How To Get Rid Of Hives
Dealing with Idiopathic Urticaria
Idiopathic urticaria is the fancy medical term for hives, specifically hives with no known cause. Unfortunately this is a very common condition across people of all ages and demographics. Hives are an allergic reaction to something in a persons surrounding environment and since we come in contact with hundreds of substances a day it can be very hard to discover the cause of hives. In case some are wondering, no hives are not contagious.
Hives are not considered to be a dangerous or severe condition however they are certainly annoying and depending where they are on your body, they can be very embarrassing and crush one's self esteem. The causes of hives are simple, it's an allergic reaction. What is not simple is discovering just what it is that is causing the allergic. It can be anything, and when I say anything I mean anything. It could be something you ate, drank, touched or even smelled that can cause the body to release histamines and produce hives. A common source of hives is laundry detergent. Often times the first thing a doctor will ask when diagnosing urticaria is if you have changed to a different laundry detergent lately. It could be the shampoo or body lotion of a new mate or something in the air at work. Surely you're starting to see 1) why hives are so common 2) why they are so hard to eliminate. To make things even tougher your source of hives could be something that you have been in contact with your whole life and now suddenly have developed an allergy to it. This is common to food allergies, people suddenly cannot tolerate certain foods such as milk or nuts and it causes them to break out in hives.
To Antihistamine or not.....
Similarly to treating toenail fungus hives treatment can be approached from a systemic and or local angle. In the case of systemic treatment, antihistamines are the first line of defense against urticaria. Because hives are caused by the body releasing histamines, antihistamines do a pretty good job of combating the appearance of hives. However there are a few problems with this. For one this is a temporary fix that is treating the symptoms and not the cause and also antihistamines have very drowsy side effects that make them very hard to take during the day. This creates quite a dilemma and although there are non-drowsy antihistamines on the market such as Claritin, they aren't as potent as traditional older generation antihistamines and sometimes aren't capable of reducing the appearance of the hives. If antihistamines are not therapeutically effective or are making you too drowsy to get through your day, the second line of defense a doctor may prescribe are steroids. No, not he kind of steroids that Barry Bonds was using, but prescription steroids such as prednisone or medrol dose packs. These can be effective at eliminating the appearance of hives but again, they are only treating the symptoms so once you stop taking them you are likely to have hives again. It's also worth noting that long term use of such steroids have been linked to diabetes, weight gain and other serious adverse effects. The most important thing you and your physician can do when developing a treatment plan is to discover the source of the allergic reaction.
There are also natural remedies for how to get rid of hives that work quite well with minimal to no side effects.