If you've never had hives, they're itchy, swollen red spots that spontaneously appear on your skin. Often, they're the result of an allergic reaction. No matter the reason, hives can be quite painful and irritating. Rather than waiting to see your doctor for some pain relief, try some of these methods that help treat hives naturally.
Cool the area. The first thing you want to do when you or your child gets hives is to cool the area. This should provide immediate relief. Any type of wet compress will do the trick - a cold cloth, an ice pack, or even a cold patch. Apply it directly to the red areas to soothe the itching and burning.
Bath in oatmeal. It sounds crazy, but it works. You can treat hives naturally by taking an oatmeal bath. If you find that the hives cover a large portion of your body, you should dip into a bathtub full of oatmeal. Not only will it feel great (albeit a bit weird), oatmeal has natural healing qualities as well. You may need to do this once a day until you see the hives start to show signs of healing.
Bath in cornstarch. Another strange-but-true bathtub trick for healing hives naturally is to use cornstarch. Cornstarch acts like a soothing agent with antibiotic qualities. Add as much or as little as you want. At least a box is necessary in order to really experience the healing benefits of cornstarch.
Apply aloe vera gel. It works on sunburnt skin, so why wouldn't it work on hives? Aloe vera gel is a natural healing cream that you can rub on your skin freely. Apply to all of the areas where you have hives, no matter what stage they're at, in order to soothe your skin. Do this twice a day (with a good slathering of it at bedtime).
Take something orally. Since hives are often the result of an allergic reaction, you could try to combat the reaction with natural oral medications which should reduce the severity of the hives. Talk to your family doctor about taking acidophilus to treat your hives. You should also consider something like Quercetin to reduce swelling and inflammation of your hives. Others swear that 1000 mg of vitamin C every day will help boost your immune system and combat your hives. For the most part, anything you can take to treat an allergic reaction should help to treat your hives naturally.
If you'd rather not take these, you can take herbs to combat your allergic reaction. Try alfalfa, yellow dock, Echinacea, ginseng, licorice and nettles. Any of these should reduce the appearance of your hives within a few days.
Avoid the cause of the hives in the future. As they always say, the best way to deal with a problem is to prevent it in the first place. If you can find out why you got hives, then you shouldn't have to deal with them again. It might be that it's something that you continue to eat, and until you stop eating it, the hives will remain. Or, it might be something else in your environment, like weeds, laundry detergent or even an air freshener. Try removing a few things from your diet and environment to see what effects it has on your hives. Prevention may be the best way to treat hives naturally.