hives, Hives, HIVES!!!! (vent w/concerns)

Posted on: Fri, 12/01/2000 - 3:24am
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AARRGGHH!!! It seems like every time I turn around my son has a hive on his face!!! I know it's just because he's out in the 'real world' more, going to preschool and all, but I hoped it wouldn't be this bad. He hasn't had any bad reactions, just a hive or two that have been stopped with Benadryl, but... what I'm really concerned about is that in every case the culprit has been 'invisible'. For example, after touching an arcade game, and last night after 'roughhousing' with his uncle who swears he didn't eat or touch anything peanutty yesterday (although he did feed their rabbit before visiting us). What's going to happen when he goes to elementary school and peanut butter, etc. is EVERYWHERE!!??!! Will he have to live on Benadryl??

To those of you whose PA kids are on daily doses of antihistimine (Clairitin, etc.), how do you feel about it? Does it concern you that they have to take it every day? Exactly why do they take it? To prevent getting hives every day? Forgive my ignorance, please. I'm just really hoping that my son won't have to take medication every day just to make it through his school day. I'm one of those people who don't like medicines, but I'll do whatever I have to to help my kids, of course!

This is going to bring up a touchy subject again, but now I think I see it from another viewpoint... The old question went something like this: "Does Benadryl 'mask' the early symptoms of anaphylaxis?" I have always felt that Benadryl 'treats' the symptoms, not 'masks' them, and I still think that. BUT, now, thinking about the possibility that my son may have to take an antihistimine every day just to avoid getting hives at school, I think that it would indeed 'mask' an oncoming reaction. I never thought about this question from the standpoint of being on an antihistimine long before an exposure or reaction. In that case, I DO think it would 'mask' the reaction. To those of you I disagreed with on this, I apologize for not being able to see it the way you did! It scares me to think that if he has to take something every day, his only reactions will be BIG ones, because no one will see them coming.

I'm sorry this is SOOOO long! Does anyone else deal with hives on a frequent basis?

[This message has been edited by Lam (edited December 01, 2000).]

Posted on: Fri, 12/01/2000 - 4:26am
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DMB
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Hi Lam,
I think you and I felt the same way about this in the other thread. And I think our sons are the same age and they both react to touch. Fortunately, my son has only had one small reaction at preschool and it was just red eyes--no hives--from making a craft with fall leaves. He's never been tested for anything but peanuts, but we're pretty sure we're dealing with environmental allergies now and seasonal asthma.
Anyway, I've kind of balked at the idea of a daily antihistamine, too. I mean do I really want him to take medicine everyday to prevent these minor reactions when benadryl can take care of it? I have thought about this a lot and decided that yes I do.
I know that my son makes people nervous. Every peanut reaction he's ever had, always starts with his eyes getting red, itchy and watery. That is the first sign I tell people to look for. I can't even count all the places we've been where he's had the red eyes and then usually the hives will appear and I am absolutely positive he has not eaten anything with peanuts. And when we're at somebody's house and it happens, they feel guilty because they think it's their fault that he's reacting.
I would love to avoid all of these little reactions. If a daily antihistamine can do that, then I'm all for it. His pediatrician wants to wait until he's 4 before she puts him on anything. That will be next spring--just in time for allergy season!! So the timing should be perfect.
I really don't think a daily antihistamine would mask the early symptoms of an anaphylactic reaction. I think it would eliminate all these small reactions that make everyone nervous. But I really think you're going to know when it's the big one. Even though I've been through it countless times, I still worry every time my son gets a hive. If we could avoid these little reactions, I (and everyone else around him)wouldn't have to worry so much.
Please don't take this the wrong way, but when he is at school and gets a few hives, are you going to instruct the teachers to give him the epi immediately, or just to give benadryl and wait and see what progresses like you do now? I think if a daily antihistamine can prevent all these minor reactions, then when he does have a reaction, people will know to immediately give the epi-pen and not second-guess themselves or the reaction. I hope this makes sense.
My son will primarily be put on a daily antihistamine for his environmental allergies, which in turn has an affect on his asthma. But if it can prevent his reactions to residue, that would be an added bonus. Sorry this is so long and I hope got the point across that I was trying to make. Take care. Deanna

Posted on: Fri, 12/01/2000 - 4:47am
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Thanks, Deanna. I appreciate your quick response. For some reason I'm just stressed about this a lot today!
To directly answer the question you posed back to me, no, I will not instruct the school to Epi when the only symptom is a hive or two. I believe in Benadryl first, then keep a close watch.
Right now, we count on the hives and other mild symptoms (that can be stopped with Benadryl) to let us know that something is wrong, that maybe we need to leave wherever we are, or change our son's clothes, or wash his hands, etc., or just keep a closer watch. I'm concerned that taking a daily antihistimine will take away those 'clues' and, in a way, contribute to a bigger reaction because we weren't aware that something was wrong. I guess I'd rather have all the little reactions than a BIG one, but I just get so tired of them sometimes. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img] (Boy, I'm being very whiny today - Sorry!!!)
It sounds as if you've already thought this through and are comfortable with your decision. I hope I can reach that point soon. I'm still very unsure.
Thanks again, Deanna. I appreciate your help. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Fri, 12/01/2000 - 4:50am
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Joined: 03/08/2000 - 09:00

