If you get stung by an insect that you're allergic to, you should seek medical attention. If you have a mild allergy, this may mean taking an antihistamine. If you have a severe allergy, you may need to go to the emergency room. After the threat of a serious complication passes, however, you may still be left with lingering hives. Hives are red, swollen bumps of skin that itch like crazy. And they can last for a few minutes or hours to a few days. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to get through the discomfort.
Use an ice pack to soothe itching and calm inflammation. When your hives are severely inflamed, you can use an ice pack for 10 minutes of every hour. If they're only bothering you a little bit, use an ice pack for approximately 15 to 20 minutes three times a day. Be careful not to place the ice pack against your skin for an extended amount of time for fear of frostbite.
If you didn't get medication from your doctor, you can take an over-the-counter antihistamine to prevent new hives from forming, which can greatly shorten the amount of time you're affected by hives. While the medication won't miraculously heal the hives you already have, it will make them itch less, which is a huge blessing when you're ready and willing to scratch your skin off.
Avoid warm or hot showers since they can make your hives worse. If you want to soothe your skin in the shower, make sure the water is cool or cold. Also, use unscented soaps and products formulated for sensitive skin to avoid further irritation.
All-natural moisturizers that contain skin-soothing ingredients, such as oatmeal, are ideal for skin that's being attacked by hives. Use products that are unscented and formulated for sensitive skin.
Wear loose clothing made of a smooth and breathable material, such as cotton. Avoid clothing that's tight or scratchy as well as anything that makes you feel hot or humid. The goal is to stay as cool and dry as possible.
As you can see, there are several ways you can soothe persistent hives after an insect bite or sting. If you're having an allergic reaction because of an insect, seek the necessary medical treatment first and follow up with palliative care for your itchy and irritated hives.