Severe Hives

Updated on May 12, 2008
S.P. asks from Hampton, VA
32 answers

Hi,
my daughter has broke out with hives this past Monday. Took her to the doctor, was told to give her childrens claritin, and if still uncomfortable to give Childrens Benadryl at night. It's seems that medicine worked for 2 days. But last night and today the medicine is not working at all, she's almost completly covered on her legs, arms, belly, neck and some on her face. I'm calling the doctor's office this morning. Does anyone had it happened to their children? My daughter will be 4 years old in July.
Thank you,

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So What Happened?

Thank you all for your great responses!!!
My daughter's hives are gone!! So, we are pretty sure she had hives due to viral virus. She had high fever 2 days before the hives, i know it wasn't chicken pox, the hives were in huge patches. She does looked a little bruised where the hives were. So next time if she ever breaks out I'll know how to figure out the source of hives thanks to your great advices. Thank you again ladies!!!!

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K.L.

answers from Norfolk on

In my opinion the claritin is for seasonal allergies. I'd definately give the benadryl straight away. Benadryl is for allergic reactions which hives is. Try that and see if it helps. Cool baths are soothing also. Can you pinpoint what she reacted to?

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S.L.

answers from Washington DC on

Whoa, you need a second opinion! Get a referral to an allergist b/c she probably has developed an allergy. Has she eaten anything different? Worn new clothing, etc? Hives are an allergic reaction and should be taken very seriously. If she gets them in her throat she could have trouble breathing. I hope you find out what the problem is soon!!

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D.M.

answers from Washington DC on

was she recently on any antibiotics? My nephew was on a 10 day cycle years ago and half way thru got severe hives and the meds were stopped immediately but it took days for the penicilin to get out of his system and the hives to go away. He is now labeled as allergic to penicilin.

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P.S.

answers from Washington DC on

Hello S.,

Hives can come from what you're using to wash clothes. Most laundry detergants have some many ingredients that is will cause most of the skin problems today. I've been using this awesome lotion Renew, on my son's skin. He has had hives and a bad case of eczema. The lotion has cleared it up.

Please take a moment and take a look at my website, www.livetotalwellness.com, and read all the information on how household products that are full of toxins and are harmful for you and your family.

I look forward to sharing this awesome information with you.

P.

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K.C.

answers from Washington DC on

According to my pediatrician, hives is usually caused by either a virus or an allergy. My son had hives for quite a while. My ped said to continue giving him the allergy meds for 5 to 7 days, the amount of time that it usually takes to get rid of a virus, not to only give the meds after he breaks out.

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M.W.

answers from Washington DC on

My daughter did this all the time, especially when the weather started getting warmer. I kept taking her back to the doctor, and they would give me creams, then medication, etc. It would continue to come back, then go away, then come back. I finally came to the realization that as long as she wasn't uncomfortable, I wouldn't worry about it, because I didn't want to keep medicating her. The cream they gave me works really well for when she does become uncomfortable, but I only use it when it gets really bad. She gets the hives after really warm baths too. Not sure if this is the same as your daughters, but hope it helps

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K.B.

answers from Norfolk on

First of all let me say that doctors aren't really into hives and the reasons why. I have dealto with hives since I was a child and my children have carried on the tradition! I probably would have a few questions to ask - has she been on any antibiotics lately? Have you changed the detergent? Has she eaten any new foods? I'm guessing they gave her claritin because they thought it was a seasonal type thing? Certain meds stay in different peoples systems longer so that might be
why they stayed away for the 2 days. Or the problem went away and then she was exposed to it again. Has she been in the weeds? What shape are they? Are they puffy or blotchy? Are they itchy? I know so many questions. If they itch and aren't oozy sometimes Calamine lotion helps. Sometimes Benedryl topical cream. Sometimes the over the counter .5 or 1.0% hdrocortisone cream. The problems is getting them not to rub it in their eyes, mouth, etc. They will go away by themselves if it is an outdoor exposure thing, seasonal. If it is detergent or food related it will keep coming and going. Any pet issues? Is she in daycare? Do you notice a pattern of less or more? Any new bath bubbles? Sorry about all the questions but hives are tricky. Most peds don't acknowledge allergies to much. I have been told they
were just a side effect from antibiotics before (on both my children) but way after the 10 days the hives were still there. It is better that they are visible though - my hives go inward sometimes and they give me breathing problems - We have to watch everything we eat. My 7 year old is protein allergy, 9 year old son everything outside and pets, praise God my daughter is just allergic to her brothers! ha. Anyway, dry to keep her cool when she has them. Light clothing etc. she will feel better when she isn't sweating. Hope these questions help you figure out the problem. Keep a good journal if they are reoccuring. My 30 journal of my 5 month old son (now 7) is what led CHKD to tell me he was protein allergy. (My ped. told me I was spoiling him and the
rash on his butt was due to poor diaper care and the rash on his face was due to pacifier spit) CHKD told me they are obvious blotches of hives - so bottom line . . . trust your gut. Mom's know their kids. Go with your gut and don't be afraid to go over your drs head when it comes to your child. God bless you . . . .

