Essential oils are known to possess various therapeutic compounds that can be a useful reduction of discomfort in some conditions. While in some, these oils can alleviate an entire underlying issue to bring swift relief.
Hives can cause much discomfort when they occur.
A selection of essential oils used as a remedy for this condition have proven to be helpful.
In this post, we look a little deeper as to how essential oils can help in treating hives.
If you have never suffered from hives, you are probably wondering if the condition has anything to with bees?
This condition has nothing to do with bees, nor their houses.
Hives are also called Urticaria, which is a body reaction that might be triggered by several causes which we will examine below. Hives resemble a rash, like tiny bumps that appear on your skin and can be itchy and painful.
They can appear on your skin as a grouping to form a large patch, or they occur as little bumps that are spread out.
They appear suddenly and can last for minutes, several hours, and up to a day before fading.
Hives are known to form as a response to histamine.
When you suffer an allergy, the body’s mast cells release the chemical histamine to fight perceived allergens. Hives, in some people, can be the unpleasant outcome of histamine release in your body.
Common causes of hives
There are many causes of allergies that in turn trigger the production of histamine. Some of these causes are outlined below.
Some people are allergic to different drugs and herbs. They can suffer allergies as a result of a drug they have consumed. The allergy can cause hives, rashes, or even fever.
Food components are chemical in nature. As a result, they can cause allergic reactions if your body is intolerant to certain chemical compounds found in foods.
For instance, some people are allergic to dairy or poultry and their product.
Hives can occur when your body is under stress. Stress, in this case, can be as a result of triggers such as severe cold, excessive sweating, digestive issues, bug bites and food allergies, to name a few.
4. Sun and/or water
High temperatures, such as unrelenting sunshine, can cause hives as a result of excessive sweating and heating sensitive skin. On the other hand, excessively cold water can result in hives in some people.
5. Postpartum hives
Postpartum hives are fairly easy to diagnose. Partly because the symptoms are itchy skin that changes to white when pressed. They can occur at various stages after giving birth.
In postpartum women, the body reacts to allergens and hormonal changes by releasing the protein histamine into the bloodstream.
The histamine ends up bloating blood capillaries, which then leak plasma into the skin, causing red itchy rashes. This type of hives usually occurs on the feet, back, and arms.
Treatments and remedies for hives
There are several treatments that can be applied to control hives and ease the discomfort that they can cause.
- Working and sleeping in a cool room
- Wearing loose-fitting lightweight clothes
- Cool the affected areas with a wet cloth or a cold compress
How can essential oils help hives?
Essential oils can play a role in clearing hives quickly. Some essential oils have antihistamine qualities that can reign in the histamine while soothing the affected itchy and red patches of skin.
Which essential oil is good for hives?
We have selected some of the top essential oils that can be used to tackle hives.
Peppermint essential oil is a natural antihistamine that has the ability to slow down the production of histamine by mast cells.
Given that peppermint contains menthol, it is equipped to provide relief from itchiness as a result of heat and inflammation. That is because the menthol soothes and cools the affected skin.
Tea tree oil is well known for being effective in treating itchy skin, such as that associated with eczema, lice, or dandruff. It is also successfully used on the surface to control hives and the associated itching that comes with it.
What makes tea tree effective in dealing with hives, is the natural anti-inflammatory properties that it possesses.
Coconut oil is an excellent moisturizer. It’s beneficial when the skin affected by hives is dry and broken due to constant scratching.
The itching associated with hives can be discomforting and persistent. So some level of scratching is inevitable. Which may lead to dry skin breaking and bleeding.
Coconut oil does an excellent job of hydrating skin, as well as bringing relief to itchiness and dryness.
Helichrysum essential oil has a two-fold approach when dealing with hives.
On the one hand, it contains a natural compound known as arzanol, which can control inflammations and offer relief from the itchiness, including the kind that results due to histamine production.
On the other hand, the same compound is an antioxidant that promotes healing on the affected patch of skin.
Myrrh essential oil is particularly good at speeding up the healing process of the skin affected by hives. It does so by calming and soothing the affected area.
Myrrh has powerful antioxidant qualities that promote white blood cell activity and fasten the healing process, in addition to protecting the skin during a healing process.
Basil essential oil is most famous as a food seasoning agent. But its other uses include detoxification of the body.
Basil qualities allow it the capability of removing bacteria and viruses associated with hives. It also soothes the pain and discomfort associated with this condition.
