Does Your Child Need To See A Doctor About Hives Or Urticaria
Maybe. Its a good idea to take your child to your GP, especially if your child:
- has hives that keep coming back for longer than 6 weeks
- is itchy, uncomfortable or finding it hard to sleep because of the hives
- isnt responding to treatment like antihistamines.
If the hives last for more than 6 weeks, your GP might refer you to a dermatologist. If the GP thinks your childs hives are being caused by an allergy, they might refer your child to an allergy and immunology specialist.
You should take your child to your local hospital emergency department if their hives:
- cover a large area of their body
- come up very quickly after a new food, medicine, bee sting or other obvious trigger
- are healing with blue or purple bruising.
Also take your child to hospital if theyre very tired or generally unwell or have a fever as well as the hives
Sometimes hives are a sign of anaphylaxis. If your child has hives and signs of anaphylaxis, they need urgent medical attention. Signs of anaphylaxis include difficulty breathing, a swollen tongue or throat, dizziness or fainting. Heres what to do: lay your child flat or keep them sitting. Use an adrenaline auto-injector if one is available. Call an ambulance immediately phone 000.
Massage With Coconut Oil
Coconut oil contains many anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that help soothe the skin and provide relief from hives. It also moisturizes the skin and helps get rid of skin irritation.
How to use:
Most People With Hives Do Not Need Tests
Tests are sometimes done when hives go on for long periods, or when unusual symptoms are occurring around the same time. This is to exclude other diseases, which may appear as hives first, and other conditions later. If hives are associated with high fever, bruising, bleeding into the skin, purple lumps that last for several days, or sore joints, a doctors appointment should be arranged promptly.
Allergy testing is performed when the history suggests an allergic cause.
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Itch Relief Made Easier
They’re itchy, red, and raised and often appear at the worst possible times. About 20 percent of the population will get them at least once in their lives, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. They’re hives. And hives that last more than six weeks are considered chronic . For some people, these hives are a result of allergies, but for others there’s no discernible cause. Chronic hives with no known cause are called chronic idiopathic urticaria .
The itching associated with these hives, which stems from the release of natural chemicals called histamines by your bodys immune system, can dramatically affect your quality of life. This is among the main findings of a study published in August 2015 in the journal Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Still, there’s a lot you can do to ease the itch of chronic hives.
Heres How You Can Treat Your Hives
Antihistamines are the best choice for treating hives. Talk to your doctor about the correct dose of antihistamine to help get your hives under control. Often, doses of antihistamines are too low, Dr. Culver said. Current guidelines suggest you might need up to four times the normal dose of antihistamines to control your symptoms. If you dont get relief with antihistamines, your doctor might prescribe a steroid. If antihistamines and steroids dont get your hives under control, you can talk to your doctor about other treatment options.
When you know what causes your hives, you can try to avoid that trigger. If you cant figure out whats causing them, taking antihistamines regularly can prevent them or keep them from becoming so severe.
You can also take steps to minimize hives when outbreaks occur:
- Avoid scratching so you dont make hives worse. Sometimes, when hives are flaring, just stroking the skin can cause them to erupt.
- Wear loose-fitting clothing since places where belts, straps or fabric touch the skin can be prone to hives during an outbreak.
- Avoid aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Advil and Motrin, which could make hives worse.
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How Are Hives Diagnosed
To diagnose hives, your doctor will look at your skin and ask about your recent medical history. Because there are so many potential causes, tracking down the precise trigger for a case of hives can be difficult, if not impossible. If you have a stubborn case, your doctor may recommend that you be treated by an allergist, who may perform skin, blood and urine tests to help identify the cause.
How Are Hives Treated
In many cases, mild hives won’t need treatment and will go away on their own. If a definite trigger is found, avoiding it is part of the treatment. If the hives feel itchy, the doctor may recommend an antihistamine medicine to block the release of histamine in the bloodstream and prevent breakouts.
For chronic hives, the doctor may suggest a non-sedating prescription or over-the-counter antihistamine to be taken every day. Not everyone responds to the same medicines, though, so it’s important to work with the doctor to find the right one for your child.
If a non-drowsy antihistamine doesn’t work, the doctor may suggest a stronger antihistamine, another medicine, or a combination of medicines. In rare cases, a doctor may prescribe a steroid pill or liquid to treat chronic hives. Usually this is done for just a short period to prevent harmful steroid side effects.
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Dietary Changes To Help Prevent Hives
Researchers are still studying whether changing your diet can impact the severity and duration of CIU flare-ups.
A recent preliminary study suggests that an antihistamine diet, where you avoid foods that contain high levels of histamine, may help reduce the severity on an individual level.
Since this and other similar studies only involved a small group of participants, researchers arent ready to draw wide conclusions about the diets success rate.
Even so, it may be worth talking with your doctor to see whether changing your diet is a good option.