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P.K.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi,

I suddenly got hives about a year ago and was told my doctor that Zyrtec works particularly well at controlling them. Don't know if your daughter is old enough for a children's version (if they have one), but thought I would pass it on.

All the best,

P.

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T.M.

answers from Washington DC on

Hives can be caused by many different things. Have you tried a new soap, laundry detergent, new foods recently, did you get a new pet or has she been exposed to someone that has pets? Look back 3 days before the hives appeared for foods. My kids and I have allergies and right now with pollen what normally doesn't bother us does. One of my daycare boys had hives last week and we figured out it was from the weekend when he was at a house with 6 cats. Definately follow up with your ped but I would also seek out a Pediatric Allergist to get checked out as well.

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C.H.

answers from Washington DC on

This happens to me when I get stung by a bee. The hives start where I was stung and slowly creep up and cover my entire body by the next day. My skin also looks purple and I'm very sensitive to touch and temperatures. My skin will then flake off (literally from head to toe, including on my face, in my hair and between my toes). I also have issues breathing. This reaction has gotten worse with each sting.

Not to scare you, but I totally agree that you should try to figure out what may have caused this, whether she ate something, reacted to laundry detergent, or something else. Allergic reactions can be serious and get worse with each exposure.

That said, it may just be a freak occurance. Certainly talk to your doctor. I hope she feels better!

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T.D.

answers from Washington DC on

My son who is 17 yrs. old recently broke out with hives. It was an allergic reaction to amoxicillian. The doctor put him on Benadryl and they went away in less than a week. My oldest son (18 yrs. old) has allergies and gets hives very easily. He can just bump against something and he'll have an outbreak. His dermatologist has him using Cataphil Lotion and Benadryl when the hives get really bad. Also, Aveeno Oatmeal baths are very good to relieve the itch/pain. I hope your daughter is feeling better soon.

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S.C.

answers from Norfolk on

Sounds like an allergic reaction. Now you need to find out what the reaction is to. Call her doctor and ask for allergy testing. Whether environmental or food related it is important to find out. Keep a food journal and note any reactions you notice until you go to the allergist it will save you time when you get there. Good luck.

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K.A.

answers from Richmond on

It is likely a virus or an allergic reaction. In some ways, it's easier if she has a virus, which would go away in 7-10 days. I had hives as a child off and on even with meds (Benadryl) until we discovered what I was allergic to (Old Spice cologne and harsh soaps). It took quite a while to discover this so I was uncomfortable for several months. If it's not gone by mid next week you know the answer and better get her an appointment to be tested by an allergy specialist. Luckily, they have so many more tests to decipher what she is allergic to than when I was a child. Good Luck. I hope they go away soon.

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M.H.

answers from Richmond on

Hi S. - my eight year old son started breaking out in hives about 8 months ago. I took him to an allergist who said that 90% of the time, hives are not the result of allergies. He said sometimes people are more susceptible to them then others. He put him on a new pill called Xyzal that is not supposed to have some of the emotional side affects of some of the other medications. He continued getting the hives for about 4 months, and if he didn't take the Xyzal he would be completely covered so he would take a pill daily. They gradually started to go away after several months and now he may get them once every couple of weeks. I would still take your daughter to a specialist but it's probably nothing to be alarmed about. Feel free to email me at [email protected]____.com if you have other questions.

