|Anyone can get hives, however, women of African American heritage, those who have eczema, and people who smoke cigarettes have a greater risk of developing them.
Tips to relieve hives
To get relief from hives at home, Dr. Del Campo recommends the following tips:
- Soothe the itch with a cool, damp washcloth; anti-itch cream or lotion; or colloidal oatmeal baths.
- Try not to scratch. This can be difficult as hives are notoriously itchy, but scratching irritates your skin more. Keeping fingernails short can reduce scratching.
- Gently bathe using warm water. When bathing, you want to be very gentle with your skin. Avoid rubbing the itchy skin with a washcloth, loofah, or mesh sponge. It’s best to apply your soap or cleanser by gently putting it on your skin with your hands.
- Use fragrance-free cleanser. Make sure that you use a fragrance-free product rather than an unscented one. An unscented product contains fragrance that’s been covered up so that you cannot smell it. Because an unscented product contains fragrance, it can still irritate your skin.
- Wear loose-fitting, 100% cotton clothing. This can reduce the irritation on your skin.
- Track your hives. If you frequently get hives or your hives last a long time, keep track of them in a journal. This can help you figure out what’s triggering your hives and prevent them from coming back. Keeping a journal may help you find the cause. If you can avoid what’s causing the hives, you can prevent new hives.You want to jot down the following:
- Date and time the hives started
- What you were doing before the hives began
- Foods and drinks you recently had
- Medications you recently took, including aspirin, ibuprofen, and any prescription medications
- If you recently felt overheated or sweat heavily
- What you were wearing and carrying
- If you’ve been feeling stressed
“If your hives don’t clear after following these tips, talk to a board-certified dermatologist,” says Dr. Del Campo. “Get immediate medical care or go to the nearest emergency room if you have hives, along with any of the following: problems swallowing, feel light-headed or faint, have swelling in your mouth or throat or a racing heart or shortness of breath or trouble breathing.”
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