When are oral steroids given for hives? (photo)

Doctor's Answers 2

Sorry to hear that your child has developed hives after an episode of viral illness. I agree with Dr Colin Theng that a viral infection is most likely the trigger for this episode and antihistamines such as cetirizine would be the mainstay of treatment.

I would usually optimise the dose of antihistamines for good control. If the maximum dose is still not able to control your child's hives, then a course of prednisolone may need to be considered. These medicines will help to switch off the activity of mast cells which have gone into overdrive, causing the appearance of hives.

Once you suppress the activity of these cells for a period of time, they will usually go back to normal. We also sometimes perform blood tests checking for other underlying causes for patients who continue to have hives despite treatment.

Hope your child feels better very soon.

Warmest regards

Dr Stephanie Ho, Dermatologist

When your child develops a sudden onset of hive, this is termed as acute urticaria. There are many possible triggers of hives, including viral infection, foods, medications etc. With the history of preceding cough and cold, a viral trigger is possibility.

Anti-histamine like cetirizine are the mainstay of treatment for urticaria. The hives do respond well to anti-histamines in general. Sometimes, the urticaria can be more severe with sub-optimal response to anti-histamine.

A short course of oral steroids can be considered in such situations for control of the urticaria.

Similar Questions

Do I need to see a dermatologist for an itchy skin rash from cold weather?

It is not uncommon to develop dryness and itch after a trip to a cold country with low humidity. The dryness of the skin can aggravate the itch and can lead to the development of eczema. Hives can also be triggered by the change in temperature and climate. It would be useful for you now to use soap free washes and moisturize the skin regularly but if the dryness and scaling is persistent, you can visit the dermatologist who will be able help you with this problem. Hope you had an enjoyable trip to Europe!

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How can I prevent dermatitis on my face?

Thank you for your question. In managing facial dermatitis or eczema, it is important to ensure that you use gentle products like soap free cleansers and moisturisers on the face. Sometimes, less is better, so avoid using too many products on the face if possible as that may sometimes cause more irritation. As for the rashes recurring after discontinuation of the steroids, it could be due to a relapse of the eczema or a condition known as perioral dermatitis, which is steroid induced rash on the face.

Photo of Dr Colin Theng

Answered By

Dr Colin Theng


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