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K.J.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi S.,

Sorry to hear about your daughter. It sounds like allergies to me. I have three girls, my youngest is just a couple of weeks old so only time will tell.. but the older two have SEVERE allergies- food, and seasonal. Don't stress too much. It is common that when little ones have hives (esp. the first couple of times)that they will flare up and then go away, then flare up again. Often times, the kids don't even notice. Obviously call your Ped, but if they tell you not to worry.. truely .. don't worry. I have it happen over here all the time. It is alarming, but we haven't really had any incidents where they would hive up and then have severe problems days later, its the initial point where my girls get the hives that worries us. I have found that a lukewarm bath-- just water, no soaps/cleansers, and then patting them dry and applying some good CREAM like eucerine, or my favorite california baby seems to help! Don't worry if her skin gets pretty dry over the next couple of days after the hives disappear, that is also normal. Their bodies just get overstimulated by the environment sometimes .. just like they do when there is alot going on around them. Hope it works out well, and that she feels better soon!!!

K.

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S.T.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi S.,

My daughter has been dealing with the same thing lately. She has asthma/allergies and is taking Zyrtec,Albuterol, Pulmicort and Singular. I took her to the doctors twice this week for hives and my doctor said to give her Benadryl around the clock for three days not just at night. She said or it will come back. She said to also keep a diary of what she eats, detergents/soaps, used or foods with dyes
etc. It's tough to determined the origin of hives and sometimes we may never know. My daughter skin is hypersensitive due to asthma but the Benadryl around the clock seems to work. Should clear up after then but can still return unless I can fingure out what she's allergic to. I am waiting to see how things go but keeping a diary is a good start to help determine what's causing the hives.

Many Blessings...

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D.H.

answers from Richmond on

Good morning,
My daughter frequents hives but we're able to manage it with liquid Benedryl. She gets them regularly and we haven't been able to pinpoint the cause of them yet. We thought it was ketchup or tomato based foods. Now I think it could be stress as a young adult. For some odd reason, vomitting accompanies her hives everytime but who knows.
When I was 9, I was hospitalized for hives from head (yes, on my scalp) to toe. Feet too swollen for shoes, one eye shut and lips were swollen all from giant hives. Docs were afraid of the hives getting into the throat so two shots of something were given to counteract it. Mom pulled out her hair trying to figure the cause and figured that a freshly fertilized yard I was playing in was the culprit.
What new foods has she eaten or a new environment has she been exposed to to maybe trigger these? New carpet? New car? Different laundry soap?
Hope she feels better soon the you will too. cheers.

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C.D.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi S. -

I happen to be a mom who has been dealing with chronic hives since I was a little girl. As it would turn out, I am dealing with a really bad batch of hives presently. It usually subsides for a few years, and then I could be afflicted with a case for a year to a year and a half...and I mean bad. Absolutely covered, even internally. My parents searched for the cause endlessly and every doctor I have seen prescribes the same steroid or allergy pill but they always return in full force. I recommend that she see an allergist, to rule out any catalyst. But if allergy medication seems to do no good she may be like me: someone who may never find the cause. They keep telling me it may be stress related, however, I think I am a very happy and calm person. Also, I found it helpful to GOOGLE "chronic hives". Many people have it and deal with it in different ways. My heart goes out to you and your little girl - I know that it is particularly severe when they are on the neck and face(usually they don't get to the face and if they are on the neck it could be internal - feels like heartburn). Let her know that at least one other person will be up tonight scratching like mad!!

C.

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A.P.

answers from Washington DC on

Are you giving her any other medicines? motrin? anything else that she might be allergic too? my daughter had the same thing happen and it was an allergic reaction to motrin. we now only give her tylenol.

