- Vitamin Guide
- Health Conditions
- Health Centers
- Diet & Weight Loss
- Herbal Remedies
- Current News
- Food Guide
Up to 20% of people will get hives at some point in their lives, an immunological reaction that causes small, red, itchy bumps to form on the skin. Certain drugs, foods, or contact with allergens are known to cause hives, though the cause usually can’t be identified. About 2% of people develop chronic hives, which occur daily and last longer than six months.
Recently, vitamin D has been considered to treat chronic hives based on its anti-inflammatory and allergy-modulating effects. Vitamin D may lower levels of an antibody associated with allergic conditions in the body (IgE), and supplementing with it has helped people with hives who also have low blood levels of the vitamin.
This study compared the effects of 600 or 4,000 IU of vitamin D per day for 12 weeks in 42 people with chronic hives, in addition to a standard medication protocol that included two antihistamines and an anti-inflammatory medication. Symptom severity, medication use, treatment side effects, and blood levels of vitamin D were assessed before, during, and after the trial. Here’s what the study found:
Most of the drugs used to treat chronic hives are associated with undesirable side effects, including increased susceptibility to infections, nausea, dizziness, and anxiety.
While vitamin D hasn’t been shown to treat hives on its own, high-dose vitamin D3 (4,000 IU per day) may be useful as an “add-on therapy,” said lead study author, Dr. Andy Rorie of the University of Nebraska Medical Center.
Some people have also found these strategies helpful for dealing with hard-to-treat hives:
(Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol 2014;10.1016/j.anai.2014.01.010)