Unexplained Hives in Eight Year Old Boy.

Updated on December 24, 2009
C.H. asks from Stevens Point, WI
15 answers

My eight year old son started breaking out in hives about six to eight weeks ago. They have ranged from mild to severe, and in frequency. After several trips to the ER, and to his pediatrition, he is scheduled for a allergy test. He has them at both my and my ex-husbands home. We have been unable to pinpoint a food or detergent. Recently he has started getting them daily, they are very uncomfortable for him. They resolve with zyrtec and or benadryl. I have changed detergents, kept a food log. He has always been around cats and dogs, so I am doubtful of that. He is always the kid with hay fever, but never before hives. They seem to be concentrated on his face, hands, shoulders and ankles and feet. Any advice or similar stories and resolution would be helpful. Is this something that can resolve with age? Or at all for that matter?

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So What Happened?

He is now sick with H1N1. And has broken out in hives twice today (that's a first). Carpet does seem to be a likely trigger or one of them. I hope I get better news from the allergist. And hope he gets better soon.

He seems a bit better today, not so lethargic and weepy. THE COUGH!!! It hurts me, just to hear it. I am going to keep him on his benadryl regimen. Thanks so much, for the ideas and stories. My neice it turns out, had the dry skin issue. And I am going to ask my doc about the strep test. It is very stressful, but I guess I can be relieved it isn't a nut allergy. After three weeks of avoiding nuts and everything with them I have a whole new respect and empathy for parents of children with that. My youngest son had HSP last year, and was hospitilized for three days with possible intususception, so I need to remind myself that things could be worse and to take a step back and get some perspective!!

It has been awhile since the allergy test which came back idiopathic he was hive free after about a week after getting over H1N1. The allergist and hematologist have concluded he just has a very sensitive immune system. Though not allergic his blood reacts differently and extremely to virus's and we have noticed stress. Though our divorce is not recent, he had been having some trouble in school and had another two weeks of constant hives at homework time. when I tied the two together I made sure that we were both relaxed and and calm. He has had just a few in the last couple weeks after a trip sledding and this morning after opening some presents. Benadryl is a lifesaver, and I am still praying he grows out of it!! Thanks for all the hints and input.

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A.G.

answers from Green Bay on

What did the allergy test show? It also could be ecezema. My son had ecezema when he was a baby/toddler and didn't have any outbreaks until recently. I gave him benadryl and put on the ecezema cream and it worked. Keep me posted! and Good Luck!

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C.L.

answers from Minneapolis on

Sorry to hear about the H1N1. My whole family (except me) has it right now too and it's miserable. Anyhow, my 10 year-old suddenly broke out in horrible hives when he was 4-5 and it turned out to be caused by a virus. I don't remember the exact medical/scientific explanation, but viruses can trigger hives. Our son's were so bad that they had to temporarily put him on prednisone in addition to Zyrtec. It hasn't happened since. My son didn't have any prior allergies, but both his dad and his older brother have significant environmental allergies. Good luck with the H1N1 and the hives.

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S.M.

answers from Madison on

My eight-year-old daughter was having hives every evening. After months of trying to figure out what it was, we went to the doc. She looked her over and decided it was actually dry skin and recommended some good lotions. It was an easy fix, and I'm sure that you've probably already considered it as an issue. Her dry skin actually looked like rashes because the skin was dry and she would itch it which would produce the rash-like welts.

Hope this helps and good luck on your search for an answer!

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R.P.

answers from Rochester on

My 4 year old daughter has similar symptoms. She started breaking out in hives about 2 years ago. We have had blood tests done for allergens. She's tested positive for wheat, corn, soy, banana. We stopped all those foods for a few months, but that didn't seem to improve her condition at all. She barely gets a few good hours of sleep at night. She's itching most of the time. We still can't figure out what's causing the itch. Have tried keeping her skin moisturized, but that hasn't been much help either. I have heard that this usually gets resolved by age. But after going through several online forums have also come across people who are still suffering from hives in their adult lives. The doctors (dermatologist, allergist, primary physician) haven't been much helpful.

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J.H.

answers from Milwaukee on

Hi- my son went through a similar thing. Our doctor said the most common cause is really a virus, not allergies. He does have seasonal allergies, but the hives did not seem to correspond with when his other allergies were bad. Our doctor also said that although they can be a pain, they are almost never a sign of something dangerous. Benadryl worked for him, but I only gave it at night because it definitely made him sleepy!! Good luck!

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S.N.

answers from Minneapolis on

I'm guessing that they checked this already, but if not have them do a strep test. Believe it or not - sometimes strep throat in children has nothing to do with their throat. I know a couple of kids that this is the only sign that they have strep!

Good luck and hope they are well soon!

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S.S.

answers from Milwaukee on

Hi, We have a now 7 yr old child, that this happened to when he was 2. He had had a round of antibiotics, and on the thid day, developed hives. We stopped the antibiotic, but the hives continued for 9 mos. At the time, it seemed like it went on forever, but we took Zyrtec for it, and it did resolve. The allergist said it was something called IO. Or, Idiopathic Urticaria: hives of unknown cause. It could've been caused by the antibiotics, or maybe not.

He is fine today, that was 5 years ago. It was really bad and mentally exhausting for me at the time, but it did resolve, but it was 9 mos of me thinking it was NEVER going to end. But, it did. The Dr at the time said average length of time with cases is one year.