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L.N.

answers from Washington DC on

hm, there are different kinds of hives. the first time i dealt with it was when my daughter was 2. we were in the yard and next thing i notice is a red raised hive with purple edges. it was so scary. but she didn't even notice it. the ped. said 'her immune system is not developed yet" whatever that may mean but said to give her benadryl. after receiving the first dose it went down and all you could see were the edges where the hive had been. she had these for a week, they'd show up in her arm, leg, back, buttocks etc but would go away after benadryl. and then after a week they didn't show up anymore for the time being. since then she gets them every few months. like i said i have no idea what causes them, and ped's don't seem to know either, but they don'titch or bother her except they look scary.
good luck

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A.B.

answers from Washington DC on

My son had SEVERE hives at 6.5 months... we couldn't figure out what they were at first! The Dr. couldn't either so you are already ahead knowing it is an allergic reaction!
We had to stop with almost all food - esp the normal allergy ones and start feeding all over again! He had issues with milk, soy, egg, apples and corn!! It was ROUGH!

I say get to an allergist if there isn't a breakout on her and see what they say. By the time mine was a year he had outgrown all of the above and is doing fine now but it is SO SCARY to see them broken out! They did skin tests on my son, but I know they can do blood tests now for allergies too so you don't have to prick your daughter, or fear for anaphalactic (sorry I am a terrible speller!) shock.

Mine also had 2 prescription allergy meds like benadryl, and benedryl, and prednisolone Steroids to get rid of the hives. I was weary about giving them to him - but I did it to heal him and he is doing wonderfully now, developmentally and everything - the meds didn't hurt him. I would say give her the benedryl and knock out the hives before they possibly get worse so you can find out what is causing them and she potentially becomes anaphlactic (sp??) from it.

He had ceproheptadine and hydroxizine (I probably spelled them wrong) But they helped until we figured out the hydroxizine was causing more hives! I was REALLY afraid of the steroids, but they say in small doses and not consistent use, getting rid of the hives was better and taking the steroid was a lot less of a risk than letting the hives continue/grow.

I hope you get it figured out soon!

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A.B.

answers from Washington DC on

I had this happen to my daughter (11 yrs old at the time). It was very frustrating -- I feel your pain. We went back and forth to the doctors and finally they did some blood tests and then sent us to Johns Hopkins to an allergist and immunologist. In "non medical" terms - she had bronchitis a few weeks prior to the first breakout and they basically said that her immune system was down and weak from the bronchitis and that she got the hives as a result and that they have seen it last up to 6-9 months. Believe it or not she had it for about 4-5 months. On and off she would get the hives, some on her legs and back then they would go away and then show up on her neck and stomach -- some worse than others. Some of the ones on her back looked like she was whipped by a rope - they were thick and long. She did take aveeno baths but that only soothed the itching while she was in the tub. I put "anti-itch" lotion of her non stop and she took a mixture of medications. Some worked and some didn't. It took several weeks to get a combination of medicine to relieve them. She ended up with three medicines twice a day. It was a little overwhelming for her to constanly be taking medicines. Initially they put her on steriod treatments and after the second round - the doctors noticed some puffiness so they went to the 3 med combinaiton. So I guess I would start by asking if your daughter had been sick or with fever at all prior to the breakout?? If so - ask your doctor if there could be any relation. Although steriods have their downside - they did for a few days make them go away completely so maybe if your daughter wasn't sick prior the steriods may do the job by themselves. Or has your daughter had any food allergies?? Can you pinpoint and common relation between something she is eating or doing at the time of breakout. My daughter's bloodwork was done to get a complete allergy work-up. She is basically allergic to EVERYTHING outside. Trees, grass, mold, pollen, ragweed, etc.... Any she has low levels of food allergies but they are so minimal that we don't aviod them at this point. Take one step at a time. Good luck to you - I hope this was a little helpful. They will go away it just may take some time.

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V.A.

answers from Washington DC on

My neighbors daughter went through the same thing recently. They ended up at the ER! SHe was put on steroids for a few days and Benedryl for as long as the hives were still there. Apparently she had a reaction to a cold virus she had recently caught. If your son has had a cold recently you may want to ask the doctor about this possibility. Good luck and I hope your son feel better soon.

