Hives are welts on the skin that are extremely itchy. When your child comes down with a case of hives, it is important to understand what may have caused them, how to treat them, and other symptoms to watch out for.
Hives are usually caused by an allergic reaction to something in your environment that has come in contact with the skin or been ingested. When hives occur, it is very helpful to try to think about anything unusual your child has come in contact with, such as a new soap or lotion, or something unusual he or she has eaten.
The most prominent symptom of hives is bouts of extremely intense itching. The itching can be accompanied by heat as well. Red, swollen welts on the skin will appear, and often cover most of the body. The welts can vary in size, and can appear in one spot, then fade and appear in another spot. Hives can come and go for a few days or months. They can disappear for years and then reoccur without warning.
Sometimes chronic hives are idiopathic, which means the cause remains unknown. The cause of hives may be an underlying immunological factor that cannot be isolated. Hives can be very mysterious.
While there is no true "cure" for hives, many treatments are available. The most common treatment is anithistamine. Antihistamine counteracts the histamine produced by the body in reaction to an allergen. Antihistamines are very effective in treating hives. Cool oatmeal baths and cold compresses can help also. If the hives are very severe, steroids can be used for a short amount of time to get the hives under control.
If your child has other symptoms besides hives, such as shortness of breath, tightness in her throat, abdominal pain, dizziness or loss of consciousness, seek medical help immediately.
Hives can be terrible. The itching can be so severe that a person almost feels a little crazy. A bad case of hives can greatly interfere with a person's life. If your child has hives, see your doctor right away. It is important to start treatment immediately to get the hives under control. Do whatever you can to alleviate the itching, help try to take your child's mind off it, and stay close to your child until he feels better.
- Photo Credit "Little girl me" is Copyrighted by Flickr user: sflovestory (Kristen Holden) under the Creative Commons Attribution license.
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