Hives or urticaria is a rash characterized by large areas of raised, slightly reddened swelling (welts), which frequently occurs as an allergic reaction.
Common causes of Hives include:
- medications (both prescribed by your physician and purchased over the counter)
- foods (especially shellfish such as shrimp, nuts, eggs, strawberries, tomatoes)
- animal dander
- chemicals (including those used at home and work and cosmetics)
- insect bites or stings
- infections (especially viruses)
- and occasionally causes such as heat, cold, sunlight, stress or certain rare diseases.
Treatment of Hives
Treatment includes cold water compresses, bathing in a baking soda bath by mixing one-half box of baking soda in several inches of lukewarm water, and oral medicines, such as Benadryl (diphenhydramine), which can be purchased without a prescription. Benadryl 12.5mg/5ml should be given in doses of approximately one teaspoon per 25 pounds of body weight and can be given every six hours, but not more than four times in one day.
Go to the nearest emergency room if, in association with the hives, your child has any trouble breathing, wheezing, hoarseness, difficulty swallowing, or swelling of the face or tongue.