Home Remedies for Skin Rashes And Hives

Chronic hives, also known as urticaria, is an inflammation of the skin caused by the release of histamine by mast cells. This manifests as red patches and raised welts on the skin. Rashes cause red patches without the welts. Sometimes hives and rashes are caused by an allergic reaction, but often the cause is unknown. Talk to your doctor if you experience very severe or persistent hives. Seek emergency treatment if you feel lightheaded, if your throat begins to swell or if you have trouble breathing. Otherwise, there are some home remedies that can reduce the symptoms of hives and prevent outbreaks.

Nutrition and Hydration

In “1000 Cures for 200 Ailments,” naturopathy expert Dr. Geovanni Espinosa explains that hives and rashes can be caused by toxins that are forced to be excreted through the skin. Because of this, he advises a high-fiber diet, which will cause you to eliminate toxins through your bowels rather than your skin. For the same reason, in “Bottom Line’s Prescription for Natural Cures,” Doctors James Balch and Mark Stengler emphasize the importance of staying well-hydrated. They also recommend eating foods high in active cultures like yogurt. Active bacterial cultures combat the fungus candida, a frequent cause of hives. Of course, if a dairy allergy contributes to your urticaria, then you shouldn’t eat yogurt. Instead, try raw sauerkraut.

Lifestyle Changes

Once you determine the sources of your skin problems, you must work to avoid them. Possible triggers are sunlight, heat, cold and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin. Wear looser clothing made of materials that don’t irritate the skin. According to Dr. Balch and Dr. Stengler, stress is a trigger for many people who suffer from chronic hives. Practice deep relaxation methods such as yoga, meditation and deep breathing daily.

Elimination Diet

If you suspect that a food allergy is causing rashes and hives, Dr. Balch and Dr. Stengler suggest an elimination diet. Eliminate shellfish, dairy, eggs, cured meats, chocolate, citrus fruit and peanuts, then reintroduce them one by one into your diet and note any sensitivities. Eliminate permanently any that cause problems. In “Healing Without Medication,” Dr. Robert Rister states that 44 percent of people who suffer from chronic hives are allergic to benzoates, which are found in high concentrations in fish and shrimp. The majority of people with chronic hives also have a sensitivity to aspirin, Rister reports. This is more challenging to eliminate than it sounds, as salicylic acid is an additive to many foods and occurs naturally in foods such as oregano, dill, paprika and peppermint. An average adult can passively consume 200 mg a day, nearly the amount found in children’s aspirin.

Herbs

Dr. Rister also suggests drinking chamomile tea. When chamomile is soaked in hot water it releases chamazulene. Chamazulene absorbs free radicals that cause inflammation, and stops the immune system from producing leukotrienes, which are inflammatory agents. Apply chamomile essential oil to the affected area to stop the mast cells from producing histamines. Dr. Espinosa suggests consuming 300 mg of freeze-dried nettle leaf three times a day for its potent antihistamine abilities.

About this Author

Jeffrey Rice became an ACE-accredited personal trainer in 2007, and began writing about fitness to support his business. Soon, however, he found himself writing more than training, and has since written health, fitness and supplement articles for numerous websites. He holds a M.F.A. in creative writing from Cleveland State University.