Allergic Reaction ???

  1. I have a question for all you wise nurses. My 2 y/o son has been getting hives for the last week and a half, and we can't figure out what is causing it. They look exactly the same as when he had a reaction to cephalosporin last year; starts as a reddened area, then these small welts pop up in the red area, and then after a while they go away. He's not on any meds right now, but I'm giving benedryl for relief.

    Can hives come from skin contact with an allergen, or are they generally caused by something ingested?

    Also, how long can hives continue to pop up after the initial exposure that causes them?

    Thanks for any info or advice you have.
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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   emily_mom
    I am allergic to dust mites and get the same effects that you describe. Anything (even scratching) provokes them, and they itch like a..... I take Claritin every day but will have to switch since it went OTC and can't afford it. It's the only thing that has worked for me.

    Take him to an allergist and they will do a skin test. Kids can get allergies at any age, so it's best to know what he's allergic to and make adjustments accordingly.

    Best of luck...poor little guy!

    Kristy
  4. by   ?burntout
    Originally posted by RN2bNC
    I have a question for all you wise nurses. My 2 y/o son has been getting hives for the last week and a half, and we can't figure out what is causing it. They look exactly the same as when he had a reaction to cephalosporin last year; starts as a reddened area, then these small welts pop up in the red area, and then after a while they go away. He's not on any meds right now, but I'm giving benedryl for relief.

    Can hives come from skin contact with an allergen, or are they generally caused by something ingested?

    Also, how long can hives continue to pop up after the initial exposure that causes them?

    Thanks for any info or advice you have.
    You can develop hives from any type of exposure...whether ingested or by contact....
    What is your son's diet like?? A lot of kids are having problems with food allergies: milk, eggs, peanuts, wheat.....
    Have you switched laundry detergent lately...or your son's bath products??
    Just going out on a limb here...hope your little boy gets better!:kiss
  5. by   CountrifiedRN
    There were only two things that we could think of that were different. 1) Different diapers, and 2) My husband had a bottle of Code Red Mountain Dew that he was letting him sip on. But the soda was a one time thing about a week and a half ago, and I stopped using the diapers about a week ago, and he still has episodes of hives, just had a bad one tonight. So unless the reaction can last more than a week, I doubt it was either of those things.

    I was just reading about hives on a site by the American Assoc. of Dermatology, and it says they can also be caused by infection. He has had a cough for over a month now, but when I took him to the pediatrician a couple weeks ago, the doc said it was just viral and would resove on it's own. Has anyone heard of hives brought on by a cold/cough?

    I know that he has had allergic reactions to a number of antibiotics, but the only one that resembles this reaction is the cephalosporins. I hate taking so long to figure this out, because he just itches all over when this happens. And he's already miserable because he had his lingual frenulum clipped yesterday. My poor baby!

    Thanks everyone!
  6. by   Mary Dover
    When my son (now 14) was about that age, he developed hives quite frequently. Initially it seemed to be that he would get a rash when I gave him Robitussin cough syrup. I remember the worst episode was after I had given him some Children's chewable Tylenol and later that same day he ate some red velvet cake, poor baby had the worst hives. I finally deduced that it had to be red dye (in the cough syrup, Tylenol, and cake). After I cut that out of his diet, no more hives. I still don't give him Tylenol, cause there's just no way to be sure, the allergist said there wasn't a test for red dye.
    Your mention about the red mt. dew made me recall that. Definately take him to an allergist, but I don't think they can test for everything. Some of it may just require the process of deduction.
    Last edit by Mary Dover on Dec 15, '02
  7. by   CountrifiedRN
    Thanks for the replies. The red dye is a possibility, since I had also been giving him cough medicine. Never thought to look at the dye in the medicine.

    But does anyone think a reaction can last over a week? It's been a while since he had the cough medicine too.
  8. by   MPHkatie
    while I think its unlikely this, we have seen a lot of children in with viral rashes through the ER, big wheals etc. but almost all of them have fevers. The red dye seems more likely.
  9. by   WashYaHands
    Are you using a different laundry soap, bath soap, shampoo, or lotion? I'm with Emily, take him to an allergist. I once had a student who broke out in hives with tongue and face swelling. I referred her to an allergist, turned out she was allergic to raw celery. It could be an allergy to anything, I'd see an allergist.
  10. by   vanrn
    My son, at one year of age, developed hives. They would appear as red wheals of various sizes then later disappear and form elsewhere. I finally tracked it down to strawberry flavoring. The berries were fine, but jello, juices or anything strawberry flavored would set him off. Other "red" jellos were ok. The hives would last days and would be accompanied by explosive gas/diarrhea. He grew out of it after about a year...my third child also had this happen to her after giving her Strawberry/Kiwi flavored Gatorade...also grew out of it but I'm still leary about the stuff.....

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