A rash is usually a sign of an allergy and can be traced back to something that has aggravated the skin or a specific item that was taken internally. Many times this rash is a sign of hives, also known as nettle rash or urticaria.
If the rash is due to hives, it will appear as blisters or blotches that are itchy, red, and tiny. Hives can show up anywhere and is caused by blood plasma that has seeped into the skin because of too much histamine.
Does Oatmeal Bath Really Work?
While hives can leave you quickly or stay for several weeks, there are things you can do to treat them and an oatmeal bath is one of them. The benefits of oatmeal on the skin dates back through time. Because it relieves the itching, it is a proven cure for eczema and hives.
Some of the advantages of using an oatmeal bath for hives are:
- It works best on rough dry skin.
- It returns your skin to its natural state and replenishes the moisture.
- The oatmeal gently exfoliates the skin removing the dry patches.
- When you use an oatmeal bath, you won’t have to use soap which can dry the skin even further.
- You will find other irritations on your skin restored as well.
- You will get relief from the itching.
How to Make and Take an Oatmeal Bath for Hives
There are only a few items you need to prepare:
- Unflavored plain oatmeal: Fine oatmeal is ideal; whole grain is preferred.
- 1/2 cup to 1 cup of milk or buttermilk: This is optional; water works fine.
- A coffee filter (size 4 works well or any type that you would use for 8 to 12 cups of coffee; or a piece of muslin cloth and an elastic band)
- Epsom salts: This is also optional but it does create a refreshing soak.
- Essential oils such as lavender or even lavender buds if you would like a soothing scent for your bath.
Here are the simple steps needed to create your oatmeal bath for hives:
- Measure out around 1/3 cup to 3/4 cup of oatmeal. If you are using a coffee filter, you can use the smaller amount; if the muslin cloth is larger, use 3/4 cup.
- Put the oatmeal in a bowl.
- If your oatmeal is still coarse, take the back of a spoon and mash it down until there are no clumps. If you need to, you can put the oatmeal into a plastic bag and smash them with a rolling pin.
- If you are adding any essential oils of lavender buds, you can add them now. If you are using this bath to treat hives, you may want to leave them out this time so you don't aggravate your skin any more than it already is.
- Put the oatmeal mixture into the coffee filter or cloth piece and close it up with the elastic band.
- Turn on the hot water and begin to fill the tub. If you are adding the buttermilk or milk, you can add it now by pouring it in as the water is running into the tub. If you are using Epsom salts, you can add about 3/4 cup in at this time.
- Put the oatmeal bag at the end of the tub so it is not near the running water. Wait until the bathwater cools as this is when the benefits of the oatmeal will begin to infuse the water.
- When the water is just tepid, you can get into the bath. If you want to get more of the essence of the oatmeal into the bath you can gently squeeze the filter. If you squeeze it too hard, it could break apart and you will have a bathtub filled with oatmeal. Soak in the tub for around 10 minutes then gently dry your skin when you step out of the tub. You can repeat this oatmeal bath routine every day if you wish.
Other Remedies That Help
While the oatmeal bath for hives is an excellent remedy, there are other things you can try as well.
- You can mix together borage and chickweed together and brew the mixture just like you are making tea. You should be able to find both of these items in a health food store or an herbal shop online. When the mixture cools down, you can apply it to your rash.
- Witch hazel that is in a gel form or as a cream can be added to a warm bath with some baking soda. A handful or two of baking soda along with the witch hazel will bring down any swelling and relieve the itching.
- There are a number of oils that can also be used to treat the inflammation of hives that is caused by the excess histamine. Lavender oil and tea tree oil can each be mixed with 1 tablespoon of base oil to 9 drops of either oil. This type of dilution will protect you from causing another reaction to your skin. Apricot kernel oil or jojoba oil are also effective at treating rashes from hives.