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C.D.

answers from Washington DC on

That happened to my son twice, the first time he had just learned to walk and was about 9-10 months old and he broke out in hives on his hands and feet at 1st the dr thought it was hand, foot and mouth disease (that was from our description on the phone) but when he saw him he said it was an allergic reaction. They gave him a prescription for the hives to take away the itching but they never figured out what it was. Since he was so young and he was crawling and walking barefoot everywhere it could have been something we picked up from outside on our shoes and tracked inside. He got it again when he was a little older maybe around 2 or 3 (I don't remember exactly) but this time it was on his legs and belly too and again they just said it was an allergic reaction and prescribed a topical cream to take away the itch. We took him to an allergist and he didn't come up with anything. He has sensitive skin and occassionally gets excema patches that don't go away unless treated with a steroid cream. Good luck.

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E.D.

answers from Richmond on

Hey S.,

I got your e-mail and then I saw your post so I thought I'd let you know we're praying for little Cylie. Just a thought, did she get into any poison ivy or has she been exposed to the chicken pox? I've heard of people who had both and they didn't itch so it was mistaken for something else. Trish had Roseola when she was 2 and it looks like bumps and stuff all over her body, no itching or anything. Talk to her Pediatrician about it. Hope this helps.

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M.C.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi S.,
My son developed bump that we thought were hives when he was 5 (just days before his 5th bday, actually). They lasted for a few says, then develped a clear raised center. The ped said that they were chicken pox. Even though he'd had the vaccination at age 1. 6 kids in his class ended up with them.
If they are chicken pox, keep long sleeves and pants on her. It will help her not see them to itch. If they are chicken pox, I found that Aveeno Anti-itch spray worked well for my son. Its a spray and clear. My son didn't like the calamine cuz it turned him pink.
M.

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T.S.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi. This happened to my son as a result of a food allergy. The children's benadryl I had given him worked though. Sometimes, the hives can return even after you administer an antihistamine (benadryl). Please pay close attention to what allergens your child has come in contact with since breaking out in hives. It could be something in the environment, food, pet dander, dust, mold, etc. You may want to check out babycenter.com or FOODALLERGY.org for more info on possible causes of hives. And consider taking her for an allergy test if you haven't already. I'm sure you daughter will be fine :-)

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M.P.

answers from Washington DC on

I have been through this. My daughter was wheezing very badly last spring with hives and a rash. It turns out the Benadryl made it worse because we eventually were able to narrow it down to Food coloring. So - the medicine had food coloring in it and it was making her worse. I know belong to the Food Allergy Network http://www.foodallergy.org/ as I was told that the first reaction is usually not as bad as other's she will now have. For her is called Anaphylaxis. I have many food allergies as well - part of why I chose a career in Nutritional Coaching.
Make sure to call your doctor and try to get the dye free medicines. I am by no means a doctor or trying to diagnose... just telling you what happened to our princess. Its funny how we take things for granted ~ Food coloring is in everything!
HTH -
Mama Jenn Parker
Motherhood is a full-time job that brings a lifetime of rewards & blessings
Nutritional Coach ###-###-#### EST [email protected]____.com
Office Hrs. M-Sat 11-9 Off Wed
www.drspeaksout.com

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T.W.

answers from Washington DC on

Same thing happened to my son at 4. The doc said take benadryl, did, and nothing. I later took him to the ER and found out it was a strand of chicken pox. He had already had his shots so, I was stunned. It only lasted about 3-4 days and went away, but it still amazes me to think about. Still go to doc and see what he says.

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D.S.

answers from Norfolk on

Hi S.,

What was the reason for giving your child Claitin?

She is allergic to it. Just wanted to know. Hope she is better now. D.

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L.C.

answers from Washington DC on

Are you sure it's not "chicken Pocks"?? Especially if it's been spreading to other areas on her body...if she's in pre-school or a daycare facility she may have been exposed, even with the vaccination she could still get it!? I would consult with your pediatrician...Good luck! Better to get them young, unlike me, I had a HORRIBLE case at 12 years old...ugh!!

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J.H.

answers from Washington DC on

Oh my this is what the little girl I work with is going threw the same thing. Go see an alergist she if she has allergies they had to put her on prescription meds right now. They still have no idea why she breaks out

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