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Urticaria, How to Treat Itching From Hives

Updated on May 8, 2019
EvieSparkes profile image

Evie Sparkes is a published novelist, content writer, and company director from the UK.

Urticaria or Hives - What is it?

Hives is a common condition and effects the skin. It manifests as an allergic-like reaction. Small or large bumps can appear anywhere on the body. They are incredibly itchy and enough to drive an otherwise sane person crazy.

Hives can appear at any time and can last anywhere from a few weeks to years. Sometimes there is a cause but in my case there was no known cause. Although that's what the experts told me, I am pretty sure they started when my son was a year old and the same time that I was suffering with anxiety. All manner of physical symptoms can occur when our mental health is out of whack.

Stress and anxiety can bring on an attack for sure, but generally the attack will subside in a few days. Mine didn't. In fact, is was so bad at one point that I could barely function.

Always Visit Your GP When Your Body Behaves Unusually

We as women, are far more likely to go and see a doctor. Men would see going to the GP for a few itchy spots, embarrassing. I'm generalising here of course. I can only go by the men in my own life!

I went right away, mostly because I thought I was going to come out of my skin and I had things to do which I couldn't do because I was either scratching or trying not to scratch which took a lot of concentration!

I also had Dermatographia, otherwise known as skin writing. This is when you can quite literally write on the skin with a light touch. It was bizarre and everyone though it was highly entertaining and would scribble things up my arms!

Hives Diagnosis

My GP diagnosed me immediately. She prescribed anti-histamines and sent me on my way with the assurance that it would all be good in a few weeks. Hmm, try years. Actually, even now I have it, all be it way milder. I take an anti-histamine every three days to keep it under control.

I was irritated that I had to rely on a pill to get by, but now I accept it as part of my life and just swallow it down with gratitude that I am not scratching!

Sometimes we have to accept medical intervention when it comes to our health. We don't like relying on medication, but you'd take a tablet if you had diabetes wouldn't you? It's the kindest thing we can do for ourselves. By all means try absolutely everything else and don't be put off getting some allergy testing.

My doctor would say it's a waste of time and that mine are chronic and there's nothing to be done.

I have cut out lactose. I have 'free from' milk and I know that helps a lot as lactose is an irritant.

What Can You do to Help Ease The Itching?

There are a few effective treatments. You can buy some witch hazel gel which will significantly reduce the itching and you can make sure you keep your skin hydrated by drinking plenty of water, as hives feel worse in dry conditions.

You can try taking processed sugar out of your diet. This helps me immensely. Don't drink wine, as many contain histamine.

Cut back on caffeine and alcohol in general.

Try not to scratch to stop scarring.

Don't stay in the bath for too long as luke-warm water tends to irritate hives.

Stop Thinking About it

It's a good idea not to think about how annoying hives is for you and how you hate being stuck with them and so on....I say this because you are focusing on them and any sort of focus on an issue will always make it worse. That's just a fact, and not a LOA statement that doesn't apply to everyone.

The best thing you can do to settle the itching when all other avenues have been exhausted is to meditate for a few minutes every day and remind yourself of all of the good things in your life. Telling ourselves positive things and having positive thoughts in general is proven to have a positive effect on our overall wellbeing. It's science folks!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.


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