What Are Some Dermatological Cures for Hives?

 What Are Some Dermatological Cures for Hives?

Hives are an irritating, unsightly skin condition that can happen for a variety of reasons. Read on and learn how dermatologists can help provide quick relief for hives.

What Are Hives?

Hives are a reaction that occurs on the skin, characterized most often as raised patches or bumps of red, itchy skin. There are so many things that can cause hives, and while they’re often associated with allergies, allergic reactions are far from the only reason they develop. Hives can be caused by a massive variety of factors: sweat, cold, heat, sunlight, contact with cloth or other worn materials, and even stress. This list is only the most common causes for hives; it doesn’t begin to encompass every possible factor that can cause them. Hives are generally harmless, but since they can accompany allergic reactions, they may be a first sign of a more extreme allergic reaction. If you have hives in addition to difficulty breathing, dizziness, wheezing, swelling of the face, tongue, or lips, and tightness in the chest, call a doctor immediately and seek medical attention. This could be anaphylaxis, which can be fatal if untreated.

But what if you have regular, ordinary hives that will go away on their own? Is there anything you can do to hasten their departure or at least relieve your itching skin? Fortunately, there are a lot of options for treating hives that your dermatologist can offer.

Antihistamines and Other Oral Medications

Hives caused by allergies occur due to a histamine response in the body. While hives from allergic reactions clear up on their own in almost all cases, your dermatologist may recommend antihistamines in some form. For mild cases, a doctor may recommend over-the-counter drugs. For more severe allergies, a prescription antihistamine may be called for. Antihistamines can help to alleviate the swelling and itching that the histamines create. Other possible oral medications prescribed for treating the symptoms of hives include corticosteroids. Taken orally, corticosteroids can help to control inflammation and itchiness. In some rarer cases, like with chronic hives, a drug like cyclosporine may be prescribed. This drug, and others like it, inhibit the body’s immune response, which is responsible for the inflammation and irritation.

Topical Drugs

Topical drugs have similar goals and ingredients to oral medications, and there are topical versions of antihistamines and corticosteroids. In these forms, the results are quite similar. Their focus is to reduce itchiness and swelling. Other topical solutions for milder cases of hives include menthol ointment or pramoxine lotion. These products can help soothe itchy skin and give relief until they go away on their own.

At-Home Solutions

If your hives are mild enough, at-home treatments may be all your dermatologist will recommend. You can apply a cold compress to the hives for temporary relief of itching and inflammation. Keep your home cool, as warmth can make sweating worse, which can in turn make hives more intense. You can also wear loose-fitting clothing to keep the hives from becoming more irritated by friction. Over-the-counter solutions like colloidal oatmeal can also help reduce itchiness. This often comes in the form of a solution or powder you can add to a lukewarm bath. Soaking in this bath for the recommended duration can greatly relieve the irritation from mild hives. There are so many things you can do to tackle hives at home, but a dermatologist’s input is crucial to understanding the possible cause of your condition so you can avoid it going forward.

If you have hives and are looking for a possible explanation and some relief from the symptoms, your dermatologist can help. Give the experts at Northeast Dermatology Associates a call today to learn more and schedule your consultation.

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