The anti-inflammatory properties it contains help in reducing the pain and fatigue caused by hives.
Lemon essential oil naturally contains antiseptic properties, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, as well as other therapeutic properties that bring soothing and healing to a patch(s) of skin affected by hives.
Lemon diminishes the discomfort caused by hives through combating the growth of hive causing bacteria on your skin.
It also boosts immunity helping the skin recover faster.
Controlling the itchiness associated with hives requires an essential oil that has anti-inflammation properties.
Geranium oil does an excellent job of providing relief from the itchiness due to such a quality.
Other essential oils that have the same effect as a geranium on itchiness caused by hives include sandalwood, lemon, thyme, palmarosa, and patchouli.
Essential oils are widely used by numerous people from all walks of life, without any issues. However, a few people may have an allergic reaction as a result of using essential oils.
Symptoms of an allergic reaction to essential oils may include the following:
- Burning and pain
Although not common, essential oils can cause hives if you are allergic to them.
For safe use of oils, it is advisable that you first dab a little oil on a small section of the skin and wait for a few minutes to see if there is any adverse reaction.
Usually, after 15 minutes of application, you should be able to see whether the oil adversely reacts to your skin or not.
Essential oil home remedies for hives (recipes)
Now, as that you have seen, there is an extensive selection of oils that can act as an anti-histamine, while others have soothing, calming, and healing qualities. Such as being antiseptic, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory.
You will be pleasantly surprised to know that using these oils as a blend has an even better effect on hives, as a result of their combined properties.
Here are some essential oil recipes that work well in relieving discomfort caused by hives:
Mix the ingredients in a basin with some water. Soak a cloth with the mixture and directly apply to the affected areas to relieve itching, inflammation, and pain.
Apply as needed to affected areas of the skin to relieve itching and inflammation.
- 5 drops of lavender oil
- 3 drops of helichrysum oil
- 3 drop of frankincense oil
- 3 drops of Roman chamomile oil
- 3 drops of peppermint oil
- 5 drops of tea tree oil
- 3 tbsp of sweet almond oil
With the help of a small funnel, pour the ingredients into a 2 oz amber glass dropper bottle. Shake the bottle gently for the mixture to blend.
You can then apply the mixture to the affected skin area 3 times a day.
Things to know before using essential oils for hives treatment (risks and side effects)
It is essential to understand that essential oils in their concentrated form are potent and cause the skin to be sensitive if used when neat. We recommend that your essential oil be diluted with a carrier oil, such as aloe vera oil, jojoba, almond, olive or coconut oil, to name a few.
Although rare, essential oils can be the cause of hives for those, who are allergic to them.
As such, we recommend that, before using a diluted stand-alone or blend of essential oil, it makes sense to sample the oil on a small portion of your upper arm to rule out the possibility of an adverse reaction.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women should not use essential oils without the authorization of a doctor. The more severe version of hives is known as anaphylaxis. The symptoms are reasonably serious, including:
- Difficulty breathing
- Tightening of the chest
- Swelling of the tongue, lips, and face
If you note that an allergic reaction is culminating in the above symptoms, you should immediately seek medical attention.
Other natural home remedies for hives
Hives can be treated through other forms of alternative medicines and home remedies. See some suggested remedies that work.
1. Lifestyle change
If you already know what triggers your allergy, then you stand a better chance of avoiding medication by changing your lifestyle.
For instance, if your allergy is caused by certain food or animal, then you can do without that particular food or avoid places where an animal that causes you allergies might be.
2. Take an oatmeal bath
A cup full of oatmeal, when added to a cool bath, can go along way in providing much needed soothing to the skin and reduction of itching for this condition
3. Turmeric powder
Turmeric has natural compounds that can decrease inflammation while promoting faster healing in wounds. It can be used in dishes to help combat allergies.
Hives are not pleasant by any standard. Different people have dealt with hives using many different methods that work in varying degrees.
Essential oils are a good option for treating hives, as some oils are natural antihistamines.
While others are effective in helping the skin get quick relief from pain and inflammation, combining the oils is a sure winner, because they can combat hives even more effectively. Because essential oils are natural products, they should be used safely and with caution for the best outcome.
Do you suffer from hives and use essential oils during breakouts?
Which is your favorite and most effective oil? Maybe we missed oils that work for you?
Let us know in the comments below!