Q. I have been suffering with hives for eight years. No drugstore remedy worked. After reading on your website that vitamins might help, I started to take vitamin C and vitamin D supplements. I am amazed with the results.
I talked with my allergist this morning and he was surprised as well. Keep spreading the word!

A. We have not found any recent studies of vitamin C for treating hives, but a case series published in the West Virginia Medical Journal (Jan.-Feb., 2011) suggests that many people with hives may have low vitamin D. When this is corrected with supplements, the hives go away.
We have also heard from others who have had success using vitamin C for hives. Here’s one reader’s comment: “Vitamin C works. But not just any old brand … It has to be high quality.
” started getting hives for no apparent reason 7 years ago. After years of Zyrtec – which certainly helped but did not cure – I asked my naturopath doc for a natural remedy. This is the doctor who discovered I had developed food allergies and had put me on an elimination diet which got the hives under control. I felt that Zyrtec was making it hard to get up in the a.m.
“He put me on 900 mg three times a day of Integrative Therapeutics (brand) Vitamin C With Quercetin and it is the best thing that ever happened to me! My hives are now under control – meaning the difference between head to toe hives to just some on my hands if I don’t eat right or get stressed. I can now go in the sun – before it would trigger a full hive attack. It also treats my seasonal and cat allergies. I get the flu less than I used too – once in last 4 years. I have my life back!
“I tried other brands of vitamin C, but did not get same result. I order it online. It’s $20 per bottle of 90 pills.”
She also offered an update: “The vitamin C continues to work and my hives are pretty much non-existent.
“Some things still irritate me (ibuprofen in particular) but I just avoid those things and, for the most part, the hives are gone.”

Join Over 54,000 Subscribers at The People's Pharmacy

Each week we send two free email newsletters with breaking health news, prescription drug information, home remedies and a preview of our award-winning radio show. Join our mailing list and get the information you need to make confident choices about your health.

  1. Shelly
    Minneapolis
    Reply

    I’m surprised that no one has mentioned food sensitivities as a possible cause for their chronic hives/uticaria. I have had them for 4 years now and break out every 2-3 days. I assumed they are autoimmune and may not go away, but I am hopeful and willing to try new things, like the vitamins D and C with Quercetin, along with prayer for healing and striving for a stress free lifestyle and schedule. I was told to eliminate gluten from my diet and I have decreased my sugar intake by 80%. I recently went to organic foods as much as possible and I am considering going “grain-free.” I am a supporter of supplements to help my body be in the best state of wholeness for health and healing, but I know that nutrition and what I am putting into my body probably has the biggest impact.

  2. P.Cook
    Reply

    I read about your reader who had hives for a long time. I had them years ago, and a friend of mine referred me to a health book in which chronic hives was discussed. The cure she suggested was pantothenic acid, so I went to a drug store and bought over-the-counter B-Complex supplements with pantothenic acid in them.. The hives were gone in a very short time, and never came back. I had also been to a dermatologist and tried what he had for me, but nothing worked permanently ’til I tried this. I think it is a perfectly safe supplement to use, but a doctor could tell you more about that. Worked for me, and this is such an annoying problem it is good to find an answer.

  3. J.G.
    Reply

    Im 18 and suffering from CU Ive been suffering with this for about 1.5 years. I used to be an all year athlete but due to the hives I cant exercise due to the hives. I’ve done everything possible been to multiple doctors and nothing has really helped. I’ve been taking zyrtec 4x a day with probiotics 2x fish oil supplements 2x singulair at night and a multi purpose vitamin. still no results I get hives and I don’t know what to do.
    It has affected my whole life including friends and family and I hate it. I get allergy shots because that’s what my doctor thinks will stop it but after 2 months of them and no results much. I am getting more blood tests done but I don’t see anything helping I just want to get back to my normal athletic life that I had before so if anyone has any ideas please help me.

  4. AK
    Reply

    I used to get hives here and there and then take prednisone and the hives would go away. Now I have been having hives every day for 6mths from head to toe. My allergist says I have chronic hives and they are genetic and I will have them forever. I take doxepin 3 xs daily and prednisone also. I have tried everything I don’t want to be chemically dependent. How much vitamin c and vitamin d should I be taking?
    People’s Pharmacy response: This is an understudied area. One person told us that her hives responded to 2700 mg vitamin C daily: http://www.peoplespharmacy.com/2012/04/01/vitamins-helped-hives/

  5. Zia
    Reply

    Hi. I have hives (urticaria) since 1990… till today I found no permanent treatment. I used a lots of methods n medicines but the only an anti-histamine (antistine HCL 100mg twice a day) was very much effective but when I started using it was banned after a year (in 1999) but within last 24 years I found this is the only antihistamine that works very well even in minutes and having long lasting effect with no side effects (as I found) now I am searching any other remedy for this hives (urticaria) anyone who knows a solid solution kindly type here for the endless prayers. GOD bless u. thanx

  6. KNP
    Reply

    Try this, it’s works for me. I’ve got hive once a while and always last for months. Been try this recently and it’s work. Take D3 and omega3 and B-complex plus C ALL TOGTHER, take milk thistle separate and try to get some sun if you can. After about 1 month, you see the different. In the mean while, when the hives formed and make you feel so itchy, take Benadryl instead of zyrtec, it’ll release the itches faster and if you can take it as soon as the hives just first start, it’ll work best.

  7. ArbesDJ
    Reply

    talk about healing, I always pray to the God, for the first act of mine….

