoms of hives. If you have another condition that causes hive, your doctor will prescribe a treatment for that disease first.
Before using any drug, check with your doctor before taking any of these medications if you are pregnant or breast-feeding, have a chronic medical condition, or are taking other medications.
Sometimes identifying the cause can be difficult. Treatment will usually help manage your symptoms. Taking antihistamine drugs can be a way to reduce the symptoms of hives. If you are worried about the side effects of antihistamine, you can ask your pharmacist for a newer form of antihistamine that have fewer side effects, such as:
- Cetirizine (Zyrtec®)
- Levocetirizine (Xyzal®)
- Desloratadine (Clarinex®)
- Loratadine (Claritin®, Alavert®)
- Fexofenadine (Allegra®)
If the antihistamines above don’t work, your doctor may request taking older forms of antihistamines that have been proven to be more effective. You should only take these medicines before bedtime, as it may cause drowsiness.
- Hydroxyzine (Vistaril®)
- Diphenhydramine (Benadryl®)
- Chlorpheniramine (Chlor-Trimeton®)
Corticosteroids may also be prescribed by your doctor but usually for only a short period of time. There are many side effects for long-term use of corticosteroids. These corticosteroids can be used orally or topically. They work by reducing the inflammation that will help relieve the swelling, redness and the itching.
How to manage hives
Hives is a chronic condition and you should learn how to live with it. The best way to manage hives is to prevent irritation to the skin area:
- Wear loose, light clothing.
- Avoid scratching.
- Use gentle soaps.
- Cool the affected area with a shower, fan, cool cloth or soothing lotion.
- Keep a diary of when and where hives occur, what you were doing, what you were eating, and so on. This may help you and your doctor identify triggers.
- Avoid known triggers, such as certain foods or additives, alcohol, pain relievers, heat, cold, exertion, and stress.
Hope our management tips help you feel comfortable in your skin and manage your skin condition for a happier life.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Review Date: January 4, 2017 | Last Modified: January 4, 2017
Life Style and Home Remidies. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/chronic-hives/basics/lifestyle-home-remedies/con-20031634. Accessed September 20, 2016.
Hives – Urticaria Angioedema. http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/guide/hives-urticaria-angioedema. Accessed September 20, 2016.