Do your kids ever break out in an itchy or red rash? Although temporary and often harmless, this rash can often times be hives. It is best to try to treat hives in order to relieve the rash and not make it worse. Bruce Brod, certified dermatologist, MD, FAAD and clinical professor of dermatology at University of Pennsylvania highlights the importance of keeping track of both the symptoms of your kids’ hives and the timing of symptoms to try to track the cause. This includes logging the days, times and how long these symptoms last. Notice if your kid underwent a change in environment that could have triggered the hives, such as dust or animals.
Some common triggers for hives to look out for are:
- an allergic reaction to food or medication
- Infections (including cold or virus)
- cold temperatures
- scratching skin
- insect bites or stings
- sun exposure
Here are 6 tips recommended by Dr. Bond to treat hives for your kids smartly:
1. Over-the-counter oral antihistamine for children
Consider using over-the-counter medication to help relieve some of the symptoms for your child, including itchiness and discomfort. This will help hives heal faster, especially if your kid is less tempted to itch in these areas. While using this medication, always be sure to use the right amount of dosage and follow the directions on the label.
2. Apply a cool washcloth to hives
This will bring additional relief to the child and help lessen itchy symptoms.
3. Try to reduce your child’s scratching
If possible, try to keep your child from scratching the areas of hives, because it will only worsen the rash. It is always beneficial to keep your child’s nails short in order to avoid scratching. Consider applying an over-the-counter anti-itch cream with pramoxine or menthol to your child’s hives (always use the product as directed on the labels).
4. Bathe with lukewarm water
When bathing your child, use lukewarm water and limit the bath to 10 minutes, this will help relieve your child’s symptoms. Adding a product with colloidal oatmeal to the bath water will help ease your child’s itch as well. After bathing, dry your child by patting down with a towel and apply a gentle cream or moisturizer to the damp skin.
5. Keep your environment comfortable
Make sure to avoid your child overheating. You want your child to feel comfortable. So, in the summer, make sure you are using air-conditioning and dress your child in loose, 100% cotton clothes. Without overheating, make sure to cover your child’s skin as much as possible to avoid itching.
6. Keep a log of your child’s symptoms
Note the dates and times of your child’s symptoms in order to find a possible trigger for hives- and avoid this trigger. It is also helpful to track the foods and medicine your child is consuming.
Hives can occur within 2 hours of exposure to triggers. If your child’s hives continue or persist to occur, make an appointment with a certified dermatologist. If your child’s symptoms significantly worsen, such as difficulty or vomiting, take your child to the emergency room immediately. I hope these tips help and make sure to always avoid itching!
American Academy of Dermatology