What is urticaria?
Urticaria, or hives, is a condition in which red, itchy,
and swollen areas appear on the skin usually as an allergic
reaction from eating certain foods or taking certain
What foods commonly cause hives?
What medications commonly cause hives?
Other causes of hives:
- anticonvulsant drugs
The following are other possible causes of hives:
How are hives diagnosed?
- Dermatographism hives caused by scratching the
skin, continual stroking of the skin, or wearing tight-fitting
clothes that rub the skin.
- cold-induced hives-hives caused by exposure
to cold air or water.
- solar hives-hives caused by exposure to sunlight
or light-bulb light.
- chronic urticaria?/b>recurrent hives with no
A diagnosis of hives is usually made based on a complete
medical history and physical examination.
Angioedema is an allergic reaction that causes swelling
deeper in the layers of the skin. It most commonly occurs
on the hands, feet, and face (lips and eyes).
Treatment for hives:
Avoidance of the allergen is the best treatment for hives.
If the hives were caused by a medication, strict avoidance
Specific treatment for hives will be determined by your
child's physician based on:
Your child's physician may also prescribe the following
- your child's age, overall health, and medical history
- extent of the reaction
- your child's tolerance for specific medications,
procedures, or therapies
- expectations for the course of the reaction
- your opinion or preference
If your child is having difficulty breathing, your child's
physician may use an injection of epinephrine to help
decrease the swelling and the itching. Your child's physician
may instruct you on the use of an emergency kit that contains
epinephrine to have near your child in case of future
episodes. Discuss this with your child's physician.
- antihistamines - these help to decrease
histamine release which may help to decrease the symptoms
of urticaria. Some examples are diphenhydramine (Benadryl®)
or hydroxyzine (Atarax®). These medications
may make your child drowsy.
- nonsedating antihistamines? - work similarly
to antihistamines but without the side effect of making
your child drowsy. These might include cetirizine
(Zyrtec®) or loratidine (Claritin®).