Son Breaking Out in Hives

Updated on December 13, 2009
S.E. asks from Avon Lake, OH
10 answers

Sunday night after dinner we noticed that my little one was tugging alot at his shirt and pants, so we pulled off his shirt and found he was broke out in a wierd rash an his arms and legs. Called the nurse on call and after 30 minutes speaking with her and Dr. on call they said get him benadryl, and watch for it to spread. We had an appt. early the next morn with his pediatrician. She said she also thinks it hives and it should go away in a couple days. But it seems to be "traveling" just now I got him out of bed and it's in totally different places then last night and the other ones are gone. i feel terrible for him! Still giving benadryl, aveeno oatmeal baths, and lathering him with aveeno baby lotion. Anyone have any other tips or suggestions? He doesn't seem very uncomfortable but Im sure he's got to be itchy! We havent changed anything with diet, or saops or laundry detergent. So Im sure thats not the problem. Thanks in advance!

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So What Happened?

After the third day all of the rash has cleared up and he's fine! I'm glad to know this does happen and sometimes there's nothing that can be pinpointed! So luckily it wasn't anything major, and he's back to normal!

Featured Answers



answers from Columbus on

It may be a allergic reaction to something that he ate, or something that was in what he ate. You might need to take him to see an Allergist because it could be something very small but you would never know unless he's tested.

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answers from Youngstown on

My 3 yr old son also broke out in hives - his dr said benadryl and a hydro-cortisone cream. We did that, put on the hydro-cortisone as much as we were allowed in a day and with the benadryl his hives went away in about a week.

One day spots were concentrated in one area and then a different area the next. All I could do was to have him keep cool (over-exertion and heat can cause them to get worse)by not wearing a shirt at home when possible and keep using the cream and benadryl. Seemed like forever, but they did go away as fast as they came within a week.

Hope this helped!

J. in Leavittsburg


answers from Columbus on

My son (now 10) had this when he was about 18 months. He would break into hives for no apparent reason (anything we could put a finger on, anyway). At one point, his toes and feet swelled up, which prompted a quick visit to the pediatraician! I kept food diaries, used sensitive skin lotions, detergent, etc. There seemed to be no connection between my efforts and when and why he would break out. Eventually, we did make a connection to two things...dogs and viruses. However, there were also times when he would break out spontaneously. At least we could put a finger on the dog and cold prompted breakouts,sometimes. Prior to having kids, I was a nurse at an allergy/asthma office. I had seen many allergic reactions and was nervous that we couldn't always find WHY my son was breaking out. I was concerned with his "sensitivities", he would develop an allergy to bee stings, etc. I asked the pediatrician for an epi-pen. I never had to use it and my son grew out of these hive break-outs by the time he was 3. He is now the healthiest of my 4 with no allergies whatsoever. Sometimes kids just break out and there is no answer. I don't know how old your child is, but at least when I worked for the clinic, they wouldn't do skin testing on kids younger than 4. Keep in contact with the pediatrician, letting them know if you think it's getting worse.
Good luck!



answers from Indianapolis on

Has your pediatrician recommended a dermatologist? Whenever we have problems with our kids, our pediatrician recommends a visit to the Dermatologist. It can be hard to get in to see one, but it may be worth asking if it's advisable as either the Benadryl isn't strong enough or it's related to something else.



answers from Indianapolis on

My son broke out in horrible hives at 20 months and he was just finishing amoxycillin for bronchitis and the doc said it was most likely an allergic reaction to the antibiotic even though it was his second time taking it. Did he happen to be on any antibiotics? My son was not itchy, but they prescribed a steroid which cleared him up in about 3-4 days. Just keep an eye on them and be in contact with your doc if they are not clearing up. Poor guy!



answers from Terre Haute on

If the rash is flat and looks like clusters of tiny red dots it may be fifth disease, which is viral and presents as a rash that gets worse when it's exposed to light. My daughter had that when she was about a year old and we treated with the benadryl and oatmeal baths, but since it's viral you have to just let it run it's course, which takes about as long as a cold. The good news if it looks much worse than it is, and from what I was able to tell it really doesn't itch or hurt. Just don't take him to a beach or anything until it's gone.



answers from Cleveland on

Could it be chicken pox or shingles? Does he have any other symptoms besides the rash? You don't need to change something for their to be an allergic response. Some people can use a product for years and then suddenly develop an allergic response to it. Even food allergies can come on slowly. Keep a journal of what he is eating or doing. It could also just be one of those viruses that comes and then goes. If it doesn't improve by the time the dr says it should get him back in there and if he develops new symptoms let the dr know. Rashes can meet a lot by themselves.



answers from Columbus on

Aveno won't help for hives. Its an allergic response and somethings bathing and hot baths will make them spread. Has he run a fever in the last week? Sometimes really little kids break out in hives as a response to getting over a fever or virus and not an allergy. My one son did this several times.



answers from Indianapolis on

Kids can develop allergies fast. Something similar just happened to me. Last week my kid was fine, this week he can't have milk products!



answers from Dayton on

With the way allergies work sometimes there is no change in diet or detergent. The intollerance just builds and builds with the use of that product until it starts to show up. My friend just went through this with her two yr old and peanuts. He has had peanut butter since he was old enough and frequently for the last several months. Suddenly a few weeks ago he ate two peanut butter whoppers and his eyes swelled shut almost instantly and he had to be rushed to the ER. Your son could have had this intollerance all along and it just now got bad enough (through repeated exposure to the allergen) to show up. If the rash "moves" then, yup, it sounds like hives and it is an allergic reaction. My son has them and it is always chemicals like detergents that bring it on. He and my daughter are both allergic to the same carpet powder, for instance. One year (3rd grade) he was having an allergic reaction to something at school that we couldn't pin down and came home every day in hives. He had lots of fun telling people he was allergic to school.

You are doing everything you can, and rest assured the benadryl is helping with the discomfort. In the meantime, I would make a list of everything he is using, everything you are eating and when. I would make another list of when he gets the rash, when it moves, when it subsides and worsens and then cross reference.

Hope this helps,


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