Effective Ways to Treat Hives: Medical Treatments, Natural Remedies, and Lifestyle Changes


Hives, also known as urticaria, are a common skin condition that usually manifests as itchy, red bumps on the skin. They can be caused by a variety of factors, including allergic reactions, infections, medications, and stress.

While hives are typically harmless and tend to go away on their own within a few days or weeks, they can be uncomfortable and sometimes even painful. In this article, we’ll explore some effective ways to treat hives, including medical treatments, natural remedies, and lifestyle changes.

Medical treatments for hives

If you’re dealing with a particularly stubborn case of hives, or if your hives are causing significant discomfort, your doctor may recommend one of the following medical treatments:

Over-the-counter (OTC) antihistamines

One of the most common treatments for hives is over-the-counter antihistamines, such as Benadryl (diphenhydramine), Zyrtec (cetirizine), and Claritin (loratadine). These medications help to relieve itching and other symptoms associated with hives by blocking the release of histamine in the body. While antihistamines are generally safe, they can cause drowsiness in some people, so it’s important to read the labels carefully and follow the dosing instructions.

Prescription antihistamines

If OTC antihistamines aren’t effective, your doctor may recommend a prescription-strength antihistamine, such as Allegra (fexofenadine) or Xyzal (levocetirizine). These medications work in a similar way to OTC antihistamines, but they tend to be more potent and longer-lasting.

Alternative treatments

In some cases, your doctor may recommend an alternative treatment for hives, such as omalizumab (Xolair), which is a biologic medication that helps to block the immune system’s response to allergens. This medication is typically reserved for more severe cases of hives that haven’t responded to other treatments, as it can cause serious side effects.

Lifestyle modifications

In addition to medication, your doctor may recommend some lifestyle modifications to help manage your hives. For example, they may recommend avoiding triggers such as certain foods or medications, wearing loose-fitting clothing, and using fragrance-free products on your skin.

Natural remedies for hives

If you’re looking for natural ways to treat your hives, there are several remedies that may help. Keep in mind that natural remedies may not be as effective as medical treatments, and they may not work for everyone. Some natural remedies you can try include:

Using aloe vera

Aloe vera has anti-inflammatory properties and may help to soothe the skin and reduce itchiness. You can apply pure aloe vera gel directly to the affected areas of your skin, or use a lotion containing aloe vera extract.

Baking soda baths or oatmeal baths

Soaking in a warm bath with either baking soda or colloidal oatmeal can help to reduce inflammation and soothe itching. To make a baking soda bath, simply add a cup of baking soda to your bathwater. For an oatmeal bath, grind a cup of colloidal oatmeal into a fine powder and add it to your bathwater.

Avoiding trigger foods

If you suspect that certain foods are triggering your hives, try eliminating them from your diet for a few weeks to see if your symptoms improve. Common trigger foods include shellfish, nuts, eggs, and dairy products.

Staying hydrated

Drinking plenty of water can help to keep your skin hydrated and reduce inflammation. Aim to drink at least 8-10 glasses of water per day.

Other natural remedies

Other natural remedies that may help to relieve hives include applying cool compresses to the affected areas, taking supplements such as vitamin D or quercetin, and using essential oils like lavender or tea tree oil.

Managing hives with exercise, stress management, and healthy lifestyle habits

While exercise and stress management may not directly treat hives, they can help to improve overall health and reduce inflammation in the body, which may help to alleviate hives symptoms. Some healthy habits you can adopt include:


Regular exercise can help to reduce stress, boost the immune system, and promote overall health. Try to get at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise, such as brisk walking or cycling, most days of the week.

Stress management

Stress can be a trigger for hives in some people, so it’s important to find ways to manage stress. Some effective stress-management techniques include meditation, deep breathing exercises, yoga, and massage.

Healthy lifestyle habits

In addition to exercise and stress management, there are several other healthy habits that can help to promote optimal health and reduce inflammation in the body. These include getting enough sleep, eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, and avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.

Tracking hives to identify triggers and symptoms

Importance of tracking

One helpful way to manage your hives is to keep track of your symptoms and any potential triggers. By keeping a diary or taking notes on your symptoms, you may be able to identify patterns and determine what’s causing your hives.

How to track

To track your hives, make note of when your symptoms first started, what they look like, and where they occur on your body. Also note any potential triggers, such as new foods or medications. Over time, you may start to see patterns emerge, which can help you identify triggers and manage your symptoms more effectively.

Uncommon treatments for hives

While the treatments mentioned above are typically the first line of defense for hives, there are some other remedies that may be helpful in certain cases:

Applying a cool cloth or compress

Applying a cool, damp cloth or compress to the affected areas can help to reduce inflammation and soothe itching.

Taking a warm bath

While hot water can sometimes aggravate hives, a warm bath may be helpful in some cases. Adding Epsom salt or colloidal oatmeal to the bathwater can help to soothe irritated skin.

Applying witch hazel

Witch hazel is a natural astringent that can help to reduce itching and inflammation. You can apply witch hazel directly to the affected areas of your skin using a cotton ball or pad.


Summary of main points

Hives can be uncomfortable and sometimes even painful, but there are several effective ways to treat them. Medical treatments such as OTC and prescription antihistamines can help to relieve itching and other symptoms, while natural remedies like aloe vera and baking soda baths can help to soothe the skin. In addition, adopting healthy lifestyle habits such as exercise and stress management can help to promote overall health and reduce inflammation in the body. Tracking your symptoms and potential triggers can also be helpful in managing hives.

Good practices for managing hives

Some good practices for managing hives include identifying and avoiding trigger foods and medications, wearing loose-fitting clothing, using fragrance-free products on the skin, and getting enough sleep. If your hives are severe or persistent, it’s important to seek medical advice to determine the best course of treatment.

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