Hives are one of the most common allergic reactions we see in children. Also known by the medical term Urticaria, hives are characterized by an often-sudden outbreak of swollen, pale red bumps on the skin that join together to form large welts on the body. Hives cause no long-term damage, but can itch, burn, and generally make your child feel uncomfortable.
Hives are almost always a sign of an allergic reaction to any number of things like food, medications, pollen, over-exposure to sun, poisonous plants, or soaps and detergents. Trying to pinpoint the actual allergy can be tricky, but if you happen to know that your child tried a new food, medication, or soap in the short time prior to the outbreak, then there’s a chance that’s the likely culprit and should be avoided.
Hives often go away on their own, but as a dermatology practice with six board-certified dermatologists, we wanted to share simple tips to treat your child’s hives at home.
- Give an antihistamine: Over-the-counter antihistamines usually work quickly to reduce itchiness and swelling. Be sure to follow the dosage instructions on the label.
- Apply a cool washcloth: Cool washcloths applied directly to the affected areas of the skin can provide comfort and help reduce swelling.
- Reduce scratching: Scratching can cause the hives to spread and may lead to bleeding. Limit scratching by keeping your child’s fingernails short. You may also apply an over-the-counter anti-itch cream directly to the hives. Try to find a cream with pramoxine as the active ingredient.
- Soak in oatmeal: Plain oatmeal has exceptional anti-inflammatory properties. Add two cups of plain oatmeal and one cup of baking soda to a lukewarm bath and let your child soak for at least 30 minutes a day.
- Ice the area: Place an icepack or ice cubes wrapped in a paper towel directly on the hives to numb the itching and greatly reduce swelling and redness.
- Use aloe vera: Aloe vera gel is a completely natural remedy with natural anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that can help relieve pain, redness, and swelling when applied directly to hives.
- Avoid scented products: Use only unscented detergents, soaps, and bath products while your child is recovering from hives. Heavily scented products may aggravate symptoms.
- Go green: Everyone knows that green tea has many health benefits, but few may know that its anti-histamine and anti-inflammatory properties make it a great treatment for hives too. You can give your child two to three cups of green tea daily or apply the wet tea bags directly to the hives for faster relief.
No matter what your skin care needs may be, Windsor Dermatology promises to work closely with you to provide a solution tailored to your child’s specific case. We have an excellent team of dermatologists who take pride in their work and strive to offer the highest quality care to all patients. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and learn more about the services we offer.