Self-management

Lifestyle and home remedies

If you're experiencing mild hives or angioedema, these tips may help relieve your symptoms:

  • Avoid triggers. These can include foods, medications, pollen, pet dander, latex and insect stings.
  • Use an over-the-counter anti-itch drug. A nonprescription oral antihistamine, such as loratadine (Claritin), cetirizine (Zyrtec Allergy) or diphenhydramine (Benadryl Allergy, others), may help relieve itching.
  • Apply cool, wet compresses. Covering the affected area with cool, moist bandages or dressings can help soothe the skin and prevent scratching.
  • Take a comfortably cool bath. To relieve itching, sprinkle the bath water with baking soda, uncooked oatmeal or colloidal oatmeal — a finely ground oatmeal made for bathing (Aveeno, others).
  • Wear loose, smooth-textured cotton clothing. Avoid wearing clothing that's rough, tight, scratchy or made from wool. This will help you avoid skin irritation.

Prevention

To lower your likelihood of experiencing hives or angioedema, take the following precautions:

  • Avoid known triggers. These can include foods, medications and situations, such as temperature extremes that have triggered hives or angioedema in the past.
  • Keep a diary. If you suspect food is causing the problem but aren't sure which food is the trigger, keep a food and symptom diary.