How to Treat and Prevent Hives

Woman with hives on her arm How to Treat and Prevent Hives

If you're experiencing a skin rash that consists of itchy, raised bumps on your skin, it's possible that you could have hives. How can you prevent and treat them? Here's what you need to know.

What to Know About Identifying and Treating Hives

What Are Hives?

Hives are one of the most common skin symptoms of allergic reactions, but they can also be triggered by changes in temperature and stress. If you're unsure whether you have hives or it's just contact dermatitis, make sure you're looking for groups of itchy raised bumps on your skin. It's likely that you've had hives before. In fact, you have if you've experienced a bug bite. This skin rash forms in reaction to things like bug saliva! But how can you prevent and treat this irritating skin condition?

Treating Hives

Before you treat your hives, it's important to understand exactly what triggered them. It helps to first have an understanding of your allergies. If this is the first time you've ever experienced hives, then it's probably time to see an allergist to figure out if you have any allergies you don't know about. One of the best ways to determine how your hives formed is to assess your daily routine. Did something change? Were you in a highly stressful situation? Events like this can often be a trigger for hives to form. If your symptoms are relatively mild, it's likely that some change in your skincare routine or environment might have changed and mildly irritated your skin. In this case, the best treatment is to remove that trigger. Persisting symptoms of itchiness or redness can be treated with topical anti-itch treatments in most cases. More severe instances of hives may require immediate medical attention. If you experience hives relatively often, then your doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory medication to help alleviate your symptoms more quickly. In the event that these treatments are ineffective at treating your hives, it's possible that your doctor may prescribe a form of medication that suppresses the immune system. Since hives are the result of an overreaction of the immune system, these medications can help treat this condition and other types of rashes.

Preventing Hives from Forming

While understanding how to treat hives is helpful if you have them, it's even more important to know how to prevent hives from forming in the first place. The key, again, lies in fully understanding what triggered your skin rash. If you can pinpoint a change in your skincare routine or environment that led to your hives, then take care to avoid that product or ingredient in the future. If you're dealing with stress hives, then your prevention strategy might be a little bit different. Stress is a common emotion, which makes it difficult to avoid completely. While it's important to avoid situations and people that stress you out too much, a little bit every now and then is normal. So instead of avoiding stress entirely, it's important to have a plan for soothing your stress when it does pop up. At the very least you'll be able to avoid a full-scale breakout.


Hives are an incredibly irritating skin rash, especially if you haven't been able to figure out what caused them yet. If you're struggling to identify a trigger for your hives and have questions, contact SE Dermatology Specialists to consult with one of our doctors today.

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