5 Things To Treat Hives

Treat hives and get rid of the itchy, unsightly welts using these household items and remedies.

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1. Cold Compress

Unless you have hives that are triggered by cold (which is rare), have a cool bath or apply a cold compress. Cold shrinks the blood vessels and blocks further release of histamine. To further relieve itching, add colloidal oatmeal (such as Aveeno) to the bathwater and soak in it for 10 to 15 minutes. (Caution: Be very careful getting out of the bath, as that finely ground oatmeal suspension makes the bath's surface very slippery.)

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2. Calamine or Witch Hazel

Dab the welts with calamine lotion or witch hazel. These astringents help shrink blood vessels, so they don't leak so much histamine.

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3. Pepto-Bismol

Alternatives to calamine lotion are milk of magnesia or Pepto-Bismol. Because they are alkaline, they help to relieve itching.

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4. Baking Soda

In a small cup, add a few drops of water to baking soda and stir until you get a paste. Spread the paste on the hives to help stop irritation and relieve itching.

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5. Brown Sugar

An old Chinese folk remedy for hives calls for boiling one-quarter cup brown sugar and one tablespoon fresh ginger in three-quarters cup vinegar for several minutes. Mix a little of this with warm water and apply several times per day.

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