Seeing red raised spots on your baby’s skin can be a scary sight, especially if you don’t know what caused them. Most often, these spots are a case of the hives which is a common skin reaction to an allergen. There is no need to worry as most of the times it will clear up and go away. Since your baby’s skin is delicate, he is more susceptible to skin problems. Hives are not contagious but can cause discomfort to your baby. If your baby has hives, keep him as comfortable as possible and then try to find out what caused hives in order to prevent them from reappearing. Read on to know more about hives, its causes and ways to treat and prevent it.
Hives, also called Urticaria, are red itchy bumps of various sizes and shapes that can appear anywhere on the baby’s skin. They may appear as small as a mosquito bite and patches as large as your palm. Sometimes small patches join together and cover a significant area of the baby’s body.
Your baby’s skin is very sensitive. Sometimes there is no specific cause for appearance of hives in babies and figuring out the culprit can be extremely frustrating for both parents and doctors.
10 common causes that trigger hives in babies are:
When the baby encounters the irritant, the mast cells in the bloodstream release the chemical called histamine. Histamine, when accumulated, leaks from the tiny blood vessels under the skin. This fluid pools under the skin to form rashes of different shape and size. It is because of this reason, the rashes disappear from some part of the baby’s body and re-appear in another part (histamine flow with the blood stream). The process continues until the histamine subsides from the blood stream, which in turn depends on the intensity of the allergy and the amount of the histamine produced.
More often, the physical examination itself is enough to diagnose hives in babies. Your doctor may ask you questions regarding your baby’s food habits, his exposure to possible allergy-causing substances like pollen, recent intake of medicines (if any) , if you have recently changed your baby’s soap, shampoo or laundry detergent, any new pet at home etc. This will help the doctor to diagnose the cause of hives in babies.
Sometimes, skin patch tests may be ordered by the doctor to determine what your baby is allergic to. Certain blood tests are also done to determine if the allergy is present in the whole system.
There are several options to treat the hives in babies.
There is not much you can do to prevent hives in babies. If your baby is known to be allergic to a particular substance, then keeping your baby away from it can be effective in preventing hives. Also if your baby is allergic to a pet then not allowing the pet near the baby can prevent hives in babies.
Hives are caused by an allergic reaction. Generally they disappear in a couple of days and there is nothing to panic about but sometimes hives might indicate that your baby is about to have a severe allergic reaction. Seek medical attention immediately if: