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What Causes Hives and How to Treat Them

Updated on September 10, 2019
EvieSparkes profile image

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

Who Gets Hives?

Literally anybody can get hives. They can be occasional, chronic or you might only get them once in your lifetime.

How do I Know if I Have Hives?

You may not be sure what you are suffering from as hives can look like bites. If you've never suffered before then you'd be forgiven for thinking that's what they are. The first thing you should do it pay a visit to your local GP who will be able to tell you if you are suffering from hives.

When you know that is indeed what the welts are then you know what you are dealing with.

What is The Treatment for Hives?

Firstly you will probably be prescribed an anti-histamine. This is a good immediate fix for the condition but it will not solve the underlying issue if indeed there is one. I have had this pesky condition for eighteen years. There is no cure I am told. Mine are chronic and that's that. No trigger, no allergy, nothing.

No-one wants to hear the news that they are stuck with hives so tough. I am pretty sure that mine were triggered when I was suffering form post natal depression around six months to a year after my son was born.

Anxiety is a common cause of hives. You'd think that when I was all better from the anxiety that would be the end of the hives wouldn't you? Not so. They persisted.

Hives Every Night Only?

It is quite common to suffer on a nightly basis and not at all during the day. Night time hives can be caused by an elevated body temperature.

Bamboo sheets provide good relief from night hives. The fabric is breathable and it's impossible for bugs to live inside of the fibres.

Bamboo is cool too which is an added bonus. It's far from being cheap, but it is worth the investment is you have itching at night.

Bamboo sheets are good for relieving all sorts of skin allergies and they won't cause an allergic reaction like some fibres do. I have them and I wouldn't be without them now.

How Long will They Last?

Hives can last for six weeks up to forever. Forever being chronic hives with no known cause.

Most outbreaks occur in times of severe stress and last a few weeks. In the majority of stress related outbreaks they subside within 6-8 weeks and may never return or come back now and again.

Pain from Hives

Before I knew what my condition was I had quite a bit of pain caused by the swelling of the skin. Itching from hives is not like any itching you can describe to someone who has never suffered. It's a deep itch, right down to the muscle, or that's how it feels. Even scratching doesn't give much relief.

If left untreated by fingers actually hurt from the internal swelling of the tissues. My scalp has been so painful and itchy at times that I've thought I might go mad. That was back when I was trying to go cold turkey with the anti-histamines and find a natural cure instead. Needless to say I didn't find one.

There is nothing wrong with taking a daily anti-histamine but I wanted to get to the route of the problem and sort that out.

Are Hives Contagious?

No, you cannot pass hives onto anyone else. It's a condition that affects individuals and is non-transferrable.

Diet and Hives

I have tried all kinds of things in order to rid myself of the condition over the years. Nothing has worked....up until now. I am writing this article as just last week I realised that I hadn't taken an anti-histamine in 4 days. Now that might not seem long, but for me it is an age.

What is Helping My Hives on Their Way?

For the past three months my husband has been on the ketone diet. No carbs and definitely no sugar. I am not on said diet but when he isn't eating cakes and chocolate I am inclined not to. 1) Because it seems unfair to do so in front of him and 2) Because my brain says that if he can stop then so can I...anything he can do and all that.

So it seems that sugar really is the devil's work. Fat, not so much. Cutting out cakes, biscuits and all things sugary seems to be starving my hives to the point of non-existence. Of course, I am now too terrified to eat cake just incase it feeds them and they make an appearance.

I'm not saying that they are gone. I still know when they are bubbling under the surface and I take a tablet before they start to irritate me.

Other Treatments For Hives

Avoid having too many baths as hives thrive when your skin is damp for some reason

Keep your skin hydrated by drinking plenty of water

Moisturise with an E45 or and aqueous cream

Try not to scratch them

Wine contains histamine so avoid it at all costs

Don't Despair

I know you might feel desperate. You may have already tried all of the treatments I have listed.

The first thing to do is to realise that no amount of stressing and trawling the web for answers will help.

The one and only thing that has worked for me in all of this time has been cutting out the sugar intake. I have come to see that no good comes from sugar. It's way worse than fat and it causes a ton of health issues.

Hives can be triggered by anything but you can stop feeding it. Try to chill out a bit and look at your diet. If you are eating processed sugar on a regular basis then stop. To be fair, If I hadn't accidentally found this sort of cure, then I'd have dismissed it as just another stab in the dark. It works. Starving the hives of sugar makes them weak and weakness can be exploited.


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