  8. NCW
    Reply

    Folks
    I’m going to add a “cure” that will raise eyebrows. I was a hives sufferer and I sympathize with anyone who has this allergy because I’m always taken back to the nightmares I suffered. I got tired of taking meds. I started praying about this and I got healed!! I don’t know how many people believe in God but I do and my faith has brought about my healing.

  9. DD
    Reply

    you need to take the Vitamin D at least for a month to see the results. You can also try acupuncture.

  10. PLF
    Reply

    I am going into 6 weeks of hives, they shoot me straight out of bed in the middle of the night. How much d3 should I be taking, and how long does it take for improvement? I have been taking 1000 iu 3x a day along with cod liver, for about a week, and still last night I had a worse outbreak, and they are bad on a good day.. I seriously do not think I want to do this anymore, and I don’t have ins. So Drs. Are out of the question..

  11. AF
    Reply

    Vitamin D treated my hives ( very severe) as well as neurodermitis (very severe as well). I am a medical doctor. Try it, it cannot hurt, it can only help ( great as a prophylaxis against many other diseases as well). In addition, I started exposing my skin to the sun, WITHOUT using any (quite harmful) sunscreen. In addition to being harmful ( chemicals!), it blocks 95% of the rays and hence vitamin D production.
    In summary: If you suffer from hives+/- neurodermitis, take vitamin D if it’s winter; if it’s summer, go to the beach, don’t fear the sun ( it’s much less harmful as some “very smart” dermatologists tend to claim) and expose the entire body to it, not just your hands and face!
    Bring your Vit D levels to at least 55, even better around 90-100 ( esp. if you also have thyroid problems)! You will see dramatic results, I guarantee it.
    Good luck!

  12. Mary
    Reply

    While 50,000 IU’s of Vitamin D2 (not usually D3) is prescription,
    D3 is available in at least 3 different sizes over the counter from many sources. And do make sure it is D3 and not the cheaper to produce, D2.
    The most common are 1,000, 2,000 and 5,000 IU’s. I would not want anything less than 1,000 IU’s myself.

  13. NRM
    Reply

    I have CIU 7 years of pain. I finally went to an Endocrinologist and I have hyper-parathyroid 2. I started on vitamin d 3 50,000 units 1 time a week and I feel much better. Your parathyroid glands are near your thyroid glands. You can not buy vitamin d3 over the counter it is really a medicine not a vitamin. The immunologist put me on cyclosporine which did not work, prior to that I was on prednisone for 3 years. Now I am on singular, Zantac, doxapin and dapsone. The dapsone caused anemia. But it does work. Good luck to everyone. Most importantly be proactive in with your health. I’ve seen ten doctors until I finally found the smartest doctors. Nm

  14. AMG
    Reply

    I have had hives for over 20 years. about 2 years ago they got worse. I was taking 2 zyrtec a day and benadryl and they would not go away. I went to my allergist he orderd a blood test and turns out I had HYPOTHYROID/Auto Immune. once I started my thyroid meds I was fine!!!! no more hives:)

  15. MKP
    Reply

    I too suffered from hives on and off for years. Each time I had a new round of it, it seemed to be a bit different. The last round which started apx 5 yrs. ago was the worst with it sometimes covering me from head to toe, sometimes swelling and even throwing up. I read an article about coconut oil being effective about cracking the shell of some type of yeast or fungus which could cause hives. I started using coconut oil (apx. 1 tbsp.) in my morning oatmeal and I’ve had only one small spot of hive breakout since then. Just recently I added Vit. C to my daily supplements so hopefully, I too can finally be really free of hives.

  16. EHL
    Reply

    I have chronic urticaria (chronic hives). My allergist said it is an autoimmune disease and is something I will always have. The key is to keep it under control. He told me to stay away from all anti-inflammatory meds ( Advil, Alleve, etc.), all NSAIDS and sulfites. He also advised not to eat very spicy foods and to stay away from spices such as cinnamon, ginger, etc. My hives are under control by following his advice and taking one Allegra in the morning and one Zantac (Zantac is used for indigestion but is also an anti-histamine) in the evening.

  17. Vitamins
    Reply

    I can’t imagine having hives for 8 years. I have not had hives for years but I remember how miserable I was. Good to know about Vitamins C and D.

  18. Albert O.
    Reply

    How long of taking the vitamin d till you realized they(the hives) were getting better. And when did you realize they were completely gone?

  19. Karen A.
    Reply

    It would be very helpful if you had the contents of your articles indexed so a person could search for their topic of interest through a keyword search. For example, I came looking for articles/letters etc. on “hives” and only found the one article featured right now – surely there are others that mention hives, perhaps in a header but not the first word, or in the body of text. (Didn’t find any mention of hives in my “Best Choices…” book, either.) Right now your alpha list of articles is in direct order of the words in the title, but the first word of the title is usually not the topic the searcher is looking for.

  20. E.
    Reply

    Hi
    I have had hives since October. Nothing is working! My Allergist is running out of options for treatment and many meds I was on had bad side effects and/or didn’t work at all.
    Was on prednisone which helped a bit, but as soon as I was off it, they came back :(
    Even antihistamines don’t help. I am at my wits end!
    I will certainly try this – thanks for the hope!
    E.

What Do You Think?

Share your thoughts with others, but be mindful of protecting your own and others' privacy. Not all comments will be posted. Advice from web visitors is not a substitute for medical attention. Do not stop any medicine without checking with the prescriber. In posting a comment, you agree to our commenting policy and website terms and conditions.