How Do Dermatologists Treat Hives
When treating hives, the goals are to:
Control the itch
Prevent new hives
Avoid whats causing the hives
Your treatment plan will be tailored to your needs and may include one or more of the following:
To improve your outcome, your dermatologist may give you self-care tips to follow. To see what dermatologists frequently recommend, go to: Hives: Self-care.
Related AAD resources
Image 1: Used with permission of DermNet NZImage 2: Getty Images
ReferencesAntia C, Baquerizo K, et al. Urticaria: A comprehensive review: Epidemiology, diagnosis, and work-up. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2018 79:599-614.
Antia C, Baquerizo K, et al. Urticaria: A comprehensive review: Treatment of chronic urticaria, special populations, and disease outcomes. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2018 79:617-33.
Grattan CEH, Saini SS. Urticaria and angioedema. In: Bolognia JL, et al. Dermatology. . Mosby Elsevier, China, 2018:304-19.
Hide M, Takahagi S, et al. Urticaria and angioedema. In: Kang S, et al. Fitzpatricks Dermatology. McGraw Hill Education, United States of America, 2019:684-785.
Wong HK. Urticaria. In: Medscape Last updated 9/16/2020. Last accessed 8/1/2021.
Yosipovitch G and Kwatra SG. Chronic urticaria. In: Living with itch: A patients guide. The Johns Hopkins University Press. United States, 2013: 56-9.
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Why Dont Antihistamines Work For Me
Its hard to say why antihistamines work for some people and not for others. But its not uncommon for antihistamines to be or become ineffective.
Studies on the effectiveness of antihistamines for chronic hives have shown a response rate as low as 44 percent.
Antihistamines may stop working because hives can become worse over time or because the intensity of hives can wax and wane over time.
Its also possible that antihistamines become less effective because people arent taking them as prescribed.
Even if you cant identify the cause of your CIU, you may be able to pinpoint triggers that bring on outbreaks or increase the severity of your hives.
See whether any of the following common triggers seem to affect you:
- pets or pet dander
- stress or anxiety
- nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
After seeing little to no results from an antihistamine, your doctor may suggest that you try the following treatments, usually in the following order:
If your medication isnt giving you the relief you need, you can try the following methods to ease itching:
- Moisturize regularly with lotion.
- Use cool water when you shower.
- Apply a cold compress or an ice pack to affected areas.
- Try using over-the-counter creams such as calamine lotion.
- Wear clothing made from 100-percent cotton or 100-percent silk.
While none of the above methods will treat your CIU, they can at least provide comfort during a flare-up.
How Can I Prevent Hives And Swelling
Allergy tests can help your healthcare provider figure out which substances bring on hives and swelling. Once you know your triggers, you can avoid them. You may want to:
- Cut certain foods or liquids out of your diet.
- Reduce exposure to airborne allergens.
- Switch to detergents and soaps without scents or dyes.
- Avoid extreme changes in temperature.
- Relax and take a break when youre stressed or overworked.
- Wear loose-fitting, lightweight clothing.
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Finding Relief From Hives
If you know the foods or medicines or other factors that sometimes make you break out in hives, be sure to avoid those triggers. To help you find relief during an active case of hives, your doctor might recommend taking antihistamines. To calm the skin directly, your doctor may also suggest cold compresses and an anti-itch salve.
If youve never experienced hives before, and if they are making you uncomfortable, its a good idea to call your health care provider. If your hives seem particularly severe and are covering a large part of your body, or if youre having other troubling symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, go to the emergency room or call 911.
When To See A Doctor
If you have a case of hives that lasts for more than a few days, itâs time to call the doctor.
Sometimes, but not always, hives occur as part of a more serious allergic reaction called anaphylactic shock. Seek medical attention right away if you experience hives along with:
- Swelling of the lips, eyes, or tongue
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Talk With Your Doctor
Check with your doctor to make sure youre doing all you can to prevent and stop the itch, says Goldenberg. If antihistamines arent helping, your doctor may prescribe another treatment. These may include corticosteroids, antidepressants, leukotriene modifiers, immunosuppressants, and omalizumab, an asthma drug now approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat chronic hives. Light therapy may also provide some relief, Goldenberg says.
Whats The Deal With Chronic Hives
When hives last longer than 6 weeks, theyre considered chronic, says Dr. Rose. An autoimmune condition or physical stimulus are the most common causes of chronic hives, she says. Very often the cause is idiopathic, meaning the trigger is unknown.
To find a cause, doctors may explore your medical history and run laboratory tests. But according to Dr. Marks-Cogan, only 20% of patients with chronic hives ever learn what the cause is.
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How To Soothe Hives
While hives are most commonly not severe or harmful, we know they can be irritating and uncomfortable. A doctor can provide treatments to prevent the hives from recurring however, there are at-home remedies to try to soothe hives immediately.
First and foremost, dont scratch your itch! Hives can be extremely itchy, and the natural instinct would be to scratch the area that is bothering you. But scratching hives can make them more inflamed and cause them to spread.
