I am not sure if you’ve ever had to deal with hives – be grateful if you haven’t, tbh – but it can be an extremely excruciating experience, in many ways. From your mental to physical and emotional health too – hives can take over the peace in your life in general. Imagine itching your skin mindlessly, recklessly and endlessly for hours, sounds bizarre right? But that’s what one has to deal with when encountering hives. “They are outbreaks of red swellings or swelts on the face or body. They are raised and itchy and can go away quickly or take longer in certain conditions,” explains Dr Kiran Sethi, celebrity dermatologist and author, Skin Sense. Let me tell you (read: warn you) the pesky red bumps not only look gross but can cause a gush of heat too, alongside the itch.
Calamine Lotion To The Rescue
There’s something magical about calamine lotions that seem to be the solution to almost all the common skin concerns that you may face – itchiness, rash, irritation, etc. It’s been a saviour for me so many times in the 22 years of my life. And, it’s no different for hives. A calamine lotion – usually runny, powder-based and pink – can calm the hives and ease the itch rapidly. I always keep a tiny bottle in handy for whenever my hives act up. The only downfall? It can stain white clothes, so beware of that. And, if you’re looking for the science behind calamine’s wonders, here it is – “It has zinc oxide and zinc carbonate which are anti pruritic, antiseptic and calming, hence it will help stop you from scratching, thereby allowing the histamine in the skin to dissipate quicker as scratching increases histamine and itching sensation,” explains Dr Kiran.
No Stress, Cold Compress
Being someone challenged with idiopathic urticaria, I’ve to be prepared for hives to pop out of nowhere, at any given time. And, I wouldn’t know why. Fed up of oral medicines and topically applicable products too, I gave cold compress a shot one day; I thought it would help with the hot flushes too. And, it worked surprisingly well. Dr Kiran agrees, “Yes, it can help reduce the sensation of itching.” So next time, no matter what the cause, try icing your itchy bumps – it may just work wonders.
CAT – Centella Asiatica Trick
Second to aloe (or maybe premier), Centella Asiatica, commonly known as Cica, is as wondrous as it can get. With soothing and calming properties that are A1, it can help you feel better in a jiffy. “Centella asiatica is anti-inflammatory, hence, it reduces inflammatory causes of itching,” Dr Kiran tells us. Simply slather on some like a leave-on mask and see the magic trick happen.
FYI: Here are DR Kiran’s Two Cents On Idiopathic Urticaria
Typically we check for any parasites in the tummy, any existing infections or any medicines or foods or products that could be triggering it. We treat the parasites and infections, and remove possible inciting factors. Some medicines like ibuprofen or digestive enzymes will flare up idiopathic urticaria, so they need to be removed anyway. Keep the skin well hydrated as dryness also worsens hives, and avoid hot water and heat. We further give antihistamines, lotions with cooling menthol, aloe vera and calamine for calming the immediate itch, and ask the patients not to scratch. The more you scratch the more histamine is released so the more itchy it gets. *No scratching!*
Also read: The (F)it Girls: 3 Celebrity Fitness Enthusiasts Talk About Beauty
Subscribe to our YouTube channel