Hives rashes usually settle down within a few minutes to a few days. You can often treat hives yourself.
Check if you have hives
A pharmacist can help with hives
Your pharmacist can give you advice about antihistamine tablets to bring down your hives rash.
Tell your pharmacist if you have a long-term condition – you might not be able to take antihistamines.
They also may not be suitable for young children.
See a GP if:
- the symptoms don’t improve after 2 days
- you’re worried about your child’s hives
- the rash is spreading
- your hives keep coming back – you may be allergic to something
- you also have a high temperature and feel generally unwell
- you also have swelling under the skin – this might be angioedema
Treatment from a GP
Your GP may prescribe corticosteroids, menthol cream or stronger antihistamines.
If your hives don’t go away with treatment, you may be referred to a skin specialist (dermatologist).
You can’t always prevent hives
Hives occur when something causes high levels of histamine and other chemicals to be released in the skin. This is known as a trigger.
Triggers can include:
- pollen and plants
- insect bites and stings
- dust mites
- heat – work and sleep in a cool room and wear loose, lightweight clothes
- sunlight, exercise or water
- medicines – speak to your GP if you have an allergic reaction
- emotional stress