29 answers

Breaking Out in Hives/welts

my 5 yr old has been breaking out in welts for the past 2 yrs off and on, i give him benedryl and they eventually go away. they usually start on his back and stay there but occasionally they venture to his arms and legs. i took him to the allergy dr once in the past and he prescribed steriods and of course it helped for a little while but it started again. they don't occur at any particular time and he hasn't taken any new medication. i would like to know if anyone else has had this problem and to get some advice. please help! i have racked my brain to figure out what is causing them but can't find anything new i have started using or changed.

What can I do next?

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My daughter has had the same problems. I have no idea what causes it. I do know if use regular detergent instead of dreft or other hypoallerginic soaps she has increased episodes. I guess some people are just more sensitive to the environment than others. good luck

The first thing I would try is switching to allergen free detergents, soaps, shampoos, etc. Maybe do a second rinse when doing his wash - including towels and sheets.

I would also switch to more green cleaning products. One great cleaning item is microfiber cloths. Just wet them down and you can clean sinks, counters, tubs, mirrors, and windows without any cleaning products at all. www.flylady.com has some nice big ones.

Then, lastly, I would pay attention to his diet. I have heard some kids break out from yellow food coloring. These things can develop over time also and kids can become sensitive to something that they weren't sensitive to before.

Good luck!

My middle son who is now 18 has had hives since he was very little...he would get out of the bath and BOOM...major hives...or just go outside on a cold day...anything really was the trigger. It was not food or allergies to anything...it is a skin disorder in which now he takes zyertec for. He can't go without it or the hives take over. Look into the skin issue...he would still be suffering if it had not been for a very wise Doctor.

M.
Jer. 29:11

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something no one else has mentioned yet...it could be his body's way of healing or ridding itself of toxins, bacteria, viruses, etc... my 13 yo has broken out in severe welts several times in his life, and almost always he has either been sick or is about to be. we just realized this recently. last year at this time, he and my dtr both got the flu and were give Tamifule to rush the symptoms along - it worked great for my dtr. my son however, broke out in itchy red welts all over, mostly trunk area. we had coincidentally switched shampoos in is bathroom (to a dollar store brand of Pert) and thought that was it. so he quit using that and was still breaking out. the doc said to take him off the Tamiflu, and his rash cleared up. took the flu longer to go away though. he got the flu again two weeks ago, and the doc said obviously no Tamiflu this year. but towards the end of the week, while still sick, he broke out in horrible welts AGAIN! i called the doc - they checked his past records and noticed almost every time he'd been seen there, i had mentioned welts. he gets them at other times, other than illness, but his doc's theory is that his body is fighting off something, and sometimes is successful on its own before we even know he is sick.

it more than likely is an allergy to something that hasn't occurred to you yet, but i wanted to throw that out there. i have bad allergies now (had none as a kid) and i have learned they are very fickle. sometimes a particular animal doesn't bother me, and at other times, i have an immediate reaction to the same animal. not predictable at all.

like someone else suggested, i would keep a detailed list of EVERYTHING you can think of when it happens, backing up a couple of days. maybe even keep a food diary every day, so that when outbreaks occur, it isn't as hard to think back. i can't believe a doc wouldn't immediately send him for allergy testing, but just slap him on a drug. well... actually i CAN, which is the sad part! good luck!

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Check this website out: http://www.patient.co.uk/showdoc/27000970/

It may give some insight into the situation. God Bless.

1 mom found this helpful

I am so sorry!!

I have had severe allergies (allergic to everything including my own bladder!) since I was two. My daughter is the same way!

First and foremost, get him allergy tested. Find a well-respected pediatric allergist in your area. Ask local pediatricians, mothers what their recommendations are.

Your son could be having allergic rxn to your laundry detergent, dryer sheet, soap, food allergies, pollen count, mold count in your house, et al. It could literally be ANYTHING. In addition, he could be one of the lucky ppl (like my family) who are not only allergic to alot of things, but also born with an overabundance of histamine making him allergic to his own body resulting in allergic rxn when there is no noticeable allergen.

