Up to 25% of people will get hives at least one time in their life. Though usually harmless, they can be an indication your child has a serious allergic reaction. At First Pediatric Care Center in Gastonia, North Carolina, Dr. Margaret Lubega offers advanced diagnostics to determine the root cause of hives. She also provides treatments to help alleviate your child’s symptoms to keep them comfortable during a hives outbreak. To find out more about available treatments for hives, schedule an appointment online or by phone.
Hives are red or pink bumps, similar to an insect bite, that form on the skin. They can also appear as slightly red, raised patches of skin and affect any area of your body.
Many times, hives appear in groups and can change location in just a few hours. Your child may develop hives on the face that go away and later reappear on the arms or legs.
When your child comes into contact with an allergic trigger, their body releases histamine to defend itself against the irritant. Histamine causes fluid to leak from the small blood vessels under the skin, forming the itchy blotches and bumps on the skin.
Common triggers for hive outbreaks include certain foods like dairy, wheat, fruits, nuts, and shellfish. Your child may also develop hives as the result of:
When hives appear, they can last for just a few minutes before disappearing. Others may experience hive outbreaks that last several hours or days.
Dr. Lubega often diagnoses hives based on a physical exam and a discussion of symptoms. She can review what your child was doing at the time of the hives outbreak to help pinpoint their cause. In some cases, children can develop hives for no specific reason.
If your child develops hives frequently, or the outbreak was considerable, Dr. Lubega may refer you to an allergy specialist for further testing.
For mild to moderate hives, Dr. Lubega may suggest taking a prescription or over-the-counter antihistamine to alleviate itchy skin symptoms and reduce the appearance of hives.
Dr. Lubega can also discuss lifestyle changes to reduce the frequency of your child’s hives outbreaks, including stress reduction techniques and avoidance of known allergy triggers.
If your child has a severe reaction to allergy triggers, it can affect their breathing. If you notice your child has trouble getting enough air, seek immediate medical attention.
For serious allergy reactions, Dr. Lubega may suggest your child carry an epinephrine pen, an injectable shot that can reduce the severity of an allergy attack and prevent breathing difficulties.
For more information, read more at the American Academy of Pediatrics.