28 Oct 2016
What are Hives, Urticaria, Nettle Rash and Angioedema
The word ‘Urticaria’ is derived from a latin word ‘Urtica‘ that means ‘Nettle‘. When these rashes appear on the body produce a feeling like a person is stung by a nettle. That’s why it also is known as ‘Nettle Rash‘. Urticaria is a bit bumped and sometimes painful itchy rash, also known as Hives, Weals, Welts or Nettle rash. It’s a Skin disease that appears as a result of allergic reaction.
When the deeper tissues of the skin get affected and swelled by these rashes, called ‘Angioedema’. Urticaria differs from Angioedema as it appears on the skin while Angioedema under the skin surface. These rashes may appear on a part of the body or can also spread across the wide area.
Types of Urticaria
Generally, the doctors refer two types of Urticaria:
- Acute Urticaria
- Chronic Urticaria
In Acute Urticaria, the rashes disappear within six weeks. This is caused due to viral infection.
While in Chronic case, the rashes persist over many years. This is usually caused by the production of auto-antibodies.
The major symptoms of Urticaria or Hives are:
- Appearance of bumps
- Swelling and itching on the skin
- Appearance of small red rings or spots
- Patient may experience some pink lesions of different sizes throughout the body
- Formation of wheal
- Sometimes, in severe cases, the patient feels difficulty in breathing
- Sometimes, in severe cases, the patient can suffer loss of consciousness, dizziness/fainting
What are the causes of Urticaria?
- Allergic causes of Urticaria
- Non-allergic causes on Urticaria
Basically, Urticaria is caused by allergic reaction. When the skin contacts externally when finds any allergic substance nearby. Then skin starts to release an excess of ‘Histamine’ (a compound produces by cells in response to allergic or inflammatory reactions, triggers contraction of smooth muscle and dilation of capillaries). The increase of histamine raises the fluid in the affected area and becomes a cause of swelling.
These allergic reactions can be due to:
- Ingestion of certain allergic foods
- Sodium Nitrite is an ingredient contained in foods, this compound is a major cause of urticaria in people.
- Sometimes, deficit or highly processed diet or diary products also become cause of allergic urticaria
- Inhalation in an allergic area where mites, pollen or mold may present
- Some medications as cough vaccine, flu vaccine or aspirin can also be a cause of allergic urticaria
- Some allergic animals can also be a cause of allergic urticaria
- Patient can be allergic to some drugs or chemicals
Wearing too tight clothes as they prevent the movement of waste material from the body. As a result, they accumulate in the blood flowing area.
Excessive sweating due to excessive sun exposure or violent exercise
Extreme environmental conditions as exposure to extreme heat or cold
Stress can also be a cause of non-allergic urticaria
How can I treat Urticaria or Hive?
Effective and best Home remedies for Urticaria or Hives
There are several natural home remedies that patients can try to get rid of hives. Some best and effective of these natural home remedies are as follows:
For External use:
Remedy#1: Red Onion
Sliced an onion and rub it on the affected areas for 4-5 minutes. Then keep these onion slices on the affected area and tie them up with a fabric piece.
Remedy#2: Baking Soda
In a bathtub add a cup of baking soda and sit in the water for about 20 good minutes. Try this remedy only when rashes have covered a big area of the body.
Remedy#3: Milk of Magnesia
Apply Milk of Magnesia on the affected area. The rashes will be disappeared after some time. Try this remedy only when the rashes are minor.
Remedy#4: Aloe Vera Gel
Cut an Aloe Vera leaf into half and apply directly on the affected area. The patient can also apply a mixture of Aloe Vera gel and vitamin E on the affected area.
Cut the tomato into slices. Now rub the slices on the affected area for 5 minutes. Then put the slices on the affected area and tie them with fabric.
Remedy#6: Apple Cider Vinegar
Mix one Tbsp of Apple cider vinegar to one Tbsp of warm water. Now apply it on the affected area using a cotton ball.
Remedy#7: Ginger and Apple Cider Vinegar
Take 2 Tbsp of Brown Sugar and one Ginger root. Steep them in a pot of boiling water ( about 1-2 cups) for 5-10 minutes. Let it cool down for a little while. Now add 1 cup of Apple cider vinegar. Apply it on the affected area several times a day.
Remedy#8: Mint leaves
Take few Mint leaves and crush them into a paste. Apply this paste on the affected area several times a day. This remedy prevents itching and burning and patient will feel relief.
Remedy#9: Celery stalks
Take 1-2 stalks of Celery. Steep them in a pot of boiling water (about one cup) for about 5-10 minutes. Every night, before sleeping apply it on the affected area using a cotton ball.
Remedy#10: WormWood leaves
Take two Tbsp of Wormwood leaves. Steep them in a pot of boiling water (about one cup) for twenty minutes. Add it to the bathtub before taking a bath.
Remedy#11: Orange Blossom Water
Before taking bath, add 1 liter Orange blossom water in the bathtub. After taking shower, also apply on the affected area using a cotton ball. Patients don’t try this remedy if their rashes cause is cold.
Remedy#12: Mallow leaves
Take few mallow leaves and crushed them into a paste. Mix this paste with a little butter. You will get a cream form. Apply it on the affected area to get relief and soften skin.
