Has your child broken out in an itchy rash? If so, it could be a case of hives. Although hives can vary in size and shape,common signs of hives include: Slightly raised, pink or red areas on theskin Welts that occur alone or in a group, orconnect over a large area Skin swelling that lessens or goes awaywithin minutes or hours at one spot, but may appear at another spot Although hives are often itchy, they are usuallyharmless and temporary.

If your child has hives, follow these tipsfrom dermatologists to help care for your child at home. If the hives itch, consider giving your childan overthecounter oral antihistamine for children. Always follow the directions on the labeland use the correct dose. This will help relieve the itch and discomfort. For additional relief, apply a cool washclothto your child’s hives. Whenever possible, try to reduce your child’sscratching, as this may worsen the rash.

One way is to keep your child’s fingernailsshort. You can also consider applying an overthecounterantiitch cream with pramoxine or menthol to your child’s hives. Always use the product as directed. Bathe your child as normal, but make surethe water is lukewarm, not hot, and limit the bath to 10 minutes. You can also ease the itch by adding a productwith colloidal oatmeal to your child’s bath water.

Use gentle, fragrancefree soap and avoidbubble baths and scented lotions. After bathing, pat the child dry with a toweland apply a gentle moisturizing cream or lotion to damp skin. Maintain a comfortable environment for yourchild. In summer, airconditioning may be preferred,and in winter, it is helpful to have a humidifier. You should also dress your child in comfortableclothes that are loosefitting and 100% cotton. Cover the skin to reduce scratching, but makesure your child is kept cool to avoid overheating. It isn’t always clear what causes hives,but a few common triggers include:

An allergic reaction to food or medication Infections, including colds and viruses Exercise Stress Cold temperatures; and Scratching the skin The best remedy for hives is to try to avoidwhatever triggers them, although this is often difficult. To do this, keep a log of when your child’ssymptoms occur. If a particular trigger is suspected, takenote, and avoid exposure. Mark down the time of day and how long thehives last, as well as any changes to your

child’s regular environment that may becontributing to the problem, such as dust, animals, or the outdoors. It may also be helpful to keep a diary ofyour child’s foods and medicines. If your child’s hives seem to worsen oryour child is experiencing more serious symptoms, such as difficulty breathing or vomiting,go to the emergency room immediately, as this can be lifethreatening. To find a dermatologist in your area or learnmore about hives, visit aad .

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