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Dermatologists address the problem of hives and kids

By Tim Sandle     Jul 15, 2015 in Health
When a child breaks out in an itchy rash it could be hives. Most often, this condition is short lasting and not harmful. However, it can distressing for parent and child. To help with this a top dermatologist shares some tips.
Hives (or, more correctly, urticaria) refers to a skin rash. Other names for the condition include welts or nettle rash. They are caused by allergies or from other sources. In many cases the triggers are unknown. The reason the rashes occur is due to an autoimmune reaction, where the body’s own immune system works against its own body cells.
The common symptoms of hives are pink or red areas across the skin, and where the infection is slightly elevated. The rashes can occur in a single area or spread across different parts of the body. The rashes can last a matter of a few minutes or for several hours. Chronic urticaria refers to hives that last more than six weeks.
According to dermatologist Bruce A. Brod, who is clinical professor of dermatology, University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine: “The best remedy for hives is to try to avoid whatever triggers them, although identifying this is often difficult.”
Dr. Brod goes onto add: “One way to help identify your triggers is to keep a log of your child’s symptoms, including the day and time the hives occur and how long they last.”
Examples of triggers for hives include:
Allergic reactions to food or medication,
Infections, including colds and viruses,
Over exercising,
Stressful situations,
Very cold temperatures,
Scratching skin areas,
Insect bites and stings,
Allergic reaction to pollen,
Too much sun exposure.
Here Dr. Brod also advises that: “You should also pay attention to any changes to your child’s regular environment that may be contributing to the problem, such as dust, animals or the outdoors.”
In terms of what to do, Dr. Brod offers the following advice:
Use an oral antihistamine product that is safe for children;
Apply a cool dressing to the area with the hives;
Do what you can to stop your child from scratching the infected area;
Soak the problem area in warm (not hot) water;
Place the child in an area with air conditioning (in the summer) or close to a humidifier (in the winter).
If the condition persists then medical advice should be sought.
For further advice, the American Academy of Dermatology has made a video providing advice to parents.
More about hives, urticaria, Skin, rash
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