Can Acupuncture for Hives (Urticaria) Help Me? Let’s Find Out
Hives, or in medical terms, urticaria, is a skin condition that can occur anywhere on the body. The human skin is our largest organ, and when it functions properly, we thrive. When does not, we usually suffer. Hives negatively influence the patient’s life, making the outbreaks cause severe discomfort and making people feel desperate for a solution.
Nearly 20% of people experienced hives outbreaks at least once in their lifetime. Hives can develop at any age and is a common skin disease in children. The symptoms start with raised itchy bumps, either skin-colored or red. It can last for several minutes, hours, and even several weeks. It is considered a chronic condition when symptoms persist for six or more weeks. It is not contagious, but in some cases, hives can occur alongside some contagious infection, so you can catch the contagious disease, not hives. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has a solution when standard therapy does not provide relief. Acupuncture for hives can help treat the root cause of your skin condition and calm the skin’s surface.
Acupuncture For Hives Near Me: Let Us Introduce Makari Wellness
When conventional treatments are not effective, traditional Chinese medicine can help. We have great results in treating urticaria symptoms with our natural and drug-free solutions. Acupuncture combined with Chinese herbs, supplements, a healthy diet, and a lifestyle is ideal for restoring balance and relieving hives symptoms.
If you want to experience the best traditional Chinese medicine treatments or have any additional questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Makari Wellness experts at (888) 871-8889.
What Are Hives?
Hives is a common skin rash that appears as an outbreak of pale, pink or red bumps on the skin’s surface. Many acute rashes go away on their own. However, chronic hives are a larger medical concern, especially if a severe allergic reaction accompanies them. People who suffer from allergic reactions are more likely to get hives. Also, patients with other chronic health conditions are prone to developing hives. You may be at higher risk of hives if you take some medication or if you are, not knowingly, exposed to irritants you may be allergic to, like pollen or food.
- Acute hives are sudden skin reaction that lasts less than six weeks. Medication and food allergies often cause acute hives.
- Chronic hives are welts that last more than six weeks and tend to return over months or years.
Hives cause visible, raised, and usually itchy welts on the skin. They develop in batches and can be either small or large and differ in size and shape. The color varies with skin color –brown and black skin will develop hives the same color as the skin, while lighter skin will develop pink or red-colored hives.
The telltale sign of hives is blanching – if you have a light skin color, pressing hives will make the reddish color disappear. Hives can itch, sometimes very intensively. In some patients, hives can cause a burning or stinging sensation. Because the skin is inflamed, it feels warm to the touch.
What does hives look like? It looks like raised bumps or welts on the skin and can appear like blotches, tiny spots, thin, raised lines, or large connected bumps. Hives can appear on any body part, but the most common are the back, abdomen, chest, buttocks, upper arms, and legs. Hives can also develop on soft, moist tissues that line the mouth, eyelids, and other body parts. When hives develop on the same place every time, it is called fixed hives.
How long do hives last? The duration depends on whether they are acute or chronic. Acute form does not last long, between a few hours and a few weeks. The chronic form tends to last more than six weeks.
What Causes Hives?
Hives causes are very different. It can develop as a reaction to the allergen, a physical trigger (like extreme temperatures), and an underlying health condition.
Hives can occur as an allergic reaction to the allergen. It starts when your immune system mistakes a normally harmless substance for a dangerous one. The immune system produces antibodies that remain alert for that particular allergen. When you become exposed to the particular allergen again, antibodies release histamine and other chemicals that cause blood vessels to leak fluid, appearing like bumps on the skin’s surface. Common allergens that cause hives are:
- Food allergens like shellfish, eggs, milk, tree nuts, and peanuts.
- Animal dander and latex that cause contact allergy.
- Insect stings or bites.
- Certain medications like antibiotics, aspirin and other NSAIDs, thiazide diuretics, and opiates.
- Some viral infections.
- Parasitic infections.
Physical triggers can be:
- Direct sunlight exposure
- Rubbing or scratching the skin
- High body temperature due to exercise, anxiety, sweating, or a hot shower
- Changes in temperature or extreme temperatures
- Pressure on the skin (for example, from a tight belt)
- Adrenalin – releases during exercise, stress, and heat exposure
Underlying Health Conditions
Various health conditions can cause hives, including:
- Autoimmune hypothyroidism
- Autoimmune diseases like systematic lupus erythematosus, celiac disease, Sjogren’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes type 1
- Some intestinal parasites, like Giardia duodenalis
- Bacterial infections like strep throat and infections of the urinary tract
- Viral infections like glandular fever, hepatitis B, common cold, or the flu
The traditional treatment of urticaria largely depends on its cause and whether the condition is acute or chronic.
