Health Tip: Soothe the Itch of Hives

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(HealthDay News) -- Hives are red, welt-like bumps that appear on the skin as a result of an allergic reaction to a drug, food or other substance. While they should go away without treatment, hives can be very irritating, itchy and even painful.

The National Library of Medicine offers these tips on how to reduce discomfort while waiting for hives to heal:

  • An over-the-counter antihistamine will help control itching. Your doctor may also prescribe an antihistamine or give you a shot.
  • Dab calamine lotion on the welts. This should help your skin feel cooler, less irritated, and reduce some itching.
  • Place a cool compress over your skin to soothe pain, itchiness and swelling. Try taking a cool bath if the hives cover your body.
  • Don't take a hot bath or shower -- the hot water may only irritate the skin.
  • Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing.