How Do You Treat Hives
Hives! Merely saying the name makes you want to itch. The first step in managing hives is to identify what caused the reaction to occur. Once you have identified the trigger that sets you off, you can then attempt to avoid that trigger. Each person will have their own trigger or triggers to avoid. There is no specific trigger that gives hives to everyone … well, short of rolling in a poison ivy patch. But who is doing that by choice?
A mild case of hives often disappears on its own after a few hours. If it lasts longer, you can try an over-the-counter antihistamine from the chemist.
See a doctor if your hives outbreak doesn’t disappear in a few days. Seek medical help immediately if you notice symptoms of angioedema.
Symptoms of angioedema include:
- Swelling of the lips,
- Swelling of the tongue
- Swelling of the throat
Call 000 for emergency services if you or the person shows signs or symptoms of a severe allergic reaction, or is about to enter into a state of anaphylaxis.
If you often get hives, or if your outbreaks affect you significantly, your doctor might prescribe antihistamines. Treatment with corticosteroids, taken orally, will sometimes reduce swelling when antihistamines don’t work. But doctors usually reserve them for severe cases. Your doctor may also consider a biologic drug, omalizumab (Xolair), for chronic hives in people twelve and older.
Home Remedies For Hive Relief And Treatment
Try putting a cool compress on the area or take a cool shower. Avoid strong soaps, detergents, and other chemicals that can make itching worse.
The trusty calamine lotion never hurts and can offer relief from the itching for a while. It is simply reapplied when the itching begins again.
If you discover that you are severely allergic to bee stings or other insect bites, certain foods, or medications, ask your doctor about prescribing you an Epi-pen or epinephrine shot to use in an emergency. You would use these to treat anaphylaxis. Always carry one epinephrine pen with you; if you require a larger or a repeat dose, you might require two pens.
Epi-pens have a shelf life of one (1) year.
When To Consult Your Doctor About Hives
Contact your doctor if you develop hives:
- More than once in the same month
- If your hives last for longer than a month
- You cannot identify the trigger
- OTC medication is not effectively controlling your hives outbreaks.
Call 000 or get emergency medical help immediately if any of the following occurs:
- You start to get burning or itchy welts in your throat.
- You get hives and a dry throat, cough, cold sweats, nausea, dizziness, or trouble breathing after a bee sting, an insect bite, or a new medication.
This may be entering a state of anaphylaxis. Give yourself an epinephrine shot, even if you are unsure whether your symptoms are allergy related. It is safe to use even as a precaution. You will still need to seek follow-up medical attention even if your symptoms seem to stop after the adrenaline shot.
- You have symptoms of angioedema (swelling of the lips, tongue, or throat). You need immediate medical attention so that the swelling doesn’t block the air passage to the lungs and end in a fatality.
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