First of all, I just want to say that you sound like a very good mother who takes her child's allergy seriously. However, I think you may be overreacting just a bit. I am a 25 year old PA woman, and I get hives on my face (and sometimes other places) ALL THE TIME. I don't know if it's PA related or if I'm allergic to something else (dust is a frequent culprit with me). The reason I said "overreacting" is because I don't think you need to give your child benadryl every time you see one hive. They go away on their own if left alone. By this, I'm not saying that I think you should underreact. If you see something that is very scary to you, by all means, do what you must. I just think that the benadryl could become less effective if it's used too frequently. I'm not trying to insult you at all, so I hope this post does not make you angry. I give parents of PA kids a lot of credit. In my situation, I only have to worry about myself. I hope and pray all the time that my future children take after my fiance and not me when it comes to this allergy. I know the level of panic that this allergy can create first hand.

Posted on: Fri, 12/01/2000 - 5:28am
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Yankee:
Thank you, too. No, I'm not at all upset. Actually, I have a sister-in-law who feels as you do. She gets hives all the time, doesn't know what from, and doesn't really care to find out. Boy, that bugs me - not in an angry way... I would just hate not knowing what was causing a reaction, ANY reaction.
I've wondered about the hives going away on their own, but I'm too afraid to wait them out. The first time he got hives from contact exposure was at his preschool open house. He got one, then another, then another, then started the coughing... We gave him Benadryl and left soon after. His preschool teacher asked me the other day about building up a 'resistance' to Benadryl. I've never heard of that, but I guess it could happen.
I'm taking my younger son to the allergist on Monday for some skin tests. Maybe I'll take along a couple questions about our oldest as well!! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
Thanks again... and thanks for the compliment - you must have known I needed it today!!

Posted on: Fri, 12/01/2000 - 5:28am
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Joined: 04/19/2000 - 09:00

Lam, My nephew always gets hives when he wrestles with anyone or gets in grass. I know he doesn't get benedryl everytime or maybe hardly ever at all. He just gets hives because of sweating. He did go to a skin doctor and he told my sister it happens alot. Sweat can be worse on some peoples skin than others. My daughter could wrestle and nothing where as my son would probably break out. Take care claire

Posted on: Fri, 12/01/2000 - 5:42am
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Claire:
We were posting at the same exact time!! I appreciate your response, and if that had ever happened to my son before last night, I'd probably connect the two, but he wrestles with his daddy all the time with no reaction. I wasn't specific before, I apologize - the hives were on his face. For some reason all his contact reactions have been with hives on his face. Does your nephew get the hives on his face, too, from wrestling?
The only 'reactions' our son has had to any type of exercise/rough play is coughing. The allergist thinks he may be developing asthma. Whenever he starts coughing, we sit him down until it stops.
Thanks, Claire!!

Posted on: Fri, 12/01/2000 - 6:19am
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Joined: 04/19/2000 - 09:00

Lam, No my nephew gets them since birth so I would say they are different than your son. I do hope you find out soon what it is because I would be afraid of letting mine even go to sleep if they had hives. Maybe you should try the uncle again because maybe they use some different laundry soap. I am also wondering about shell fish. Has he possibly eaten any of thay. I get hives just touching shrimp. Best wishes claire

Posted on: Fri, 12/01/2000 - 10:07am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

My son takes a daily does of Zyrtec. This was prescribed to help him with his environmental allergies. It has made such a huge difference in our lives. He is a much happier and joyful son. When the allergist first prescribed it to us I inquired as to how long he recommended him to stay on it and he said, "Forever." I couldn't believe my ears. I did not like the idea and even thought that maybe as he gets older I would start to change it to every other day or so. He does occasionally miss his antihistamine for a day or two. When this happens his asthma starts to act up and he wakes up with red puffy eyes and he complains of major headaches. All of this occurred before we started him on the Zyrtec but never happens unless he misses it.
I have noticed a difference also when he is accidentally near peanuts (unexpected places). Before he was diagnosed with PA we would eat them around him. Of course, he would react slightly to it. He would experience swollen eyes and extreme itching of the scalp and hands (I would have to hold his hands down to stop him from rubbing his eyes and scratching). I do not eat them around him anymore and rarely eat them at all (except for that occasional once a month craving).
Three times so far he has eaten or been around something that accidentally had peanuts (one is unconfirmed but I think it did) and his reactions were alot less severe. He would only experience one symptom...not multiple. One time he had a red rash around his mouth, another time he had the swollen eyes, and one time he experienced a major coughing attack with an upset stomach.
I can understand how frustrating it must be for you to experience this on a daily occurance. Let us know how things go!

