How to Manage Hives and Skin allergy

eczema and skin allergies

Hives and skin allergy is medically known as urticaria present in form of swollen bumps on the skin that appear instantly as a result of an allergen on the skin or in the body. The bumps will vary in size and will from a few hours to a day. Urticaria affects around 21% of the population at one point in their lives. Hives and skin allergy result from a number of allergens which include;

  • Chemicals in food
  • insect stings,
  • exposure to sunlight
  • certain medications
  • Viral and Bacterial Infections
  • Stress
  • Chronic illness
  • Other factors

Hives are either acute or chronic depending on the amount of time they take to clear off. Acute hives will normally resolve on their own, but chronic cases take more than 6 weeks to clear off and may result in dizziness, breathing difficulties and swelling of the body parts like the face. In case its chronic urticaria it’s paramount to consult a physician immediately to lessen the effects of the allergy.

Types of hives

Acute Urticaria is the most common and last less than six weeks. It mainly results from food, medicine, and insect bites.

Physical Urticaria which results from physical contact with the allergen. Exposure to the sun, pressure on the skin are among the causes of this kind of urticaria

Chronic Urticaria lasts more than one month and its most commonly associated with thyroid diseases, hormonal problems, and cancer.

Treatment and Management of hives and skin allergy

One of the most important steps in curtailing the effect of the allergy is being able to identify the triggers and avoiding them. Visit the allergy physician if the allergic reaction continues for more than 6 weeks as this is considered chronic. Milder and less serious cases can be managed through simple home remedies as below;

  • Bathing with anti-itch products

Soaking in a bath with the itch products will relieve the itching

  • Wear loose clothing

Wear clothing that is not tight fitting to ease up the itching feeling and any irritation. Ensure that the clothes don’t irritate the skin further. Heat increases the urge to itch so it’s advisable to wear lighter clothes.

  • Apply a cold compress

Use a towel wrapped in ice to relieve the itchy feeling

If the above home remedies don’t reduce the allergic reactions consider taking antihistamines or combination of medication as prescribed by the physician.

Diagnosis of Urticaria

Once you visit the allergy physician Manassas  depending on your medical history the doctor may order a blood test, stool test, thyroid function test and liver test to ascertain the exact cause of the disease. Milder cases may not require testing as the physician will ask a question to identify the allergen.

What to avoid in case you have hives

  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Stress

Effective ways to deal with ocular allergies

Ocular allergies tend to develop when the immune system of the body becomes sensitive and overreacts to certain elements in the environment, which might or might not be harmful to the body. As soon as the allergens come into contact with the antibodies of your eyes, the cells release histamine immediately along with other substances that make the tiny blood vessels inside the eyes leak. As a result, the eyes become red, watery and itchy. In most of the cases, the symptoms of ocular allergies are strikingly similar to many eye diseases, which make it difficult to diagnose the problem unless you opt for the specific allergy testing methods.

 Common symptoms of ocular allergies:

The most common types of eye allergies are seasonal allergic conjunctivitis, perennial allergic conjunctivitis, atopic keratoconjunctivitis, vernal keratoconjunctivitis, giant papillary conjunctivitis or contact allergic conjunctivitis. The symptoms of these eye allergies are often accompanied by sneezing, coughing or a runny nose which are common symptoms of nasal allergies.

The common symptoms include:

  • Burning eyes
  • Redness
  • Fluid discharge
  • Itching

What triggers eye allergies?

The common allergens which cause ocular allergies are pollens, weeds, mold, pet dander, dust mites and irritants such as perfume, smog, cigarette smoke or vehicle exhausts. People suffering from eye allergies for a prolonged period may also develop severe dark circles under their eyes. Sometimes, the eyelids become puffy and the eyes are unable to tolerate bright lights. At times the itchiness becomes so severe, that the patients are unable to stop themselves from scratching or rubbing their eyes and ultimately end up worsening up the infections.

How to deal with ocular allergies?

In order to keep ocular allergies at bay, you should avoid the allergens which trigger the problem.