My allergist just recently told me they've discovered (not theory, fact) that one is born with allergies imprinted on DNA, but they have a protein coating. When those protein coatings are dissolved due to things such as environmental changes, stress, illness, etc, "new" allergies appear and sometimes they seem to disappear or "grow out" of them.

Do NOT put your son on and off steriods. It's dangerous. I was on/off steriods my entire life. There are very noticeable and life-impacting complications from prednisone use longterm.

Allergy shots are experimental. They don't know why it works for some people, doesn't work for others, and makes others collapse in fits of asphyxia.

Get to a pediatric allergist immediately. Use Benadryl in the meantime.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

As a toddler, my daughter had the same hive symptoms as you have described. (tan to red-brown macules that appear on the truck and spread symmetrically). It was diagnosed as Cutaneous Mastocytosis, a benign disease, and was treated with a simple daily dose of antihistimines which counteract the high levels of normal mast cells that her body was producing. The doctors actually took a picture of the hives, because it is not a very common ailment and is NOT easily diagnosed. Although Mastocytosis goes away on its own by adulthood (in 50% of cases), the worst case scenerio would be that it becomes systematic, spreading from the skin surface to the gastrointestinal tract, the bone marrow or other organs. Watch for swelling, itching, redness after rubbing, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, headaches, wheezing and diarrhea, as certain activities, drugs and (spicy) foods can trigger it (sudden weather changes has been a main factor for my daughter). She is now 16 and no longer takes the antihistimines, and has only occassional occurances of hives. Until your son is diagnosed, I would not give him anything with ASPIRIN (or penicillin) and avoid extreme heat as these are main triggers. The doctor recommended TYLONEL only. Good luck to you, please let me know what you find out!

1 mom found this helpful

The same thing happens to my two youngest boys. I notice that they break out when they get angry or upset sometimes, and sometimes it appears that clothes or the bath towel might irritate their skin. It's weird because it doesn't happen all the time. I don't know how severe yours are, but mine will only break out usually with no more than 10 hives. I've learned that after about 10-20 minutes they go away, and if there are quite a few I give them a dose of benadryl and that helps. The only other thing I can think of is animals. Do you have any pets? My middle son was breaking out every now and then, and we never put two and two together because it didn't happen all the time, but we had two cats, and figured out that they were what was making him break out. We got rid of them, and he rarely breaks out now...

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Hi L.,

Have you seen a dermatologist? My 13-yr-old son would break out in a bumpy rash behind his knees and on his elbows since he was small. They gave us steroid cream, which worked, but they always came back. Then, they gave us allergy medicine, but eventually, that didn't work either. It turns out that he has a skin condition. He takes allegra (an antihistamine) to prevent the bumps and puts Elidel on the bumps when they show up and they are gone in a few days. He also takes zyrtec for his allergies, but it doesn't work the same as allegra and didn't prevent the skin problems. I think I would give the "skin doctor" a shot. It couldn't hurt. Good luck! L.

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A few things to consider that you may have already ruled out, but just in case..... has he been tested for a latex sensativity? things you wouldn't expect to associate with latex can often cause hives, such as bananas, potatoes, avacado... another thing to look at is Splenda. Do you use it? This is one of the side effects being reported. If you don't use splenda check the labels on you foods for sucralose (which is another name for Spelenda. I'm guessing you've already ruled out things like laundry soap, shampoo or body wash, lotion, etc. in either case I wish you luck in finding the source.

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It definitely sounds like an allergy. When I was a kid I was allergic to whatever chemicals were being dumped in the public pool and I used to break out in welts after swimming. It can also be psychological, up until my 20's I broke out in welts instead of having a panic attack when upset about something. Try to eliminate one variable at a time: laundry detergent, fabric softener, body soap, food allerigies, stress. I hope you can figure out which one is the trigger, good luck!

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