Good luck, let us know what the allergy testing finds out for you!!!

Also, there is an IO Society: a group of people who support each other with this condition: some have had it for 10 or 20 yrs. So, 9 mos for us is a walk in the park.

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S.S.

answers from Minneapolis on

My son and myself started developing allergies not too long ago, so I started researching products and found out alot of the every day products we use have alot of harsh chemicals and toxins in them. That is how I found this wellness company and switched to using all natural products. The best part is they are inexspensive and shipped right to my front door.Just by using these products I have noticed a huge difference with our allergy symptoms. If you are interested in this wellness company contact me at [email protected]____.com and I can get you all the information.

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B.E.

answers from Washington DC on

I get hives from walking barefoot on random carpets, cough syrup, changes in temperature, and stress. The change in temperature was generally hot outside, to cold ac. Maybe he is having trouble with the change in weather, or stress.

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K.R.

answers from Minneapolis on

15 years ago I suddenly broke out all over in hives. There was no explanation. Here I am 15 years later, and it's still a problem. With medication, my hives are completely controlled, but without -- it's not pleasant.

Sorry not to have good news or be more helpful.

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K.D.

answers from Minneapolis on

It's funny how things can sometimes just pop-up. I woke up one morning (at age 21) with hay fever. . . had never experienced it before. It lasted for a at least 20 years (controlled with over the counter medication/s) and then gradually went away. I sometimes still experience symptoms but not much.

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L.A.

answers from Milwaukee on

Our son, now 5, would break out in hives too. We couldn't figure it out! We kept taking him in to his pediatrician and he would prescribe Zyrtec and/or Benadryl. I could not see giving my baby (only 2 at the time) meds everyday. So, we took him to see a holistic doctor. Turns out my son was allergic to cow's milk! We told his pediatric doctor and he had him tested - and sure enough - that was the cause of his hives! I can't speak highly enough of this holistic doctor. I would be more than happy to give you his information.

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N.D.

answers from Minneapolis on

When my daughter was young she unexplicably broke out in hives once also. I'd never seen them before so we took her to the ER. The very kind ER doctor explained that sometimes hives come and go for no apparent reason. They can be brought on by stress, something in the air, anything. Though uncomfortable and disconerting they're fairly harmless as long as they aren't internal.
Considering his hives are presenting on parts of his body that are traditonally exposed you may want to focus on environmental factors such as pollen, floor cleaners, etc.

Good luck!

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A.C.

answers from Madison on

Interesting to see the different ways hives pop up for people. :)

For me, I got my first case of hives when I was 10. They came from eating a roll of Wintergreen Lifesavers. Yeah. Apparently, eating too much of anything in the mint family (peppermint, spearmint, wintergreen, creme de menthe, etc.)--the REAL oil--was what triggers hives all over the body for me. If I eat one small piece of creme de menthe cake (a Xmas/holiday favorite in my family), I'm usually okay; if I decide to eat a second small piece, I can start feeling the warmness and tingling and the start of itching, which I then know means put down that piece of cake right now! LOL No more cake.

As an adult I get hives between my thighs from cold weather. Usually from cold and friction (shoveling snow, raking leaves in the fall, playing outside when it's very cold with my daughter), but I've also developed hives from just having a cold bottle of pop sitting between my legs in the car. Yeah. And once I was at a water park in the summer. It was overcast, windy, and chilly, especially if you'd been in the water. I'd borrowed some spray-on suntan lotion from my friend, so I'm not positive if it wasn't also a reaction to that (I'd never used it before), but it didn't take long for me to break out in these huge white, raised hive bumps all over my body. Some were bigger than a 50 cent piece. I had to get dressed, take a Claritin, and stay out of the water for the rest of the day in order for them to go away. That was the worse case of hives I've ever had. The Allergist said my hives are all IO and seem to be chiefly related to weather/cold.

But I've also discovered as an adult that I have a casein allergy (cow's milk), a severe intolerance to soy and gliadin, and about 20 other food intolerances. Since I've had to give up eating a lot of these foods, my incidences of hives have also dramatically declined. So I'd say many cases of hives are probably also linked to food problems.

Many people fail to realize that the biggest organ in our body is our skin, and toxins and other problems that the body is trying to eliminate are eliminated through the skin. That's why people have acne, psoriasis, eczema, roscea, etc. Many conventional doctors never make the connection between toxins/food allergies and skin problems; they just prescribe drugs. The drugs only mask the problem; they don't get to the root cause or make the problem go away.

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D.L.

answers from Rapid City on

C. - Is your divorce recent? Are there troubles between his other parent and you?

I broke out in the worst case of hives my doctor had ever seen and they had a mind of their own....coming and going whenever, for whatever reason and I can sympathize with him bein uncomfortable. I walked around the house many times in just a clean white sheet because it hurt to even put underclothes on! After many trips to E.R. and to the regular doc ... to the dermotologist and allergy tests ... we/they came to the conclusion it was brought on by stress/nerves. I had recently broke up with my long term live in relationship.

I was finally put on a mild tranquilizer for a week and they cleared up once and for all ... I also got rid of the live-in relationship and my life turned around and the hives never came back. That was the first (and last) time I had ever had a bout with hives.

This might just give you something to think about. He may not seem outwardly stressed over the divorce, but perhaps he's holding it inside. Or it could be something at school that has him in turmoil.

Good luck!
D.

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