  • Try to stay indoors, during the high pollen period of the day. Use HEPA efficiency air purifier and air conditioning system, in your bedroom and car.
  • Using mite-proof bedding to combat the dust mites.
  • Use a dehumidifier in your home, to restrict mold growth.
  • Wash your hands and change your clothes whenever you return home from outside or play with your pets.
  • Try to cover your eyes with high-quality sunglasses, to shield them.
Effective medications to deal with emergency situations:

Whenever there is an emergency situation, but you are unable to visit the allergy clinic to get hold of the allergy shots or immunotherapy, or the eye drops you may try out these simple yet effective medicines, which are readily sold in the medical stores without any prescription.

  1. Decongestant eye drops
  2. Artificial tears
  3. The antihistamines

However, it is always better to consult an eye allergy specialist doctor because, the decongestant eye drops may not work after repeated usage or the antihistamines might dry up your eyes excessively, leading to other problems.

How to keep asthma and allergies at bay from your child?

It is no huge revelation that children are fond of animals and birds. More often than not, they are found interacting with them in some form or the other. However, the droppings of pigeons, the birds that children are fascinated by the most carry a certain fungus called Histoplasma Capsulatum. These can be detrimental to a child’s health and is said to have severe health implications, the most common one being asthma and allergies. But, by taking up the allergy tests beforehand and thereafter taking a few precautionary measures, one can easily trick the common allergens and prevent the allergy symptoms.

Why children are easily affected by the allergens?

It would be illogical to say that only a certain sex is susceptible to allergies because of Histoplasma Capsulatum in the environment. Both men and women are equally at risk of being affected. However, in case of the children the chances of being affected are higher, because their immune system is not as strong as adults. The most common infliction that is seen to affect people is the inflammation of the eye. Tests and examinations reveal ‘histo-spots’ and scars on the retina, that can result in blurry or impaired vision.

Effective ways to deal with the allergens:

Any form of allergy can lead to chronic health conditions for the little ones. But, it is practically impossible to confine your child within the house to avoid the allergens. Here are few ways you can control the problem by being extra careful:

  • Pay attention to the garden soil: In some cases pigeons in the vicinity may not be as harmful as thought, the larger they are in number, the higher the air and soil is likely to contain this fungus. So, make sure they are covered well if they go out to play in the yards. Ask them to change their outfits and wash their hands before entering the bedroom.
  • Avoid lakes parks or a bird sanctuary if your child is prone to allergies– Having a child who is prone to allergic reactions illness is bad enough. To top it, aggravation of the ailment because of bird droppings is more petrifying. Therefore, think twice next time you decide to visit the lake, park or any area where there is a possibility of birds, especially pigeons, being around in the vicinity.
  • Free your home from the common allergens– One of the most crucial steps in ensuring that hives and skin allergy don’t aggravate is to keep the environment at home clean. Clean air and ventilation, using the high efficiency particulate air or HEPA is crucial for the wellbeing of the child. Get rid of the dust mites in your home by regular cleaning sessions.

In case you are suspecting that your child is prone to allergies, it is always best to consult an allergy specialist doctor immediately. Their guidance will be crucial in determining the effect of the fungus on the child. Any problems with vision should be reported immediately. Even though scarring around the border of the retina is harmless, there is nothing to lose in seeking the opinion of an expert. However, avoiding pigeon and bird-infested areas is absolutely vital for children who are usually prone to such types of allergy-related ailments and illnesses.

 

Things you should know about drug allergies

medication allergies

Drug allergy is a form of allergic reactions to medicines. After consuming certain medicines, you may get rashes, itching, swelling, anaphylaxis, difficulty in breathing and hives. These are the common symptoms that you may have a drug allergy. Drug allergy happens when some medicine composition is not suitable for your immunity system, and your body identifies it as foreign invader which results releasing of chemical fluid as the defender.  If you are suffering from drug allergy, here is an effective guide to understand your problem, before you find an allergist specialist.

Common causes of drug allergies

  • Antibiotics related to penicillin and penicillin
  • Sulfonamides (sulfa drugs) containing Antibiotics
  • Anticonvulsants
  • Ibuprofen, aspirin, and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Drugs of chemotherapy

Symptoms of a penicillin allergy

Penicillin allergy symptoms can be mild to severe. Penicillin allergy symptoms may include hives swelling – usually around the face, wheeziness, throat tightness, breathing trouble and coughing.