Instead, try these tips to soothe your skin and find relief from itchy hives:
Use a Cold Compress
Apply a cold compress to the affected area. This could be a bag of frozen peas, an ice pack, or simply soaking a washcloth in cold water. The cool temperature will relieve some of the inflammation you are experiencing by numbing the area and soothing the skin.
Avoid Anything That May Trigger a Reaction
Try to keep away from natural triggers such as pollen or pet dander. It is also a good idea to avoid contact with latex.
Take a Lukewarm Bath
Hot water can be extremely irritating to the skin, but you can add various products to a bath to help relieve an itching sensation. Sprinkle in some baking soda and colloidal oatmeal for a soothing effect.
Colloidal oatmeal has anti-inflammatory properties and forms a protective barrier on your skin, holding in moisture and easing inflammation. It is found in many moisturizers, shampoos, and cleansers that are beneficial for people with sensitive skin.
Wear Lightweight Clothing
Urticaria Diet And Food
There are other ways for patients to figure out how to stop itching from hives. One of them involves consulting a hives specialist to find out what allergens trigger their hives in the first place. If their hives are triggered by certain foods, then identifying these foods and excluding them from their diets will eliminate their hives episodes and, naturally, the itching associated with those episodes.
They can also eat urticaria diets. These are diets designed to minimize hives in all those who suffer from them. They make the body less conducive to those biochemical reactions that trigger hives. Such diets exclude fermented food and food that contains high histamine levels. They also exclude foods with artificial coloring and foods that contain benzoates and chemicals such as BHA and BHT, which are food preservatives or additives.
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Symptoms Of Hives Urticaria
Listed here are among the issues which lead to hives in others:
- Stress, meals allergy , chlorine in ingesting water,
- Adrenal exhaustion and/or liver congestion ensuing from an allergy,
- hydrochloric acid deficiency,
- Drug allergy, acid situations, insect stings,
- power an infection, penicillin within the milk you drink,
- Aspirin, espresso, alcohol, and tobacco.
Fexofenadine Loratadine And Cetirizine
These antihistamines typically come in 12- or 24-hour formulas to provide extended relief. Theyre also less likely to cause drowsiness than diphenhydramine.
You may need to adjust the dosage to effectively treat hives, so talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can advise you on how much to take and how often.
If youre experiencing severe or chronic hives, prescription medication may be necessary. Talk to your doctor about your symptoms and how you can best find relief.
Common prescription options include:
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Home Remedies For Hives
Hives are accompanied by redness and rashes which cause itching and irritation. Sometimes hives occur as soon as a person is exposed to the allergens but in other cases, they take the time up to two hours to appear.
In place of using some allopathic creams that are packed with chemicals, one can explore his or her kitchen and garden and can find some amazing natural treatments to soothe itching.
Home remedies for hives ease the irritation and inflammation that are caused by urticaria in a natural and side-effects-free way.
They are absolutely safe, very effective and really cheap unlike other treatments for hives. So, take a look at these herbal remedies for hives and get instant pain relief by using any one or more of them.
Go Green Choose Green Tea
Green Tea is world famous for its health benefits. Another benefit of green tea is its antihistamine properties. It also has anti-inflammation features.
Drinking two to three cups of green tea in a day can make hives disappear. Green tea can effectively treat urticaria from the roots. It is because of the presence of polyphenols.
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Can Home Remedies Actually Work
The good news is that there are many options for getting dry skin relief that dont require a visit to the doctor or a prescription. That doesnt necessarily mean they will work for you but theyre all worth giving a go.
Use a humidifier
Running a humidifier at night while you sleep during the winter is a great way to return moisture to your skin, Dr. Khetarpal says.
Cool off in the shower
You may be a big fan of long, hot showers, particularly when its chilly outside, but Dr. Khetarpal advises making the experience a bit milder. Just like the heat running in your house can pull out moisture from your skin, the heat from a very hot shower can do the same, she says. Try keeping your shower set to a lukewarm level.
While using moisturizer may seem obvious, there are still a few tricks to keep in mind. First, be sure to apply right after a shower. Pat dry after your lukewarm shower and apply the moisture within three to five minutes. That helps trap the water in your skin, Dr. Khetarpal says.
Its also important what type of moisturizer you use, she adds. Look for moisturizers with ingredients like ceramide. An over-the-counter ingredient thats often marketed for eczema therapy, she says it helps restore your skin barriers and trap that water in your skin.
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Avoid Certain Products That May Irritate The Skin
Certain soaps may dry your skin and cause more itching when you have hives. Make sure to use a soap thats marketed for sensitive skin. Find a great selection here. These typically omit fragrance and other irritating chemicals.
You should also avoid using irritating moisturizers or lotions. When in doubt, opt for a formula that targets sensitive skin, such as these options. Applying immediately after bathing may also help soothe the itch.
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