You're enjoying time out with friends or family, and you find yourself suddenly scratching. Soon, you have welts covering that area of your body. You know that if you keep scratching, they'll only get worse, but the itch is driving you crazy. You're breaking out in hives.
Hives are caused by allergic reactions to food or environmental triggers. They can also be caused by stress. Tracking down the cause can be difficult, but even more difficult is coping with the hives once they appear. The next time you have an outbreak, try one of the 7 home remedies below to gain the upper hand.
1. Cool compress. A very simple remedy to relieve the itch is offered by the Mayo Clinic. Put a cold compress on the affected area. Anything cold will work, even slices of cucumber if that's all you have handy.
2. Bath. For larger hive cases, taking a soak in a soothing tub may be in order. Top 10 Home Remedies recommends adding 1/2 cup baking soda to a tub of water and soaking 20 to 30 minutes to help reduce and relieve hives. Another option is an oatmeal bath. WebMD says to place 1 cup of raw oats in a tub of water and soak in it.
3. Turmeric. WebMD says that turmeric may be a natural way to help take the itch out of hives. Grow Youthful recommends making a paste from fresh turmeric and placing it on the hives for 15 minutes. Be aware that turmeric leaves behind an orange/yellow stain.
4. Aloe vera. Aloe vera is great for all kinds of skin problems. Find Home Remedy says to use aloe vera gel directly on the hives. If you have an aloe plant, break off a leaf and apply the gel from the plant directly to the hives.
5. Baking soda. Another baking soda remedy is making a paste to put on the hives. Top 10 Home Remedies says to mix 2 tablespoons of baking soda with enough water to form a paste. Let the paste stay on the hives for 10 minutes before wiping off.
6. Calamine lotion. A tried-but-true remedy is offered by Reader's Digest. Calamine lotion is a topical antihistamine for hives. If you don't mind being a little pink, it offers great relief.
7. Vinegar. Another remedy recommended by Reader's Digest is combining 1 teaspoon of vinegar, any kind, with 1 tablespoon of warm water. Dab this diluted vinegar onto the hives with a cotton ball. Does this work? No research is available to say that this actually works, but you can give it a try.
Hives don't have to ruin your fun anymore. Since knowledge is power, go out armed with some simple ways to combat these itchy welts and win the war.