Anaphylaxis which is more life-threatening severe reaction can occur due to penicillin allergy. It can arise suddenly, aggravate quickly and can be deadly. The common symptoms include:

Itching, red skin rash, hives, reddening in mixture of other symptoms like

  • Gasping and stiffness in the chest
  • Swelling of lips, tongue, throat, and face
  • Dizziness

If the reaction gets worse with above-noted symptoms, immediately you need epinephrine auto-injector.

Also, if you avoid the drug for ten years, there is fair chance to lose penicillin allergy as 80% people usually do. However, it will be better to get yourself tested by an allergist to find if you are still allergic.

How to diagnose drug allergy?

It is a bit difficult to diagnose medication allergies. Through a skin test, allergy to penicillin-type drugs can be diagnosed. It will be better if you carry the suspected drug with you while visiting an allergist. This will help the allergist recommend the possible alternatives if required.

An allergist may advise for a skin test or, a blood test depending on the suspected drug. Your allergy physician may ask for an oral drug challenge if drug allergy is suspected.

What is the treatment for drug allergies?

Once your allergic reason is identified, the allergist will advise you to halt over from that particular drug consumption. It is crucial to inform all your health care providers to stop prescribing the drug in any circumstances. Immediate treatment is necessary if react to a particular drug also, the severity of the treatment will be determined by the allergic reaction caused. If the allergic reaction is as severe as life-threatening anaphylaxis and you need epinephrine auto-injector immediately, call at 911.

 

Three unusual suspects which trigger allergies

No matter how careful you are with weeds, pollen grains or pets, you might still experience a runny nose, itching or coughing. The reason is probably because you might be still around the tricky allergens in your home. Closing your window or relying on the air conditions cannot help you to avoid allergic reactions unless you eliminate the real culprits which are triggering the problem. Before your symptoms worsen in the allergy season, consult an allergist and take the precautionary measures to be on the safer side.

Deal with allergic reactions from fragrances:

Many people are allergic to the chemicals used in the perfumes, body sprays, insect killing sprays or even other healthcare products. When the fragrances are sprayed in the air, it tends to affect the people with a sensitive nose. In fact, some people are also affected by the scented candles or the aromatic oil dispensers. Even though essential oils do not trigger nasal allergies, a mixture of multiple oils or other compounds used to manufacture the candles might cause the allergy. To avoid these reactions, consider the mildly scented body creams or moisturisers and turn to homemade body mists or natural body sprays.  Use organic soaps, and phthalate-free, non-scented detergents and cleaning solutions to minimise the problem. Take a walk in fresh air, if you experience allergic reactions from any fragrances outside your home.

Oil-based wall paints can be culprits too:

A newly painted wall, especially with oil-based paints can lead to a runny nose or headaches. Even after drying, the chemical solvents used in the paints release chemicals and trigger allergy symptoms. In order to overcome this problem, it is better to opt for the green certification marked latex paint or the paints with relatively low level of volatile organic compounds. Keep the doors and windows of the painted room open, to let in fresh air.

Clean your carpets, blinds, beddings and your soft toys as well:

It is not easy to believe that your soft toys can also be your enemies. In most of the cases, people clean their entire home but forget to clean their furry toys, which encourage the growth of microscopic bugs. The allergy doctors recommend, washing the soft toys with organic disinfectant and hot water at 140° to slay the bugs. Dry them thoroughly in the sunlight, to make sure that the mites are killed. Storing the non-washable toys in a ziplock and keeping them for 3-4 hours in the freezer can also wipe out the bugs.

 

 

Reduce the pet allergens in your home to prevent allergy attacks

allergy doctor

Pets are man’s best friend, but if you are prone to hives and skin allergy, they can make your life worse. Not only their skin dander triggers allergic reactions, but their saliva and urine too can leave you sneezing throughout the day. Most of the pets shed off their dry skin cells in the form of dander, which gets attached to their feathers or furs and lands in your curtains, rugs, clothes, and furniture; and this is an unavoidable situation if you have pets in your home. Thankfully, there are some ways to reduce the allergens beforehand.

Detecting the cause of your allergy:

Apart from irritations in your skin and sneezing, you may also experience red and itchy eyes, runny nose or coughing if you are prone to pet allergy. However, it is ideally recommended to opt for radioallergosorbent allergy testing, which includes a thorough examination of your skin and blood, to detect the root of the problem. In many cases, you may find out that the culprit is not your four-legged friend, but the hidden pollen in their hair.

