For those who suffer from them, hives can be a real pain, Hives are raised, red, itchy welts that appear suddenly on the skin, usually lasting 2-4 hours, only to reappear somewhere else. Correctly known as Urticaria, occasionally hives can persist and become chronic. Fortunately Homeopathy can treat it effectively so if you suffer from hives read on…
Causes for Hives:
There are many potential causes for hives and sometimes the cause is simple and easy to eliminate. When the cause is stress related, as a Homeopath I work closely with my client to change their emotional, psychological and physiological reactions to stress increasing their resilience. Here is an comprehensive but not exhaustive list of potential causes:
- medication – such as antibiotics, aspirin and codeine
- some food additives
- infections – including bacterial, viral or parasitic
- certain underlying conditions – such as systemic lupus erythematosus, rubella and hepatitis
- emotional stress
- contact with plants or animals
- sunshine and heat
- cold temperatures
- exercise and sweating
- bee and wasp stings
What is Actually Happening in my skin?
The reason hives appear is mainly due to a release of histamine from cells called mast cells. This brings blood to the area hence the redness and causes intense itching. Unfortunately scratching the itch will increase histamine release, so if you can, refrain from scratching. Although Homeopathic medicines can treat the hives very effectively, if you are a frequent sufferer it will be important to make an appointment with your Homeopath, Naturopath, or doctor to determine the underlying cause. Once this cause has been identified and eliminated then the chronic sufferers of hives can really relax.
Homeopathic Hives Medicines
There are many different medicines for hives and this is by no means an exhaustive list but here are several homeopathic medicines to try if you have an acute attack.
Histaminum: My favourite has to be homeopathic Histaminum. This medicine can only be obtained through a specialist homeopathic pharmacy or from your homeopath, but it can work rapid wonders if you suddenly get an attack of acute hives. It's also brilliant for hay fever sufferers who have not yet been on my hay fever desensitization treatment.
Apis Mellifica : This remedy is for swollen, red attacks of hives with stinging and burning pain which is worse at night. The welts are painful and tender and there is some heat in the skin.
Arsenicum Alb: There is burning pain and restlessness and this medicine is particularly relevant if the hives have occurred from eating shellfish. The patient will be anxious and restless.
Bovista: This is the medicine for hives all over the body. There will be a burning sensation and intense itching not relieved by scratching. The pain will be worse at night.
Urtica Urens: This is for hives with burning, itching with specific pain points. The rash will be pale and less red than with some other hives and the patient will have a desire to constantly rub the affected area. The hives will be better for lying down and worse on rising.
What to do if you get hives:
There are several topical things you can do that are natural:
Cool Compress: Applying cool compresses will help on the affected area although avoid iced water as this can make it worse.
Oatmeal: Use your blender to create oatmeal from rolled oats. Add a cupful to a cool/warm bath as this will help soothe the itching.
Pineapple: The natural enzyme in Pineapple called Bromelain sometimes helps. You can apply pineapple directly to the skin.
Apple Cider Vinegar: Dip cotton wool balls in vinegar diluted in cool water and apply directly to your skin.
Bicarbonate of Soda: Dissolve a teaspoon of bicarb powder in a glass of water and apply directly to the skin with cotton wool balls.
It’s very important to identify your trigger as treating the acute hives attacks will not stop them occurring. If you want to determine why you get hives book an appointment with me and let’s determine your triggers and how to avoid them so you can have a hives free life!