Hives? - Birmingham,AL

Updated on May 16, 2012
C.R. asks from Birmingham, AL
14 answers

If you or your child has ever had hives I have some questions: How long did the hives last (please include whether or not you used any medication)? Did you find the cause of the hives? What treatment worked best for you/your child? If you know the cause of the hives, approx. how long does/did it take for a reaction to occur after exposure to the substance?

My 14 mo. old woke up this morning covered in hives (no other symptoms). I'm trying to track down the source. It took me a while to remember that we did introduce cows' milk yesterday. Baby Girl has had many other dairy products with no reaction, so it didn't stand out in my mind. But she had that cup of milk 10-18 hours before she broke out (not sure exactly when she broke out since she slept all night). Could it take that long to react? Or maybe there's something else to blame? She still has spots twelve hours after I first saw them :-(

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So What Happened?

It wasn't hives after all. After Benadryl didn't seem to help the rash (spoke to a doc before giving meds) I took her to the pediatrician a day later. He diagnosed erythema multiforme due to a virus. I felt silly that I had asked everyone about hives until I read: "Because erythema multiforme often resembles urticaria at the onset of the eruption, it is important to distinguish the clinical features."

Thanks for your stories and advice!

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answers from Dothan on

The now 13 yr old boy here has broken out in hives since he was 1st introduced to chocolate!

I have alwayz bathed him in cool water with oatmeal soap after a breakout (this chocolate thing was DIFFICULT being a kid to say the least) sprayed him with benadryl that I keep in the frig & gave him a benadryl pill just for kidz (in the beginning the Dr. wrote a prescription for liquid benadryl that had dosing amounts according to weight). Hives generally are gone in the same length of time that it took to show up. Try to keep clean, cotton clothing on, the less the better. Extreme heat will make the child miserable. Extreme playing will make them worse as well so keep them inside doing building blocks, etc. VS going outside & rough housing with other kidletz or the family dog!

Good luck!

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answers from Minneapolis on

Viruses can actually cause hives. They can go away in hours or they can last for weeks. I've used Benadryl and oatmeal baths. My son had them so badly from a virus when he was about 4 that he required both a prescription antihistamine and an oral steroid. I would check with her doctor just to be sure. Benadryl can actually make young children hyper, the opposite reaction it has in most people. Doctor consultation is recommended in giving it to kids under 3.

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answers from Lexington on

My younger daughter had two types of hives (medically known as urticaria) at different times in her life. She had some episodes of brief ones each lasting less than a day. We never did figure those out. When she was older, she got a type called cholinergic uticaria which would happen when she got excited, happy, nervous, stressed, or got hot such as outside or exercising. They were miserable.

I got them after getting asthma in my 40s! I was on 5 medications plus allergy shots just to keep them semi under control for years. My allergist didn't tell me about different types of allergic reactions and this could be from delayed food reactions (IgG)!!!!

It was only after my dd was found to have a problem with gluten and dairy (casein) that I found I did, too. I had already figured out I got hives from saccharin and aspartame, but it was hard to figure out since the reaction is not immediate. I even ended up in the ER the next DAY with every joint in my body inflamed from the saccharin... all because of IgG - delayed food reaction.

It can take several hours to several (5) days to react with hives!



answers from Columbus on

My son has had hives several. His are directly related to allergies. Twice it was a couple of small hives on his face, from an unknown cause. However, every case where we have known the cause, (and can trace the time of the exposure) it's happened within 15 minutes of exposure to the allergen.

Typically, allergic reactions occur within 15 minutes of exposure, but can take up to 2 hours.

Hives can take a while to go away. We use children's benadryl and give 2 ml (for severe reactions, per our pediatrician's rec, we give an initial dose of 4 ml, then 2 ml every 4 hours after that until the hives go away). But don't give the med until you talk to your pediatrician, because 14m is pretty young for using it.

I would suggest washing the child's bedding and possibly stuffed animals, and switching pajamas, and also switching your laundry detergent to something mild and dye-free and fragrance-free (we use Charlies Soap, or BioKleen fragrance & dye free). I would also suggest getting some fragrance free & dye free baby wash and/or shampoo. And if you cleaned the bathtub before bath, rinse it out really well before bathtime, so there are no residual cleaning chemicals left during the baby's bath.

If you gave milk yesterday at lunch or dinner, you would've seen a reaction to that within 2 hours. So I'm guessing it might not be the milk, unless you gave it within 2 hours of bedtime for the first time.


answers from Chicago on

Once, my son, not sure the reason - dr thinks some detergent just did not wash out all the way from the onsie causing the reaction used Benedryl went away with in 30 min. We did however check to make sure they were "blanching" I think was the term - turned white when you pushed on them (that is good). My nephew had to have steroids via IV twice from hives, once was lawn manuer, crawled over to neighbor's lawn (2 or 3 days after) he was just barely crawling so 6months? Another reaction was around 5yo Advantage Flea treatment for dogs - he can not be around a freshly treated dog. So, there are some of the causes I have run across - good luck!



answers from Billings on

I would hold off on the milk for a week once the hives have gone away! Then you can try again.