Reduce the allergens in your home:

If you are allergic to your pet but do not want to part with your furry friend, there are many ways to reduce the allergens in your home:

  1. Make sure you give your pet shower on a weekly basis: Bathing your pets on a weekly basis can reduce the chances of dander shedding manifold. Consult your veterinarian to pick the pet grooming products, which are safe for regular use.
  2. HEPA air cleaners can make your life comfortable: The high-efficiency HEPA air cleaners are very effective, not only to avoid the allergy-causing dander but also dust particles and pollen, which might trigger allergies.
  3. Turn to frequent cleaning and dusting: Make sure you wear a protective mask while dusting your home. Clean the pet beds frequently. Change the curtains, bed and pillows covers and vacuum the blinds, carpets, and furniture to get rid of allergens.
  4. Treat your allergy problem: There are numerous allergy treatment methods to deal with pet allergies. Consult your allergy doctor, to opt for immunotherapy, antihistamine sprays or pills and steroidal injections. It is essential, to find a specialist who understands your love and commitment towards your furry friend because only then he or she can suggest you the best way to deal with the problem, rather than blaming your pet and giving them away.

Instead of blaming your pets every time you get an allergy, prevent the causes beforehand to endure a healthy relationship with them.

 

 

Seasonal Allergies: Tips On How To Survive The Allergy Season

seasonal allergiesWhen you are suffering from seasonal allergies, the cold weather and presence of pollen in the air mean trouble. The cool thing is that you don’t always have to worry when the allergy season comes about. To help you out, here are tips on how to survive the season:

Start taking medications early

One of the main reasons why many people struggle with the allergies is because they don’t start taking the medicines early enough. The best way of going about it is beginning to take the medications at least a few weeks before the season starts.

You should note that the medications that you took last season might not work this season; therefore, you need to visit your doctor so that he/she can undertake the necessary tests and recommend the best ones for you to go for.

Know your medications

Sometimes you might not be in a position to visit your allergy doctor. In such a situation, you don’t have another way out other than to buy the medications over the counter.

Since there are many types of medications that you can take, it’s crucial that you know the ones that you take.

One of the best ones is 10 mg Claritin for adults and 5 mg for children. You can also take Zyrtec or diphenhydramine.

When taking the medications, you should be cautious of the side effects. For example, diphenhydramine can cause morning hangover. Experts recommend that you avoid this medicine when you are driving.

Know your symptoms

Do you know that you can be affected by the allergens before even the allergy season strikes? This has happened to many, and they rush to the hospital thinking that they are suffering from another condition.

To easily control the condition, you need to know your symptoms. Some of the most common symptoms associated with the disease include: new rashes, body aches, fever, difficulty breathing, eye pain, and vision changes.

If you notice any of these, visit your nearest doctor or drug store and take the necessary medications.

Take the medications properly

Taking the right medications isn’t enough—you need to take them correctly. All you need to do is check the back of the bottle and follow the instructions. If it’s a new drug and you aren’t sure of how to take it, ask your doctor for guidance.

Conclusion

These are tips on how to survive the allergy season. As mentioned, to have an easy time, visit a reputable allergy clinic before the allergy season begins.

Asthma Treatments And Other Ways Of Managing Asthma

asthma treatments

If you have asthma you need to know how to manage it for you to live a productive life and also avoid complications. To help you out, here are tips on how to manage the condition:

Take the medications regularly

Most asthmatics make the mistake of stopping taking their asthma treatments as soon as the symptoms go away, but this shouldn’t be you. Remember that when you stop taking a given medication, you expose yourself to the condition. To be on the safe side, you need to know the controller and rescue medications.

To protect yourself, take the controller medications daily. You should take the rescue medications when the symptoms come up.

Watch the weather

You need to know how your body responds to the various weather conditions. In most people, the situation is triggered when they spend time in cold, dry air. To protect yourself, wear a scarf over your mouth and nose when you are going out in the cold.

If you suffer from seasonal allergies and are affected by high pollen and mold count, avoid going out in the middle of the day or when there is a lot of wind.

Watch the air getting in the house

The most common asthma triggers that get in the house with the air are: smoke, pollen, and polluted air. To protect yourself, watch the quality of air that you allow into the house. One of the things you should do is to install an air conditioner. You also should make a habit of keeping your house windows closed all the time, especially when there are many triggers in the air.

