Hives can be acute or chronic. Acute urticaria is hives lasting less than six weeks.
Chronic hives last more than six weeks, sometimes from months to years.
Signs and symptoms of hives
Signs and symptoms of hives include:
- Raised red, pink or white swellings on the skin of various sizes
- Burning and stinging may also be present
What causes hives?
Hives are often triggered by an allergic reaction in which the body releases histamine and other chemicals in the bloodstream that cause itching and swelling. Most common triggers include:
- Foods: fruits (citrus fruits), milk, eggs, nuts, fish and shellfish.
- Insect bites
- Animal dander (especially cats)
- Allergy shots
Hives may also develop as a result of:
- Exposure to sun, cold, heat or water
- Some illnesses – lupus, thyroid disease
- Excessive perspiration
- Scratching the skin
Homeopathic treatment for hives
Conventional medicines such as anti-histamines alleviate symptoms but the root cause still remains. Homeopathy relieves the rash and itching and also eliminates the underlying cause. Homeopathic medicines are quite effective in the treatment of stress, grief or anger that often trigger bouts of hives. I have observed that chronic hives in many patients are associated with a bacterial, parasitic or fungal infections (staphylococcus aureus, streptococcus species, toxoplasma gondii, candida albicans). Once the infection is cured with homeopathy, hives stop coming back.
The most commonly prescribed homeopathic medicines for hives include:
- Apis Mellifica – The number one homeopathic medicine for hives. Swollen, pale red bumps with violent itching and burning. Apply ice cubes to the skin to relieve itching and swelling.
- Arsenicum Album – Burning hives worse at night and by cold air. Burning and itching are improves by hot applications. Hives are sometimes associated with diarrhea. Anxious, fearful and restless individual.
- Natrum Muriaticum – Chronic hives triggered by sun exposure (or at the sea side), exercise, stress or grief. Introvert, reserved, taciturn.
- Rhus Toxicodendron – Large red patches with violent itching that are relieved by warm applications.
- Urtica Urens – Hives similar to Apis but improved by a hot shower or hot compresses. Allergy to shellfish.
- Sulphur – Severe bouts of hives with violent burning and itching worse by bathing and heat; skin and body orifices turn red easily, prone to various skin disorders and multiple allergy.