Remedy#13: Gorse leaves and white wine
Take a bottle half filled with white wine. Now add a bunch of crushed Gorce leaves into it. Shake it well and keep in a warm kitchen for three days. Then apply it on the affected area using a cotton ball.
Remedy#14: Violet plant leaves
Take three Tbsp of Violet plant leaves. Steep them in a pot of boiling water (about 2-3 cups) for twenty minutes. Let it cool down. Strain and use to take a bath.
Remedy#15: Lavender Flowers
Take half a glass of Almond Oil and add 25 grams crushed Lavender flowers in it. Seal it properly and keep in a dark room for four weeks. After four weeks take two Tbsp of this mixture and mix with two Tbsp of Organic yogurt. Gently massage the affected area using this paste.
Remedy#16: Rolled Oats
Take 3-4 Tbsp of rolled oats. Steep them in a pot of boiling water (about one cup) until you get a thick paste. Let it cool down, then apply on the affected area. This remedy is effective for common Hives.
Remedy#17: Mullein leaves and flowers
Take 35 gm of Mullein leaves and flowers. Steep them in a pot of boiling water (about 3-4 cups) for ten minutes. Let it cool down and then wash the affected area using it.
Remedy#18: Witch Hazel
Witch Hazel is also effective for hives. Apply it on the skin topically.
For Internal Use:
Remedy#19: Chamomile, Lime, and Valerian leaves
Take two Tbsp of all plants’ leaves. Steep them in a pot of boiling water (about one cup) for five minutes. Drink it thrice a day. This remedy is very effective if the cause of rashes is Stress. This remedy will be more effective if you take German variety of Chamomile leaves.
Remedy#20: Sarsaparilla roots
Take one Tbsp of sarsaparilla roots. Steep them in a pot of boiling water (about one cup) for twenty minutes. Keep it overnight. Then daily take one Tbsp of it regularly.
Remedy#21: Lemon, Sage, and Nettle leaves
Take a handful of all leaves. Steep them in a pot of boiling water (about one cup) for five minutes. Drink three cups in a day.
Remedy#22: Burdock, Borage, and Thyme
Take a handful of Burdock roots, Borage leaves, and Thyme. Steep them in a pot of boiling water (about one cup) for five minutes. Keep it overnight. Strain and drink this thrice a day. This is an effective remedy if the cause of Hives is toxins.
Remedy#23: Red Alder Bark
Take one tsp of Red Alder bark. Steep them in a pot of boiling water (about one cup) for ten minutes. Strain and drink. You can add honey to make taste good.
Remedy#24: Plantain and Liverwort
Take one Tbsp of Plantain and Liverwort leaves. Steep them in a pot of boiling water (about one cup) for 5 minutes. Let it cool down, strain and drink three cups in a day. This is the best remedy for chronic Urticaria.
Remedy#25: Dandelion leaves
Take one Tbsp of Dandelion roots. Steep them in a pot of boiling water (about 1-2 cups) for ten minutes. Drink it regularly. You can also use Dandelion leaves as a salad.
Remedy#26: Green Tea
Green tea is also recommended to cure a minor condition of hives. Catechin found in green tea is the main reason why it’s good for hives.
Remedy#27: Licorice Tea
Licorice tea is an effective remedy for hives when patients are suffering from inflammation. This remedy is not recommended for pregnant and diabetic.
Remedy#28: Vitamin E and Calcium
Eat and drink juices of vegetables and fruits containing vitamin E and Calcium. Take them on empty stomach.
Remedy#29: Activated Charcoal
Activated Charcoal is also effective when the reason of Urticaria is toxins. Take it on empty stomach.
Medical Treatments for Hives or Urticaria
When home remedies are failed to provide relief to the patients then they must visit the clinic. Here I’m mentioning few basic treatment that dermatologists suggest. But don’t use these medications without consulting your dermatologist.
Antihistamine inhibits the activity of histamine that causes itching or rashes on the skin. As antihistamine usually Claritin (loratadine), Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) or Zyrtec (cetirizine hydrochloride) are prescribed by the dermatologists. Always know about side effects of any medication before consuming.
In severe cases, dermatologists suggest corticosteroids such as prednisone that reduce swelling, itching or redness. They also reduce the secretion of histamine. It acts quickly, must be used for short period of time.
Hives treatment with phototherapy
In this process, the affected skin is exposed to ultraviolet light. This process reduces the inflammation and makes the chronic urticaria better.
Monoclonal antibody therapy for Hives
This treatment gives effective results in cases of chronic urticaria caused by environmental conditions. In this process, Xolair injection containing an active ingredient omalizumab are injected into the patient body. Don’t get this treatment if you are allergic to omalizumab.
Precautions for patient of hives
- Avoid beverages as coffee, tea or sodas
- Don’t consume junky foods
- Don’t wear clothes made of synthetic fiber rather wear cotton clothes
- Don’t wear skinny clothes
- Try to reduce stress by practicing yoga
- Avoid more exposure to the sun
- Avoid scratching affected skin
- If the cause of hives is food allergy, prefer home meals
Note: Before using any remedy or medication consult your doctor.