Urticaria (Hives) in Children | Dermatology

Hives in Children

What are hives in children?

Hives in children is a problem in which red, swollen, and itchy areas appear on the skin. It can occur as an allergic reaction to eating certain foods or taking certain medications. Though, the cause may sometimes be unknown. Hives can vary in size from half an inch to several inches in size. Hives can appear all over the body or in only one part of the body.

Alternate name

  • Urticaria

Causes of hives in children

Causes of rashes in babies include food, medication, and other triggers. Common causes of hives in children include:

  • Peanuts
  • Anticonvulsant medicines
  • Phenobarbital
  • Shellfish
  • Penicillin
  • Sulfa
  • Eggs
  • Aspirin

Other types of hives include:

  • These rashes are caused by scratching the skin, constant stroking of the skin, or wearing tight clothing that scratches the skin.
  • Cold-induced hives: These hives are brought about by presentation to cold air or water.
  • Exercise-induced urticaria: This allergic urticaria is caused by physical activity.
  • Solar hives: These hives are brought about by the introduction to daylight or light.
  • Chronic hives: These are hives that return without a known cause.

Signs and symptoms of hives in children

The main signs and symptoms of hives in children are:

  • It has a pale center
  • They appear in groups
  • Change the look and location in a matter of hours
  • Be small or as large as a dinner plate
  • Itching, stinging, or burning

A person with angioedema may also have puffiness, red spots, swelling, or large bumps around the eyes, lips, hands, feet, genitals, or throat. Other symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.

Rarely, a person with urticaria and angioedema may develop anaphylactic shock. Signs of anaphylactic shock include breathing problems, low blood pressure, dizziness, or loss of consciousness.

Diagnosis of hives in children

More often than not, a specialist can analyze hives just by taking a gander at the skin. To find the cause, you may be asked questions about your child’s medical history, recent illnesses, medications, exposure to allergens, and daily stressors.

If your child has chronic hives, the doctor may ask you to keep a daily record of activities, such as what your child eats and drinks, and where on the body it tends to appear. Diagnostic tests – such as blood tests, allergy tests, and tests to rule out conditions that could cause hives, such as thyroid disease or hepatitis – may be done to find the exact cause of the hives.

To check for bodily hives, the doctor may place ice on your child’s skin to see how he reacts to the cold or place a sandbag or other heavy object on the thighs to see if the pressure will cause the hives.

Treatment for hives in children

Monitor your baby’s rash and call your doctor before treating your baby with any medications. Most medicines do not contain dosing instructions for children. To make sure the drug is safe and to know how much to administer, talk to your doctor.

Medical treatments

Oral antihistamines, such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl) and cetirizine (Zyrtec), are available over the counter to treat hives. These medications slow the release of histamine in the body.

Your doctor can advise you on whether it is safe for you to give these medicines to your infant, as they are not approved for use in children under the age of two. You may need to be given antihistamines several times a day for several days to relieve symptoms from hives.

Sometimes steroids may be used if an infant’s cells do not respond to antihistamines. Your child may need more immediate medical treatments if the rash causes serious symptoms such as trouble breathing, wheezing, or a sore throat.

These hives in children’s symptoms require emergency medical care. It may result in your child needing a higher level of prescription or even hospitalization.

Home remedies

Your doctor may recommend treating your baby’s life at home. Hives in children often go away on their own and without any other treatment.

You may be able to treat hives in children at home by:

  • Keep your child away from anything that may be causing the rash. Since the rash in infants is often caused by a virus, this may not be necessary or possible.
  • Use a cold compress to relieve discomfort caused by hives

If home remedies do not calm the hives in children, call your doctor again.

Prevention

To help prevent hives in children, stay away from any materials sensitive to your baby:

  • If your child has a food allergy, read the labels carefully. And be careful in restaurants.
  • Tell your child’s healthcare provider, dentist, and pharmacist of any allergies your child has to medicines. Keep a list of alternative medicines on hand.

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