Posted on: Fri, 12/01/2000 - 1:11pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Lam, I have never had a problem with hives with my PA son. However, he has been on a daily antihistamine (first Benadryl and then I switched to Claritin because it is non-drowsy and one dose a day rather than two) since he was 2-1/2 due to his environmental allergies.
I simply figure that he is wired as I am. I was allergy tested at a young age 35 years ago. I then had to have immunization therapy for I don't know how many years and when I was old enough to decide for myself, I stopped because I hated getting shots every day. I then switched to controlling my environmental allergies with a daily antihistamine.
In my early 20's, I was re-tested again for my allergies and it was suggested I undergo immunization therapy again. I did for maybe about a month. But, I found that the shots actually brought on a migraine and I was having enough of them already. So, I switched back to the daily antihistamine.
So, I've been dealing with some type of "therapy" if you will, for my allergies for 35 years or so.
As far as immunization therapy for my son and his environmental allergies, I am simply not comfortable with it and find them easily controlled with the Claritin.
Now, I am not clear if Jesse does not get hives because he is on the daily dose of Claritin.
However, and I think this may be very important, when Jesse had his second anaphylactic reaction, he was taking Claritin on a daily basis. It did NOT mask ONE single symptom of anaphylaxis.
When we got to the emergency department, I was trying to tell the doctor that he had had an antihistamine that day and the doctor basically told me to be quiet, as they are two totally different acting antihistamines and the Benadryl was obviously required as my son was in total anaphylactic shock.
So, if you were to choose to treat your son on a daily basis with an antihistamine, I would see what your allergist recommends (I changed to Claritin as I didn't want to drowse him out when he was going to be going to school - and the Benadryl can, but does not necessarily make you drowsy, it did my son), it may actually help with the hives and definitely will not mask a reaction if it is not Benadryl anyway. Actually, I'm not even clear if Benadryl, when taken on a daily basis would mask any symptoms of an actual reaction.
Actually, in now thinking about that, I would actually recommend that you use a different antihistamine than Benadryl, but then, it may not as act as quickly on hives. I'm going to grab my son's bottle of Claritin to see what symptoms it covers - I know that Benadryl does specify hives, doesn't it?
"Fast relief from hayfever and other seasonal allergy symptoms: itchy, watery eyes; sneezing; runny nose; skin itch." Actually, I'm not clear that the type of skin itch they're referring to would encompass hives.
Sorry, I was trying to give you some type of answer. Of course, I didn't mean for you not to discuss it with your allergist.
Also, I believe Morgansmom, who hasn't posted for a little bit, but if you can find one of her posts and see if she has an e-mail listed, I believe she uses Benadryl on a fairly regular basis. However, I'm not clear if she uses it daily for her daughter or not.
You may want to discuss this with her.
Again, I'm not clear if the Claritin is staving off any hives that Jesse would normally be developing but I do know that it did not, in any way, mask one symptom of anaphylactic shock.
Lam, I hope I have been of some help to you re this, especially since I haven't had to deal with a child developing hives all the time. But again, maybe it's because he's been on an antihistamine for so long. Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
Oh, and sorry, does your son have any allergies other than the suspicious one in the Pull-Ups, other than PA? Could he possibly have developed any since his last allergy testing, if he has, in fact, been previously tested?
The day I can make a post short will be the day most people breathe a heavy sigh of relief! Again, best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
------------------

Posted on: Fri, 12/01/2000 - 1:52pm
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Your post has me thinking, Cindy. When Cayley had her anaphylactic reaction, I gave her Dimetapp Allergy medication at home, then rushed her to the hospital.
I told the medical personnel I gave her Dimetapp (not the cold medicine, but one specifically for hives, itching, etc.) and they immediately gave her a dose of Benadryl, and they explained that the concentration of antihistamine is higher in the Benadryl than the Dimetapp (I remember this being the explanation by the nurse; basically the doctor said Benadryl just works better).
They advised me to keep Benadryl at home to use after the Epi, in case of a reaction, because the "other" brands just don't work as well. Cayley gets the occasional hive, but other than a couple of times, I've never had to give her Benadryl for them, ever since she outgrew her milk allergy at 2 1/2.
Lam, if you decide to give your son a daily antihistamine to help with the hives, maybe you could ask your doctor about the Claritin, Dimetapp Allergy, etc. This way, the hives might be prevented, but you wouldn't have to worry that the antihistamine is so strong it might "mask" a reaction. Just a thought!

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