ideas for unknown Mouth Swelling and torso rash/ hives - Mothering Forums
Allergies > ideas for unknown Mouth Swelling and torso rash/ hives
ccknox's Avatar ccknox 08:51 PM 09-06-2011

Last night 5 year old my daughter woke up w swelling on her lip and a pretty nasty rash on her lower torso and back. We did Benadryl and went to the ER. Two mornings before she woke up with swelling around her eye and we did Benadryl for that for 1.5 day. Shes on prednisone for the next 3 days.


She wasn't into anything new, both times she hadn't eaten anything for 3 or more hours before. Only thing I can think of is fleas the dogs have, found them last night after repeditively forgetting to check on their increased itching. Family Dr thinks it was a food allergy but doesn't know what it was and recomended we avoid anything we think it might be then putting a bit on the back of her neck to see if she has a reaction in a few weeks...that sounds REDICULOUS to me!


I'm going to try for an allergist appt tomorrow. And wondering about asking for an Epi pen or possibly try another ped/ family dr.


It just seems crazy to me that a food allergy of that severity would be so delayed! But the fleas or some other insect seems so far fetched.


Anyone have ideas or opinions?

scsigrl's Avatar scsigrl 09:10 PM 09-06-2011

I wouldn't suspect foods.  I was going to say bug bites even before you said anything about flees.  I wouldn't jump into food testing either.  It can lead down some not fun to travel roads for no reason (50% of positive allergy tests for food are FALSE +'s!)  


*IF* you are at all suspecting food, start a food log.  It'll give you more ammo one way or another.  If you end up with an allergist, it may be helpful at that point!

changingseasons's Avatar changingseasons 12:10 AM 09-07-2011
I don't think that's ridiculous at all. It seems like the reactions, to whatever it is, are getting more severe each time. Food allergy (IgE) reactions *normally* happen within about 4 hours of ingestion or contact- it does NOT have to be immediately after eating. And of course the reaction could have started long before you saw it if she was sleeping. You said she woke up last night- how low after eating dinner did she wake up? Did she have any other symptoms- digestive upset, etc?

Did you see anything on her body that looked like a bug bite? A bug bite causing facial swelling AND a torso rash seems strange to me. I would absolutely suspect a food and look into it further.

I also have to argue with the 50% false positives comment (again.) First, I just don't believe it. In 4 years of allergy testing my daughter, we've gotten quite a few false negatives, but never ONCE have we gotten a false positive (and she is allergic to virtually all food at this point.) Every test has been confirmed by food reactions (except some of the top 8, like nuts, which we've never trialed.) Also- the new allergy guidelines talk a bit about "sensitization" vs. "allergy". A positive result on a scratch test means that you are sensitized, but not necessarily allergic. It means that your body has made antibodies against that food, but not necessarily that you will react to it. That said, there was just an article published showing that people that are sensitized have a good chance of ending up allergic to those foods in the future, if they're not already, so I wouldn't just ignore a positive result.

So just keep in mind that allergy tests are not 100% accurate, but they can give you a good starting point to pinpoint allergens. Especially if you're dealing with such a severe reaction (rash + swelling = anaphylaxis), I don't see any reason not to see an allergist and have some tests done. Could be food, could be environmental, could be a bug reaction. Either way, anaphylaxis is serious and can be life threatening, and I would urge you to see an allergist and absolutely get an epipen.
SweetSilver's Avatar SweetSilver 09:33 AM 09-07-2011

Allergies do have a nasty way of suddenly flaring up seemingly out of nowhere.  Even at 5!  So, I wouldn't dismiss anything as the source.  (Good chance it's not dairy, though.)


A agree with starting with an allergist.  But do understand that you will probably be asked to challenge your dd on any foods that do show up positive.  If you are uncomfortable with this you can do the challenge in the allergist's office.


My dd's skin is a pretty accurate gauge for testing allergies at home.  A little smear on her inner wrist is usually all it takes for a local reaction.  But still, even my allergist is more comfortable challenging some things in the office, and he's a pretty even-keeled doc.


And I still disagree with the false positives issue.  I'd rather err on the side of caution even though it might (hypothetically) make daily life more difficult.  I suppose it depends on your level of comfort with risk.

ccknox's Avatar ccknox 10:07 AM 09-07-2011

I woke up to her starting to scratch this morning! It started as what looked like bug bites and then redness spread and it welted up in the whole red area in like 5 min I got Benadry and Prednisone in her and found more bites that spread like the first ones I saw for 15-20 min .. I put Caladryl Clear on 20 min after the meds (which she said made the itching go away) and changed her clothes and in under 20 min the welts were gone and alot of the redness. No "bites" on her face and no facial swelling this time. Calling to get an allergist appt as soon as I can stay calm enough.


scsigrl's Avatar scsigrl 10:35 AM 09-07-2011

:(  Oh no :(  Did she eat yet this AM?  Most reactions occur within 2 hours of exposure.  What did she have for breakfast?  Have you changed detergents?  Some new clothing that may not have been washed causing a skin reaction?


I hope you can get this figured out soon.  Allergies can crop up at any time and I hope it isn't or you can pinpoint the problem!



Many Dr's aren't going to challenge foods kids test + to.  Most Drs will just tell you to pull the food till further notice (ie when a RAST or SPT is - or near -).  You can disagree but the science of a 50/50 false + and 92(ish)% accurate positive - is out there. 

ccknox's Avatar ccknox 03:02 PM 09-07-2011

This morning I woke her up before she hit full reaction, I caught her scratching in her sleep...more good reasons to co-sleep! So it was out of sleep and not having eaten anything for over 8 hours. Allergist said keep her dosed on Benadryl all day and night and they squeezed us in at 10:30 in the morning! I feel so much better! At this point I about don't care what the tests show at least someone showing real concern like I feel, everything else we can figure out how to deal with! Her reaction this morning was 5 hours before she had prednizone in her for 24 hours and after I had followed my family Dr's recomendations yesterday to not continue Zantac or Benadryl as perscribed by the ER doctor.

ccknox's Avatar ccknox 03:07 PM 09-07-2011

And no nothing new! The food I thought was she has had before.

scsigrl's Avatar scsigrl 03:49 PM 09-07-2011

I am glad that you got in!  It can take forever and it sounds like they are really proactive with this and that's a good sign!

KUP!  I hope she is as comfortable as she can be!  Hugs to you Mama!

ccknox's Avatar ccknox 02:23 PM 09-30-2011

We had a sorta repeat reaction. W in about 5min of eating a pasta dish that's only different ingredient than what we had over the past month being the OLD Romano cheese. Interestingly enough she is has been battling a cold with cough all week that made me feel I needed to take her to the ER night before last she was coughing more than breathing while trying to get to she had Prednisone in her body at the time of the reaction. She started getting spots her there and everywhere and one of the spots on her lower eye brow got itchy and turned into a hive. Gave her the Zyrtec the allergist told us to during the last episode issue. She got more an more spots...but no more hives then after about 30 min they started fading and in an hour were all gone. I also gave her the Atarax for night time too.


Wondering anyone know anything about different types of cheeses? Off to Google!

SweetSilver's Avatar SweetSilver 07:37 PM 09-30-2011

Originally Posted by ccknox View Post


Wondering anyone know anything about different types of cheeses? Off to Google!

Different cultures and molds.  Some intentional, others start growing after the fact.