For mild acute conditions caused by allergies or irritants, doctors may prescribe non-sedating antihistamines, short-term use of topical steroid medicines, antiseptic creams to prevent secondary infections usually caused by excessive scratching, and various soothing creams to reduce itchiness. If the hives are accompanied by swelling in the face, lips, or tongue, a doctor may prescribe an epinephrine auto-injector to carry for use in emergencies.
For chronic hives, the regular usage of antihistamines, medications that block immunoglobulin E. It is a substance that plays an important role in allergic reactions. Also, another natural and alternative treatment that can help treat hives is acupuncture. It is an effective and safe way to treat and reduce hives or chronic urticaria symptoms. People of all ages can get acupuncture treatments for hives, so if you or someone you know is suffering from hives, please consider giving acupuncture a try.
Acupuncture For Chronic Hives
Acupuncture, as a natural traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) form of treating diseases, can help relieve chronic hives symptoms. According to TCM, the balance of life force known as Qi and elementary extremes of Yin and Yang results in health. When the imbalance in those forces occurs, the consequence is an illness.
Qi runs through meridians, energy pathways in the human body. Those pathways are accessible through many acupuncture points located throughout the body. Inserting thin needles into acupuncture points will bring the energy flow back into balance. In TCM, hives are known as ‘wind rash patch’ or Feng Zhen Kuai. A few common factors are responsible for developing hives:
- Heat with Liver Stagnation: Stress is the main cause of the Qi stagnation in the liver system. It can eventually lead to heat buildup, so the body cannot process minor irritations.
- Fire or Heat: If there is too much heat, fire, and inflammation, the body cannot take it anymore, and the consequences are usually seen in the form of allergies and breakout.
- Dryness or Yin Deficiency: When there is no moisture in the body to wash the allergens out of the system, and the body dries out, it can cause a breakout.
Acupuncture Points For Chronic Hives
There are many acupuncture points for hives, but these are the most common:
- LI11 (Quichi) – Dispels the Wind, clears the heat, cools the blood, and is one of the main points for treating allergic reactions. You can find it on the lateral end of the transverse cubital crease, with the elbow flexed.
- SP6 (Sanyinjiao) – This point is the junction point of the spleen, kidney, and liver meridian. It strengthens the spleen and restores the balance to the blood, Yin, kidneys, and liver.
- SP10 (Xuehai) – It is used for itchy skin caused by blood irritability, blood deficiency, and thick blood. You can find it above the superior medial border of the patella on the bulge of the medial portion of the quadriceps, with the knee flexed.
- ST36 (Zusanli) – This acupoint is located below the knee, between the two bones of your lower leg, along the stomach meridian.
- LI4 (Hegu) – Expels Wind, releases the exterior, tonifies Qi, and strengthens immunity. It can be found between the 1st and 2nd metacarpal bones in the hands, in the middle of the second metacarpal bone on the radial side.
- ST25 (Tianshu) – It can be found lateral to the center of the umbilicus. It is commonly used to regulate the spleen and stomach, resolve dampness and damp-heat, also to regulate Qi and blood, and eliminate stagnation.
- CV17 (Danzhong) – It helps supplement lung Qi and immunoregulation. You can find this point in the center of the sternum in a shallow hollow. In men, it is located between the nipples at the level of the fourth rib space from the underside of the clavicle.
- LV3 (Taichong) – It soothes Liver Fire, pacifies and re-adjusts Liver Qi stagnation, clears, and calms Wind. It can be found on the dorsum surface of the foot, at the angle between the 1st and 2nd metatarsal bones.
Ear Acupuncture for Hives
Being highly effective in treating stress, anxiety, various painful diseases, endocrine system disorders, and many more, auricular acupuncture is also used to stimulate the immune system to reduce allergic responses. Additionally, this type of acupuncture will have an anti-inflammatory and a balancing, homeostatic effect.
The auricular therapist diagnoses the disease according to the various signs reflected in the outer appearance from the inside of the earlobe. It may include painful sensibility, discoloration, deformation, low resistance, and high conductivity. The therapist can change the pathological state by addressing the auricular acupoints. They are located on the auricle only, far away from important organs and blood vessels, so it is considered one of the safest acupuncture forms.
Although you cannot prevent urticaria caused by various diseases, there are some things you can do to avoid other causes:
- Keep a food diary to find out what food causes your hives – ty to avoid that food
- Apply wet cloth or cold compresses to the areas affected by hives.
- Try to sleep in a cool room.
- Wear loose-fitting and lightweight clothes.
- Avoid known allergy triggers like pet dander and latex.
- Notify your pharmacists or physician if you suspect a specific medication causes hives.
- Always wear protective clothing and apply sunblock.
- Avoid harsh soaps and frequent baths; use those for sensitive skin.