Hives May be Due to Drugs, Foods, or Insect Bites – Cynthia ReyesHives occur often in children & are not contagious. Symptoms are usually mild, but severe to outright life-threatening symptoms are possible. find out why.
Hives are common in children. although they can be severe, they are a temporary annoyance lasting from a few hours to a few days in most cases. Hives are usually not serious and can be treated with over-the-counter medication.
What are Hives?
The medical term for hives is urticaria. Hives are a rash consisting of raised splotches or welts that come in different shapes and sizes and tend to have red or pink borders with pale centers. they appear suddenly and often raise questions about what could have caused them. The welts, also known as wheals, form when fluid leaks from small blood vessels in the skin. Typically, when old wheals fade away, new ones appear.
Causes of Hives
Many things trigger hives, and that’s the reason the exact cause is usually unknown. Hives may be an allergic reaction to a medication, a food, an insect bite, an infection (such as a virus), or contact allergy such as latex or other substances. Common dietary causes of hives in children are nuts, berries, and shellfish. Hives caused by foods generally last six hours or less. In the interest of reassurance, hives are not contagious.
Symptoms and Signs of Hives
Common symptoms of hives are:
- itching, burning, or stinging
- welts, either localized or all over the body
- changes in size and location of lesions
- pain in lesions if the skin becomes tense
- several smaller lesions may merge to form one larger welt
Treatment of Hives
Obviously, the optimal treatment for hives is to determine the cause and to stay away from the offending substance. unfortunately, finding the cause is often impossible. Regardless of cause, oral antihistamines are first-line treatment for most cases of hives. Take the antihistamine on a regular schedule for a few days to keep hives from forming. Stopping the antihistamine prematurely is a common mistake. Take the medication for two to three days even if it looks like all the hives have disappeared. if the hives are localized to small areas, cool compresses or intermittent ice packs (about five minutes) may soothe discomfort.
If hives are severe, an injection of epinephrine or a steroid may be necessary. Examples of severe hives include swelling of eyelids until they are shut or swelling in the scrotal area. a related condition known as angioedema causes swelling in deeper layers of skin and may cause life-threatening airway obstruction if there is swelling of the tongue or throat. if your child is having difficulty breathing or swallowing, get emergency treatment immediately.
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