Oatmeal baths have soothing properties that can help relieve itchiness and inflammation due to hives.

While hives are typically harmless and short-lived, they can be very uncomfortable for some individuals. Natural remedies, such as an oatmeal bath, may help alleviate the itching and discomfort that hives cause.

In this article, we will explore the benefits of oatmeal baths for hives, the steps to prepare and take one, and alternative treatment options.

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A 2018 study suggests that colloidal oatmeal contains several components that could benefit the skin and provide relief from hives. Their effectiveness is largely due to oats containing compounds known as avenanthramides.

Avenanthramides have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which can help reduce skin inflammation and relieve itching. Additionally, oatmeal forms a protective barrier on the skin, locking in moisture and promoting skin healing.

While oatmeal may not cure the underlying cause of hives, it can provide comfort and reduce the urge to scratch, preventing potential complications, such as skin infections.

To prepare an oatmeal bath for hives, someone can use either rolled oats or colloidal oatmeal. Both options are effective, but colloidal oatmeal (finely ground oats) dissolves more easily in water, creating a smoother bath.

A person can buy colloidal oatmeal in most drugstores, or online. Many stores sell oatmeal bath products specifically for soothing irritated skin. However, using plain rolled oats can prove just as beneficial.


  • colloidal oatmeal or rolled oats
  • water
  1. Prepare the bath: Fill a bathtub with warm water. Avoid hot water, as it can worsen itching and dry out the skin.
  2. Add the oats: If using colloidal oatmeal, simply pour about 1 cup of the oats into the bathwater and stir until it dissolves. If using rolled oats, either blend them to a fine powder or put them in a cheesecloth or muslin bag and tie it securely. Hang the bag under the running faucet or let it steep in the bathwater, periodically squeezing the bag to release the contents. This process may take a bit longer than using colloidal oatmeal, but the results can be equally effective.
  3. Soak: Once the oats have dispersed in the water, soak in the oatmeal bath, gently rubbing the oat-infused water onto the skin. Soak for around 15 minutes. Be sure to avoid using soap during this bath, as it can potentially irritate the skin further.
  4. Pat dry: After the oatmeal bath, gently pat the skin dry with a soft, clean towel. Avoid rubbing the skin vigorously, as this can worsen irritation.

The frequency of oatmeal baths for hives may vary from person to person, depending on the severity of the condition and individual preferences. However, as a general guideline, someone can try taking an oatmeal bath once a day, or as necessary until the hives improve.

It is essential to monitor how the skin responds and adjust the frequency accordingly. If the hives persist or worsen, consult a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

Oatmeal baths do not just treat hives. Oatmeal’s soothing, anti-inflammatory, and moisturizing properties can be beneficial for various skin conditions and irritations, including:

While oatmeal baths can provide relief, they do not cure hives. To address the underlying cause, it is important to consult a healthcare professional. In some cases, antihistamines or other medications may be necessary to manage hives effectively. Some other treatments for hives may include:

  1. Antihistamines: Over-the-counter or prescription antihistamines can provide rapid relief from itching and swelling.
  2. Topical steroids: For severe hives, topical corticosteroid creams can help reduce inflammation and itching.
  3. Avoid triggers: Identifying and avoiding triggers that cause hives, such as certain foods or medications, can prevent recurrences.
  4. Cold compresses: Applying cold compresses to affected areas can provide temporary relief from itching and discomfort.
  5. Prescription medications: In severe cases, a healthcare professional may prescribe stronger medications or treatments to manage hives effectively.

The outlook for individuals with acute hives is generally positive, as most cases resolve within a few days to a few weeks.

However, if a person experiences chronic or severe hives, they should consult an allergist for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

Although chronic hives can impact a person’s quality of life and be difficult to manage, most cases of chronic hives resolve within 5 years.

Oatmeal baths offer a simple and natural way to ease itching and discomfort caused by hives.

Remember to follow the steps to prepare and take an oatmeal bath, and adjust the frequency based on the skin’s response.

If a person has persistent or severe hives, consult a healthcare professional for expert guidance and treatment options.