Urticaria in Babies – Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

Urticaria is what is commonly known as hives. These are reddish bumps that can develop on a baby’s skin. They are usually not limited to a specific area of the skin and can, therefore, appear anywhere on the skin. The bumps can be tiny spots or large spots that connect to each other.
Urticaria can last only for a few hours or much longer, in which case it can be acute or chronic. Chronic urticaria is one that can last for as long as six weeks.


Urticaria is characterized by the development of red bumps on a baby’s skin. The bumps that develop in clusters have a pale center and can change in shape within hours. The bumps are in most cases itchy can make a baby very uncomfortable. Babies with other skin conditions or infections often develop chronic cases of the condition and may show additional symptoms made worse by urticaria.


The occurrence of urticaria is associated with an action of mast cells found in a baby’s bloodstream. These cells produce histamine, which ends up in a baby’s blood vessels under a baby’s tender skin. Accumulation of histamine in the vessels under the skin causes the formation of spots on the skin.

Urticaria in babies can also be as a result of allergic reaction. Such allergy can be caused by medications, food, pollen, pets, insect bite, contact with chemical, pressure on the skin, exposure to cold/hot weather and an infection of the skin.


Urticaria is normally diagnosed through physical examination. Parents are normally questioned on a baby’s medical history and if a baby has recently been exposed to an allergic trigger and type of food a baby is normally fed on.

A pediatrician is also most likely to recommend blood and allergy tests to rule out any other skin condition. A piece of ice can be placed on a baby’s skin with the aim of analyzing any resultant reaction to cold.

Acute urticaria normally resolves on its own without any medical intervention. This usually happens when an allergic trigger is avoided unknowingly. In case an allergic trigger is known, removing or avoiding it easily resolves the condition.

Chronic urticaria that lasts for six weeks can be complicated to treat. This is because it may be caused by an underlying health condition that may require a different treatment. Generally, pediatricians do prescribe non-drowsy antihistamines. It is only when the condition does not respond to a mild antihistamine that a strong antihistamine medication can be prescribed.

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