I have had hives from an allergic reaction to antibotics....or so we think.( I was tested for one of them but it came back saying I was NOT allergic to it.) The allergy doctor told me my hives could last a month!! They lasted almost 2 weeks!! I had them from my toes to my scalp! And they itched like crazy! They had to put me on meds to stop the itching and to try and counter the benedryl.

Are you sure they are hives and not a heat rash? My LO had a heat rash when she was little. We had to make sure the temp was cold and her blankets were light. They went away really quickly then. We also were told to use cetaphil. I hope you find the cause. And I hope LO isn't too miserable! GL!



answers from Eugene on

My 2 daughters and I have had hives.

Eldest daughter broke out twice, 20 minutes after having a lick of peanut butter and a quarter cashew. Big welts head to toe. This after throwing up most of the offending food first.

2nd daughter broke out a minute or two after taking her first sip of milk. That was the easy allergy to track down. She's had hives at other times and we had to play detective to figure out that she's allergic to wheat, fish, seafood, nuts....

I get hives, too but tend to have a delayed reaction. I can get away with eating some things for awhile but hit a tipping point and break out in hives all over. It takes 10 days to 2 weeks for it all to go away on me.

My daughters and I take benadryl to quiet the hives. But the underlying reaction returns when the meds wear off. It can take hours or days or weeks.


answers from Redding on

My youngest broke out in hives at age 4 several hours after I shampooed our carpet.
Doc said it was definitely a reaction to the carpet shampoo, seems like it took about 3 days for it to clear up. Been awhile.



answers from Washington DC on

Please be allergic reaction can to turn into anaphylactic shock , which is deadly. please see an allergist and get tested.



answers from Austin on

One daughter had a really strange skin reaction, and we never did figure out what caused it..... it would start as a small raised welt, and gradually grow over a few hours or so, and then disappear. We did give her benedryl, and that helped. It reminded me of a "fairy ring" where mushrooms grow in a circle in the grass, and each year, the circle gets bigger in diameter.

My son got hives after getting 50-60 fire ant bites..... we gave him some benedryl and an oatmeal bath, and that helped. I think they were gone by the next morning (he used to react occasionally to fire ant bites with VERY large swellings where the bite was... but has apparently outgrown it. We did get him an epi-pen, however, in case it went to an anaphylactic reaction, but it never did.)



answers from Washington DC on

We have had hives that started immediately (after a cat licked my dd's face)...she had a terrible case of hives all over. We immediately put her in the tub, gave her children's benedryl.

The other time, we think some pizza crust was sprinkled with MSG, and the next morning my dd had hives all over. We rubbed benedryl cream on her hives and gave her a little liquid benedryl too.



answers from Portland on

Both my granddaughter and I get hives. When a person breaks out depends on the cause. I've had them within 15-20 minutes after eating food and when I sat in a theatre seat. My granddaughter got them immediately when she was in a bubble bath. When she was a baby she broke out in hives when given milk. Those hives showed up several hours later.

We immediately take an anti-histamine which has always gotten rid of the hives within 30 minutes.

My granddaughter was allergic to milk protein. She could eat cheese and yogurt but not drink milk. She was also allergic to eggs. She outgrew both of those allergies.

My granddaughter as a child also immediately broke out with hives when she played in tree blossoms. Her eyes watered and were itchy, too. But again an anti-histamine cleared the the symptoms right up.

My granddaughter, as a baby, saw a pediatric allergist, who did prescribe an anti-histamine that she could take as a baby.

It's important to find out the cause of the hives because her reaction can become worse over time. When we have hives on our skin we can also have hives in our throat which can interfere with breathing. I suggest it's best to take her to a pediatric allergist who can do blood or skin tests to find the cause.

You could not give her milk for several days and try the milk again under more controlled conditions. Whether not she has a reaction a visit to the allergist is important.



answers from Cincinnati on

Oh yes I have had hives...ALOT. I am allegic to amoxicillian and pentacillian, both cause hives, and I also get stress hives. I get hives from touching borax and using certain soaps (I'm delicate lol) Some disapeared over night and some took a couple of days. I use anti-inch creams.



answers from Kansas City on

I went through a summer where we could not figure out why I was getting hives. I was in my early twenties. I would get them when I got really hot, and the only thing that would calm them down was a lukewarm bath, sometimes an oatmeal bath. I still get them on my knees and elbows when I get really hot. I don't know if that helps or not, but it might be something to try when you're trying to get them to calm down on her.

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