If insects trigger your condition, consider installing a window screen that will prevent the bugs from getting into the house.

Disinfect your home

According to allergy experts, there is a direct link between hygiene and allergy-triggering agents. If you have pests in the house, it’s only a matter of time before you develop the condition. If there are cockroaches in the house, install cockroach traps. You also should consider hiring a pest control company to help you out.

To ensure that no pests get access to your home, seal any leaks and cracks that might be in your home. Also, avoid leaving drinks, dirty plates, and food on the table.

Conclusion

These are tips on how to effectively manage asthma. Whenever you notice the symptoms, visit an allergist who will undertake a number of tests and recommend the best medications to go for.

What You Need To Know About Food Allergy And Other Forms Of Allergy

food allergy

Do you suffer from food allergy and other types of allergies? Here are a few things you should know about them:

Allergy stages

If you didn’t know, now you know that allergy goes through a series of stages that include:

Sensitization: This one comes about when you come into contact with allergens that you are sensitive to. Due to the contact, the plasma cells in the body produce immunoglobulin E (IgE).

Ready and waiting: If you are allergic to a particular allergen, this stage will come about almost immediately you come into contact with the allergen. During this stage, the body receives the allergen and prepares for it to come in again.

Inside the body, the IgE antibodies latch onto the cells of the immune system found in the skin, gastrointestinal tract, respiratory tract, blood, and skin.

The battle: As you might have guessed, the battle happens when the IgE antibodies try to get rid of the allergens. The IgE antibodies bind to the allergen, and this signals the mast cells and basophils to respond to the allergen that has invaded the body.

Due to the signaling, the cells spew out over 30 chemicals, which include histamine. The effects of the chemicals include: itching, redness, inflammation, swelling, and many other allergy related symptoms.

Late phase: The late phase happens in people and often comes about between four and 24 hours after the third stage. During this stage, the cells of the immune system move to the tissues that might have been affected in stage three.

Mistakes to avoid when having allergic reactions

When you are suffering from allergy, you need to avoid making mistakes that expose you to more risks. Some of the mistakes that you need to avoid include:

Treating the condition without knowing the cause: Studies show that most of the people rush to the drug store and buy the medications when they are suffering from allergic reactions. While this might give you some relief, it isn’t good as it results in complications.

To be on the safe side, when you regularly have the attacks, visit your local allergy clinic and take the necessary tests and the doctors will recommend the best medications that you should take.

Conclusion

These are some of the things you need to know about drug allergy and other forms of allergies. To keep yourself safe, avoid the allergy triggers.

How To Survive The Holiday Season While Suffering From Food Allergy

food allergy

As we are heading into the holiday season, the biggest worry with people suffering from food allergy is how they are going to survive the season. If you suffer from the condition you don’t have to worry as there are many strategies, you can use to ensure that you enjoy the season. Some of these strategies include:

Contact your host early enough

The main aim of any host is to organize a party that everyone will enjoy. To help the host do it while keeping yourself safe, you should contact him/her early enough. You should let the party organizer know about your condition and tell them the foods that you are comfortable taking. When you do this, you will help the host prepare food that will be appealing to everyone.

Carry your food

Another option that you can go with is to prepare your food at home and carry it to the party. You should do this if you don’t want to bother the host to cook different meals or you don’t have enough time to notify him/her about your condition.

After you have prepared your food, you should pack it safely and go with it to the party. It’s common for people to ask you why you are taking food that is different from yours. You shouldn’t shy away from explaining it to them.

You should note that it’s easy to develop the allergy at the party even if you are taking safe food. This often comes about when you take food in a plate that has the allergen. To avoid the condition, you should put the food in safe dishes. This calls for you to ask the host to give you plates that haven’t been used by other people.

Eat in advance

If you are attending a small party and you aren’t sure if there will be safe food there, you should arm yourself by eating in advance. Just like when eating different foods, people will ask questions. For example, they will want to know why you aren’t eating. Again, don’t shy away from explaining it to them.

Conclusion

These are some of the strategies that you can use to survive the holiday season safely even if you are suffering from food allergies. As mentioned above, it’s common for you to develop the allergies even if you are observing all the caution.

In addition to using the above strategies, also consider visiting an allergy clinic and take the necessary medications that will help you in the event you consume an allergen.