Urticaria, most commonly known as hives, are red and swollen welts that appear on the skin. The cause of hives is not always identifiable, but are most commonly linked to an allergic reaction. They can also be the result an autoimmune disease. Hives can come in different sizes, and are usually not threatening. However, hives can cause extreme itching and burning which can last up to 6 weeks. Usually hives will go away on their own, but there are home remedies that will help alleviate painful symptoms and reduce healing time.
Over The Counter Medications
According to the Mayo Clinic, the most common form of home treatment for hives is over-the-counter antihistamines. Antihistamines work by inhibiting the release of histamine into your system, and by inhibiting the dilation of capillaries. Antihistamines will also help reduce itching. There are several antihistamines available, such as loratadine, cetirizine, and diphenhydramine. Consult with your health care physician as to which antihistamine would be the most beneficial for you.
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, evening primrose oil not only helps respiratory and stomach problems, but may also help in alleviating the itching and burning associated with eczema, dermatitis, and hives. This is possible because of the gamma-linolenic acid, also known as GLA, in the seeds of evening primrose. For hives, consume two to eight grams per day. The University of Maryland Medical center also suggests taking a supplement of omega-3 fatty acid, such as fish oil, along with evening primrose oil. The two supplements combined will help promote optimal health while reducing the symptoms of hives. Ask your health care professional which omega-3 fatty acid supplement would work best for you.
Quercetin is an antioxidant that works by helping remove free radicals from the body. Quercetin works similarly to antihistamines, and has anti-inflammatory properties that help not only with hives, but may also protect your system against cancer and certain heart diseases. According to the University of Maryland Center, studies have shown that quercetin stops the release of chemicals that can cause allergies. Because of this, quercetin may help to reduce hives, and other allergy symptoms such as watery eyes and sneezing. For hives, consume 250 to 650 mg of quercetin daily.