Treatment Options for Chronic Hives

Allison Bush | Jun 29th 2015 Nov 19th 2016

1 of 9
1 of 9
Credit: iStock

In March 2015, the Standards of Care Committee of the British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology published guidelines on treatment of chronic urticaria. Here’s more information on possible chronic hives treatment options.

2 of 9

Avoid histamine-rich foods

Credit: iStock

There are a variety of foods that naturally contain histamine. This includes fermented alcoholic beverages, fermented foods, vinegar-containing foods, cured meats, lunch meats and hot dogs, soured foods, dried fruit, citrus fruit, aged cheese, nuts, nightshade vegetables, and smoked fish.

3 of 9

Avoid histamine-releasing foods

Credit: iStock

Certain foods cause the release of histamine that’s already present in the body. This includes alcohol, bananas, chocolate, cow’s milk, nuts, papaya, pineapple, shellfish, strawberries, tomatoes, wheat germ, and many artificial preservatives.

4 of 9

Avoid DAO-blocking foods

Credit: iStock

Diamine oxidase (DAO) is the main enzyme responsible for breaking down ingested histamine. So if you’re deficient in DAO, you likely have symptoms of histamine intolerance. Here are some DAO-blocking foods: alcohol, energy drinks, black tea, mate tea, and green tea.

5 of 9

Nonsedating anti-H1 antihistamines

Credit: iStock

Nonsedating anti-H1 antihistamines remain the mainstay of treatment for chronic hives (urticaria). If these medications are ineffective, higher dosages may be tried, or others may be substituted

6 of 9

Eat low-histamine foods

Credit: iStock

You might be wondering what exactly you _can _eat! Fear not! There are plenty of delicious foods you still can eat, including fresh meat, fresh fish, gluten-free grains, fresh fruit, fresh veggies, dairy substitutes, eggs, and herbal teas.

7 of 9

Stay cool

Credit: iStock

Overheating and the pressure of belts and tight clothing aggravate chronic hives, so try wearing loose, comfortable clothes.

8 of 9

Avoid aspirin

Credit: iStock

Aspirin is the most common drug to aggravate urticaria. Aspirin and other NSAIDs can worsen chronic hives in 20 to 30 percent of patients during an active phase, but probably not in remission.

9 of 9

Injectables

Credit: iStock

If you suffer from chronic idiopathic urticaria, and other treatment options aren’t working, you may want to speak to your doctor about omalizumab. Omalizumab is biologic medication administered via injection and is approved for people 12 years of age and older who remain symptomatic despite treatment with H1-antihistamine therapy.

NEXT: Chronic Idiopathic Urticaria: Caring for Your Skin During Remission
More on this topic

Tips for a Low Histamine Diet

Allison Bush

Superfoods for Chronic Hives Relief

Allison Bush

What People Living with CIU Want You to Know

Kristina Brooks

Chronic Idiopathic Urticaria and Your Thyroid

Eileen Bailey

Caring for Your Skin During CIU Remission

Eileen Bailey

Debunking Myths About Chronic Hives

Eileen Bailey

Understanding Cold Induced Hives

Eileen Bailey

Everything You Need to Know About Chronic Hives

Allison Bush

Hives Allergies or Asthma? These Orgs Can Help!

Kristina Brooks

Tips and Home Remedies for Hives

Kristina Brooks

What Are Heat Hives??

Eileen Bailey

Treating Chronic Urticaria (Hives) During Menopause

Eileen Bailey

Weather Changes and Chronic Hives

Diane Domina

Reducing Stress with Urticaria

Eileen Bailey

Chronic Hives: Protecting Your Skin Against Heat Flare-Ups

Eileen Bailey

When Medications Aren't Enough for Your CIU

James Thompson, MD

Doctor Q&A: What You Need to Know About CIU

Allison Bush

Diagnosing and Treating CIU

James Thompson, MD

FAQ: Chronic Idiopathic Urticaria (CIU)

Allison Bush

Why Hives and Swelling Go Hand in Hand

James Thompson, MD

Your First Doctor's Visit

James Thompson, MD

Managing Chronic Hives (Urticaria)

James Thompson, MD

What You Need to Know About Chronic Hives

Eileen Bailey

Why Chronic Hives Remain a Puzzle

James Thompson, MD

Itchy Skin and Chronic Hives

Paula J. Busse, M.D.

What Doctors Wish You Knew About Chronic Hives

Eileen Bailey

Living Well with Chronic Hives

Life with Chronic Hives: One Mom’s Story

In Real Life: Chronic Hives

3 Women Living With Chronic Hives

Eileen Bailey

Do's and Don'ts - Traveling with Chronic Hives

Eileen Bailey

Managing Stress with Urticaria

Eileen Bailey

Managing Heat Induced Hives

Eileen Bailey

Chronic Hives - Myths and Facts

Eileen Bailey