My Experience With Chronic Hives
Go Away Hives
Hives is a skin condition that affects many of the population. It can be triggered by environment factors, lotions put on the skin, clothing, heat and foods that you eat. There is no 'cure' as such, but there are ways to prevent it the occurrence of hives. I am not a doctor, but I can offer you my store on how I dealt with hives and my ways to find a solution.
(image source: wikipedia)
Let me start by saying that I loathe hives. Hives robbed me of at least 6 months of this year. I rarely slept through the night, so my days passed in a lethargic blur, I wore long sleeve shirts in the thick of Summer to cover my outbreak so I was constantly overheated and dehydrated and I was just so fed up having to explain my skin disorder to everyone who gave me the 'is she contagious' stares.
I started my hives outbreak the same time a small group of co-workers also experienced hives. Was it a coincidence or was there something in the 'air' at my workplace, well it has never been conclusively proven either way. Whilst everyone else's skin cleared up within a few weeks, 6 months later I still suffered terribly. What I have put it down to is that my immune system must have been low and took a longer time to recover.
During this time I researched hives immensely and tried out different approaches to relieve my hives. This page is a summary of what I have learnt. I am not a doctor, so don't take anything I write as the ultimate truth. This is just a page on my personal experience with hives.
Find Your Triggers
The tricky thing about hives is finding what triggers them. For hives lasting under 6 weeks the common cause is said to be allergies yet pin pointing them could be a difficult task. For example, you could love mangoes having eaten them all your life, yet all of a sudden you could find that eating them causes an allergic reaction. The allergic reaction could be caused by something you eat, a new washing liquid, certain fabrics – the possibilities really do boggle the mind.
If you have swelling of hives around your face, throat or mouth or are having difficulty breathing seek medically attention immediately.
Hives and Steroids
It must be a universal rule that doctors prescribe predmix (a type of steroid) for hives. This medication comes with all these warning and can only be taken for a short term to avoid serious side effects. The side effect I suffered initially was increased hunger and irritability, although the irritability could have been due to the overall condition.
Hives and the Doctors
I went to two doctors to treat my hives. The first prescribed me steroids within 5 minutes. I enquired whether I should take an allergy test, she said chances are I wouldn’t figure out what I was allergic to but if I wanted to it was my prerogative.
The second doctor, who was pregnant at the time, put on a face mask and sought a second opinion as to whether or not I was contagious. I was not. Yet again I was prescribed steroids with the promise that if it didn’t clear up they would run tests to see if I have an autoimmune problem.
Hives and Drinking Water
In my research into hives I came across some articles and posts that suggest hives can be triggered by dehydration and not getting enough water. I am not sure if it is a coincidence or even if it is a placebo effect, but I am aware now that if I drink more water I suffer less from hives. Additionally, when I did wake up in a scratching "fit" at night; my mouth would always be extremely dry. I would drink half a cup and would settle down. Maybe placebo, maybe fact. I like to think that there is some truth to the matter and essential the water is flushing out the toxins in your body.
"You're Not Sick, You're Thirsty!"
F. Batmanghelidj wrote a book called “Water: For Health, for Healing, for Life: You're Not Sick, You're Thirsty! “The basic premise for the book is that our bodies are deficient in water and this is the cause of many health conditions and ailments. Whilst I don’t agree that water can cure major disease and should replace proper medical treatment, I do believe that water plays a vital role in our wellbeing and in the case of hives could speed up recovery
Dry Skin - The enemy of Hives
Hives thrive on dry skin I found. Keeping your skin moist by using a gentle lotion for sensitive skin (sorbolene is good) and drinking plenty of water, will significantly help your skin. I found the moisturizer Dermaveen to be a great help.
I have no proof as I was trying various thing to rid myself of hives, but I have a strong suspicion that my skin started to clear when I began taking liquid chlorophyll. You probably remember the term chlorophyll from Biology class in high school. Chlorophyll is an ingredient found in leafy plants and is a source of naturally occurring vitamins and minerals. It is also known as a body deodorizer as it cleans out the bowels. I do believe that liquid chlorophyll helped to rid me of hives.
Hives can be a symptom of an underlying autoimmune condition such as Diabetes. See you doctor.
A Hives Diary
As hives can be triggered by food and environmental factors, it is essential to keep a diary detailing all the hives episodes you experience and noting what you ate and came into contact that day. You may notice a pattern emerging in your findings and it could be something as simple as a filling you use on your sandwich.
If you Google hives, you will no doubt hear about OxyHives. Every page I see that mention oxyhives get a commission If I buy the product, so I have no idea if the product works or if someone is trying to sell me something. The product is not a cure (the only cure is finding and avoiding the triggers) yet it is supposed to be a natural relief. For just under $50 I have never tried it before but have been tempted. They do offer discounts if you buy larger quantities.
The Silver Lining
I believe in trying to find the positive from situations. In a way Hives has helped me to take better care of myself. I started to drink more water, try to get decent sleep each night and almost completely cut down on processed foods. I wanted to figure out what I was allergic to so I stopped eating dairy and gluten for three months. I believe this, combined with the chlorophyll, is when my symptoms really started to decrease. I guess my body was just crying for a detox.
I slowly introduced both gluten and dairy back into my diets one at a time. I have eliminated a gluten allergy as the cause, but have found myself to be allergic to dairy. If I do take something rich in dairy content I do notice my skin getting that familiar itch.
I also take a vitamin c tablet each morning to boost my immunity and calcium as I don’t take much dairy anymore.
The Aftermath - Hives Scars
I have hive scars. I know it is my fault, it is just so darn hard to stop scratching itchy skin. Most of my scars are fading naturally with time and light exfoliation with a loofah, however many people have sworn by, and offer me unsolicited advice in regards to using Bio Oil. It's pretty much the only product anyone is suggesting to me (and that includes pharmacists) A small bottle can be bought for under $20. However don't be fooled by the size of the bottle, one small bottle can last months as only a small amount is needed each day.
Me and Hives today
I haven't had a single hive for probably 6 months now. Summer is here, which was when my hives began last time, so I am mindful to drink plenty of water and get enough sleep. I try to take better notice of what I eat and how it makes my body feel as that's the biggest lesson I have learned through this experience. The link between what you eat and how you feel emotionally and physically should never be overlooked. In a twisted way, hives were a mixed blessing in disguise. It taught me to be aware of what ingredients are in the foods that I eat and what affect this has on me. If you are experiencing hives, I hope this story has brought you some hope that it may take time, but it can go away.