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.”

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  1. Mandy

    My 17 year old son has had chronic hives for 10 months. Had all the usual medication, cetrizine, ranitidine, steroids xolair shots all to no avail.

    Started querticine and bromlaine and want to include D3 but don’t really know how much of these vitamins I need to use. Any ideas anyone? Desperate to hear if this combo has worked for anyone. Worried Mum

  2. JC

    I know your pain… I’ve been suffering for almost 3yrs.. I take Zyrtec, Zantac, singular, plaqunil & 2 Zolair injections (monthly)… I will incorporate Vitamins also… Thanks

  3. Lisa
    N. Carolina

    I know these posts are a bit old but alot of helpful suggestions were found here. I like to go the natural route so taking supplements is something I plan on doing asap!…I hate living with these horrible hives. Thanks all for your advice and hopefully you all are hive free by now;-)

  4. Lesley

    my daughter has been having hives for 3months and its so stressful.
    The allergist puts her on bilaxten 20mg and montiget 10mg.

    We did a blood test and found that her vitamin d level is 47.9nmol/L.

    He started her on vit d3 1000iu 2 tables every morning just 2weeks ago.

    Hope it works for us and please pray for us also.

  5. Jan

    I have suffered severe hives since November 2014. I knew I had a vitamin D deficency, and had been taking 2000 units of vitamin D regularly until this past November. Never really thought anything about it until I broke out in huge welts covering my entire body. I was rushed to the ER due to throat swelling up. Very scary, I was treated with IV, given steroid (Decadron), pepcid and 50mg of Benadryl intravenously… sent home on Prednisone pack and Atarax 25mg. Needless to say, after prednisone was completed, hives were back full force. Two more ER trips, more Prednisone, Benadryl, Atarax, oatmeal baths, etc. Here I am almost 3 months later, until yesterday. I started back on 4000 ui of vitamin D3, 2 cap full of apple cider vinegar mixed with 4oz of water twice a day…….guess what! Viola! Hives gone! I know what these horrible, torturous things are and how they impact your daily life. For those out there continuing to suffer with hives. Insist on lab work from your physician. Beware of antihistamines, especially Zyrtec, it will actually bring on HIVES (severe ones). Honestly, the apple cider vinegar combination is AMAZING and also gives almost instant relief if you rub it gently over your hives when they appear. It will burn a little at first, but then within 15 min, they will fade away and that awful itch goes away. I hope my story can help others out there. God Bless!

    • billy

      thanks i will try, i got hive and took so many medication even steriod(not injection) but didnt help, it’s been more than six months, hope can see the dramatic result as u mentioned, by the way, apple cider vinegar twice a day means morning and night right? and can i take the vit D3 together with the vinegar? or separate is better? ive seen more than 10 doctors even now trying chinese herbal tea medication, but it still the same, really hope i can get well soon, may i know what brand of vit D3 is the best? thanks for the concern

  6. Shelly

    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.

    • Jc

      For all chronic urticaria sufferers. You HAVE to monitor your diet. It has taken me a whole year of misery with the hives. You have to find your trigger. Mine is SUGAR. If I ingest more than 7-10mg a day of sugar, I’m FULL BLOWN HIVED from head to toe. Also, no Gluten. You would be very very surprised at what foods cause or worsen these things. I take 200mg Doxepin, 10mg Singular, 300mg Zantac, Zyrtec 10mg, twice daily. Probiotics, L-Glutamine x3 daily, and mega doses of vitamin C. I am also on Klonipin for anxiety.
      I drink a minimum of 6-8 glasses of water a day, apple cider vinegar (capful) with 4 oz warm water once in the am and once at night. I only use witch hazel if my itching gets severe, but now that I have figured out my trigger, its gives me hope, ALOT of it.
      I have just recently had a bunch of lab work, checking for celiac disease, thyroid issues, rhuemetoid arthritis, lupus and God knows what else. I do know I have a vitamin D deficiency, so I take liquid vitaminD3 drops, right now 3000ui until my labs come back. Oh, I also take a great multivitamin, its called ALIVE. Has loads of great stuff. So, I be started making smoothies, eating salads, vegs, certain fruits, no oranges, they make me break out for some weird reason, but I stay away from sugar, cane sugar, sucrose, frucose corn syrup (the WORST) and sugar alcohol. Don’t let items fool you, if it has sugar alcohol, beware. I will post more after my test results come in. Good luck everyone and God Bless!

  7. P.Cook

    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.

  8. J.G.

    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.

    • PT

      Have you checked your Ige levels via a blood test? Before I had bad hives, still do but they have reduced since my Ige is lower. If you’re taking fish oil, try taking 6 capsules at a time, 3 times a day which makes it a total of 18 a day. My Ige levels decreased however combining flaxseed oil, fish oil and evening primrose oil will decrease your hives even greater.

    • Martin
      Crystal Lake Illinois

      I had the same thing and after much research I cured my hives! Take a broad spectrum digestive enzyme that covers all foods groups along with HCL to completely digest all your food. Premier Research Labs is the best brand. Your food is not 100 percent digested and the rotting food is then going into your blood and causing hives. I am very certain this well help you!

  9. AK

    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/

  10. Zia

    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

  11. KNP

    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.

    • Jan

      I have suffered UTICARTIA just as yourself. Mine was diagnosed almost three years ago with a vitamin D deficiency. I have found besides taking 4000 ui of vitamin D3, I also mix two caps full of apple cider vinegar with 4oz of water and drink it in the morning and at night. Boosting your immune system is very important with Urticaria I have learned. I also take a one a day multi vitamin and drink at least 6-8 glasses of water everyday. Stress of course will also make your hives worse. I hope this helps! Good luck and God bless!

  12. ArbesDJ

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

  13. NCW

    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.

  14. DD

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

  15. PLF

    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..

  16. AF

    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!

  17. Mary

    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.

  18. NRM

    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

  19. AMG

    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:)

  20. MKP

    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.

  21. EHL

    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.

  22. Vitamins

    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.

  23. Albert O.

    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?

  24. Karen A.

    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.

  25. E.

    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!

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