Urticaria


Skin | Dermatology | Urticaria (Disease)


Description

When a child has hives (also called urticaria), the first thing a parent tries to think of is what has the child recently eaten that could be causing the allergic reaction.

It is important to remember that there are many more things in addition to food allergies that can cause hives in kids. These include medications, infections, exposure to the sun, and for some kids, even physically stroking their skin, which is called dermographism.

Causes and Risk factors

Hives are a sign of an allergic reaction, and are usually harmless if they are the only symptom your child is having. Children with hives and more severe symptoms, such as wheezing, difficulty breathing or swallowing, or swelling in their mouth or throat, may have anaphylaxis - a serious allergic reaction. These children need immediate medical attention.

Hives are a type of allergic or immune system reaction that occurs when something triggers the release of a chemicals, including histamine, from cells in a childs body.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Since hives are caused by the chemical histamine, it makes sense that you would treat them with an antihistamine medication, such as diphenhydramine. Other sedating antihistamines that are sometimes used to treat hives include hydroxyzine and cyproheptadine. Non-sedating antihistamines are also used to treat hives, expecially hives that last longer than 6 weeks.

Less commonly, a child may need a steroid to treat his episode of hives. Other treatments can sometimes include doxepin, an antidepressant that can work as a potent antihistamine, montelukast, and medications such as ranitidine or cimetidine, which are more commonly used to treat reflux.

Of course, the best treatment for hives, whenever possible, is to remove and then avoid whatever is triggering your childs hives. ...