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Hives: A Horror Story

by Salina Shafi

Hi everyone! This article is the second installment in our skin-care week! In this article, we take a different approach to skincare, and learn how to take care of your skin with allergies. Happy reading!

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I couldn’t help but look at the ice cream slowly melting into the pecan pie. It was my first time trying it, and I could not wait! My entire family loved pecan pie, yet I had never tried it before. My eyes traced the unique patterns of the pecans that were baked on top as the liquefied ice cream made its way into it. It was a glorious view. If I had one true love in this world, it was dessert. I had never tried pecan pie, but it always smelled so good, and I wanted to try it fresh. I asked for a slice.



Before I knew it, a beautiful triangular piece, with a promise of heaven, was on my plate. I took my plate back to my seat and sat next to my dad. I dove my fork into the ice cream and the pecan, making sure to get the perfect ratio of both. After feeling satisfied with the piece on my fork, I indulged in the experience and took my first bite. The flavor melted on my tongue and I could not help but wonder where this pecan pie had been my entire life. I couldn’t begin to think about the sensation that was happening in my mouth. From the buttery crust to the sweet tang of vanilla from the ice cream, there was flavor everywhere. Before I knew it, half the pie was gone. I briefly paused and took a sip of water.




A burning sensation in my throat was now apparent to me. It felt as if my throat was closing in on itself. There was no room to breathe. The ecstasy that I had felt a few seconds ago was long gone. I struggled to breathe and my mind struggled to understand what was happening. My palms felt itchy; it was as if ants were chewing their way into my fingers. I looked at my hands and saw red bumps all over the back of my palms. The red bumps crawled up my arm, and I felt everything getting tighter. What felt like a few hours was merely a few seconds.



I attempted to calmly walk over to the restroom to see the damage. The mirror reflected a red version of me. There were red bumps all over my face and my eyes started to swell up. My mom barged in and looked at me in horror. As I struggled to breathe, everything became a blur. I barely remember leaving the party and entering the emergency room at the hospital, but here I was on a hospital bed being injected by what seemed like to be the longest, sharpest needle I had ever seen.



As I felt myself coming back, I couldn’t help but wonder what had happened. I asked the doctor what had happened to me, why couldn’t I breathe and why were there red bumps all over my skin? It felt as if I was mumbling, my words weren’t coming out as I wanted them to.

The doctor told me that I had an allergic reaction to something, which is why I had red bumps all over my skin. Those were hives. They asked me if I had experienced or eaten something new in the last few hours. My heart dropped when I realized what this meant.


It was THE pecan pie.


I told the doctor that and they told me that it is likely that I am allergic to something in the pecan pie. I think they prescribed me an epi-pen and suggested that I get an allergy test done if I want to see what else I might be allergic to. I couldn’t hear a single word they were saying. All I heard was that I had a reason to be afraid now. I never wanted to feel like that again. Not being able to breathe and having those red bumps. Those red bumpy hives. Before the doctor rushes out, I ask them what hives are.



They explained how hives are spots on the surface of your skin that swell when the body has an adverse reaction to an allergen. Based on today, my allergen was pecan pie. I looked down to see how the red bumps on my arms were slowly fading away.

Hives. I wanted to know more about this process that took away my ability to enjoy desserts mindlessly. For the rest of my life, my allergies would be at the back of my mind.

When I went home, I did what any sane person would do. I made Google my best friend. I scrolled through the thousands of images of people showing red bumps similar to mine. I read countless articles full of words that made no sense to me. I watched numerous videos attempting to explain this horrible process. The longer I ventured through the internet, the more my fear grew.

What was next?

Eczema, swelling, and rashes according to dozens and dozens of websites online. These are all common allergic reactions.

Wait, what exactly are allergies? I did another quick google search. Allergies happen when your immune system reacts to a foreign object (Mayo Clinic).



After searching the internet for symptoms, reactions, and interviews, I decided that this was my life now. This was it. This diagnosis felt like a death sentence, even though it probably wasn’t. My five-year-old heart couldn’t take it. My dad must have seen the way I was frantically googling because he then comes over and sits next to me while I continue to now search up what eczema is.


“You know, I’m allergic to peanuts.” My dad casually says.


I look at him surprised, “But, I eat peanut butter around you all of the time.” My mind couldn’t comprehend what he was saying. “How do you control them? Tell me! Tell me! Tell me!” I demanded.


“Over time, my reactions became less and less severe. When I was your age, I had reactions very similar. My mom had to keep an epi-pen too and I had my own allergy medicine prescribed by the doctor.”



I take a moment to try to soak in what he was saying. “So, I won’t be allergic for my whole life?”

“Maybe, maybe not, but at least you know that it’s something that you can live with. Your life is not going to be over,”

“Yeah.” I didn’t feel convinced, but I felt hopeful. Maybe it would be all okay one day. Maybe I could live with allergies.



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Thanks for reading the final article in our skincare week; we hoped you learned more about allergies and how to help relieve them!


Additionally, please stay tuned for our orthopedic week coming up soon, with new interesting articles about the skeletal system coming up.


If you are interested in becoming a writer, or have any questions about the Writing Committee, please feel free to comment down below, or email anushasoni241@gmail.com.


Until next time,

Salina and the Writing Committee :)





Happy Reading,




Mahee and the Writing Committee :)


Work Cited

Hives & swelling: Urticaria, welts, causes, symptoms, treatment. Cleveland Clinic. (n.d.). Retrieved May 19, 2022, from https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/8630-urticaria-hives-and-angioedema#:~:text=Hives%20may%20be%20itchy%2C%20or,form%20larger%20areas%20called%20plaques.

Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2020, August 4). Allergies. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved May 19, 2022, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/allergies/symptoms-causes/syc-20351497

Skin allergy: Dermatology. intermountainhealthcare.org. (n.d.). Retrieved May 19, 2022, from https://intermountainhealthcare.org/services/dermatology/conditions/skin-allergy/#:~:text=The%20most%20common%20allergic%20skin%20conditions%20are%20atopic%20dermatitis%20(eczema,and%20life%2Dthreatening%20allergic%20reaction.


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