Hives. Those red, itchy, blotches that appear and change your plans! Hives, or welts, can be caused by a wide variety of things; allergic reactions, physical surroundings (cold, water, pressure), and even medical conditions. Hives take on many forms, varying in color, size, shape and even texture. Some individuals may have one, isolated flare up. Others may suffer for days. But what do you do if you have chronic hives, or hives that last longer than six weeks, you may be suffering from a condition called chronic urticaria. It is important to understand the type of hive as well as your medical history to best know how the condition should be treated.
No matter the source of your hives, relief is your urgent goal! Here are 10 ways to get relief from chronic hives.
1. Go see a dermatologist, allergist or primary care doctor!
It is important to identify the source of the hives. A doctor can help you isolate the cause of the hives, think through possible life changes that will alleviate the discomfort, and even assist with prescription needs.
2. Record everything!
Writing down dietary, environmental, emotional, and sensory stimuli can help to narrow down the possible source of the hives. Keep a record of what you eat/ drink, where you go, what’s around you, how you’re feeling. You will likely notice a pattern forming as time goes on and this can help you to isolate and avoid the source.
3. Take pictures of the hives.
Taking pictures is a great way for the dermatologist to see what you saw/ experienced when you had the hives. You may also take pictures of the objects which you suspect were the source of the reaction.
4. Itch relief!
There is relief, even if only temporary. The following are sources that may help you find comfort in your time of need:
- cold compress, or ice cubes, multiple times daily
- stay cool- avoid overheating
- Use a fragrance-free moisturizer multiple times daily
- wear loose-fitting, natural fibers, such as cotton
- use an Over the Counter-antihistamine or calamine lotion- to relieve the itching.
5. Stay Calm!
Stress can instigate hives for some words. Find ways to incorporate self-care into your day through yoga or other forms of exercise, meditations, and even remaining calm can help some people not have cams!
6. Treatment can be helpful even if the cause of the hives is still unknown!
Maybe you haven’t found the cause yet, but don’t give up! Continue to monitor your exposures and you will have an action plan daily!
7. Stick to the treatment plan!
That’s it! Just stick to the plan!
8. Stay in contact with your dermatologist!
Even if your hives are 100% cleared up, it is important that you stay in touch with your doctor so that treatment can continue to be adjusted/ monitored even once symptoms are gone. Together you will be able to find the source and the proper treatment plan.
9. Allergy testing may not be the answer.
Many who suffer from chronic hives attempt allergy testing for answers. This rarely provides clear results.
10. Breathe deep! Chronic hives may go away on their own!
Be gentle and observant with yourself, especially when you are experiencing chronic hives. While they are sure to be an unwelcome symptom, relief will come!
Chronic hives shouldn’t prevent you from leading a happy, healthy lifestyle! Know that the friendly staff at Arlington Dermatology are eager to help you with your specific needs. Managing your condition is best done when we work together! Please take the time to visit our website at www.arlingtondermatology.net or call our friendly staff at 847-725-0824 for assistance today.