Urticaria or hives in toddlers is one of the types of allergies, which is manifested by reddening of the mucous membrane and skin, itching, and rash of blisters.
Urticaria has manifested itself at least once in a quarter of people, mainly girls and women are susceptible to it. This disease can become chronic in cases where contact with the allergen is constant.
Allergic urticaria cannot be passed from a sick child to other children. Children under 3 years of age are at risk , but the disease can appear in adolescence and in adults. Its symptoms are familiar to every parent, so it is not difficult to identify it. However, you should not try to cure the child on your own – you must definitely see a doctor.
Causes of hives In toddlers
The causes of urticaria in children are:
- sensitivity to allergens;
- the use of allergens in food, their inhalation;
- taking certain medications;
- some insect bites;
- tactile contact with an allergen (urticaria in a child may appear after sleep due to the fact that there is a reaction to a dye in bed linen or washing powder).
Upon contact with an allergen, inflammation occurs, fluid accumulates in the tissues of the body, a rash and swelling appear. This body reaction is an attempt to reduce the amount of harmful substances.
Chronic urticaria, which may appear as early as one year old, occurs due to:
- chronic or long-term diseases of the gastrointestinal tract;
- chronic inflammation;
- viral infections;
- infestation with parasites;
- fungal diseases;
- disturbances in the work of the nervous system;
- hereditary predisposition.
The disease can be provoked by overheating or hypothermia of the skin, exposure to UV or water, when scratching or traumatized by items of clothing, due to severe stress. With such urticaria (it is called “cholinergic”), children do not have an elevated body temperature, and external manifestations quickly disappear (in a few minutes, maximum – half an hour).
Symptoms of allergic urticaria in children
- severe and unexpected itching;
- blisters on the skin and / or mucous membranes;
- high temperature;
- swelling of the affected area;
- nausea, vomiting;
- joint pain;
- Quincke’s edema.
The condition with this disease in some cases is alleviated if the child goes out into the cold.
With the development of this disease, the patient or his parents are interviewed, the symptoms are analyzed.
The doctor can make a preliminary diagnosis after examining the child’s skin. A rash with urticaria is difficult to confuse with another. However, to eliminate the error and establish the cause, analyzes are prescribed:
- stool analysis, which will help identify parasites – they can be pathogens;
- general blood test – identifies or excludes inflammatory and immune processes;
- allergy tests – skin tests to identify the pathogen;
- liver function tests – to determine the function of the liver and exclude its pathologies.
- Thyroid function may be tested because the disease may be caused by hypo- or hyperthyroidism.
Varieties of the disease
In medicine, there are five main forms of this disease:
- chronic with periodic exacerbations;
- acute, arising and spreading rapidly;
- allergic (affects 70% of children);
- pseudo-allergic (provoked by disorders in the functioning of the liver and digestive organs);
- hereditary non-allergic (accompanied by Quincke’s edema, similar to allergic).
Let us consider in more detail the types of urticaria, depending on the provoking factor:
- Medicinal. A type of drug allergy, it is a reaction to certain drugs. Most often, the provocateurs are iodides, streptomycin, sedatives, NSAIDs, drugs with gold in the composition . The rash can be accompanied by a runny nose, conjunctivitis, and bronchial asthma. To cure this form of hives in toddlers, you need to exclude the allergen, adjust the diet by removing the brightest allergens from it – citrus fruits, red vegetables and fruits, nuts, cow’s milk, fish.
- Mechanical – appears when pressure is applied to the skin. Its causes have not been reliably studied, however, the disease is associated with skin sensitivity, heredity and the state of blood vessels. It is divided into several subspecies:
- dermographic – develops quickly due to friction or pressure, often arises from wearing tight clothing;
- cold – a reaction to contact with something cold, drinks or food;
- heat – a rash appears when it is hot around;
- solar – occurs with prolonged exposure to the sun, manifested by edema and red spots on the skin;
- aquagenic – rare, but very dangerous, appears upon any contact with water;
- papular – the result of an insect bite;
- cholinergic – a rash appears when a child is nervous and sweats a lot.
- Generalized. It differs in that the rash spreads throughout the body, including the mucous membrane of the oropharynx, which makes breathing difficult. Quincke’s edema may develop. Such hives in toddlers appear with atopic diseases, it can be caused by antibiotics and NSAIDs. Rarely are food products allergens.
- Idiopathic. The cause is not known, but itchy blisters appear regularly for 6 weeks at varying intervals . The process is considered chronic. Spontaneous occurrence and lack of diagnostic methods make it difficult to control the course of the disease, treatment and prevention.
Methods for treating urticaria in children
This disease should be treated, depending on its form. The pseudo-allergic type requires examination for the underlying disease. Allergic – elimination of allergen and immunotherapy.
In the acute period:
- exclude contact with the allergen;
- a hypoallergenic diet is prescribed to the child for several days;
- remove the allergen from the body, prescribe an abundant drink;
- use sorbents and antihistamines (types and dosage regimen are determined only with a doctor);
- with severe edema, a specialist may prescribe a diuretic;
- prescribe antipruritic ointments for the hands, feet, or other areas of the child’s body that are prone to hives.
Parents should carefully monitor the cleanliness of the house, wash clothes and bed linen in a timely manner with hypoallergenic agents.
Are there complications?
Acute urticaria in children can have a dangerous complication – Quincke’s edema (giant urticaria, angioedema). It consists in swelling of the mucous membrane of the respiratory tract. The child has bouts of coughing, difficulty breathing. Very young children may experience swelling of the gastrointestinal tract mucosa (reaction to this is vomiting). In severe cases, the lining of the brain and the nervous system are affected. Any of these conditions is very dangerous and can be fatal. Therefore, it is very important not to delay the visit to the doctor in case of signs of the disease.
Important! Many parents do not know what to do with angioedema. you need to immediately give the child an antihistamine (any of the home medicine cabinet) and call emergency medical help.
Disease prevention methods
There are no special preventive measures. However, you can minimize the risk of developing the disease by observing the following guidelines:
- control the child’s diet;
- exclude contact with potential allergens – food, volatile, contact;
- have an antihistamine in your home medicine cabinet;
- buy loose clothing made from natural fabrics for your child;
- not provoke stress in the child;
- do not run chronic diseases.