Allergies, also known as allergic rhinitis, allergic contact dermatitis, and contact hypersensitivity, are a major problem for people all over the world. With more than 2 million new allergies being reported each year, it is important that we begin treating these allergies before they become serious.
Allergies attack the body’s glands. These glands produce the essential elements required for an ideal environment. A person’s immune system can also be compromised when allergies attack their skin, and that is when the symptoms appear.
Allergy symptoms can occur in various forms and intensity. They can be generalized into two groups – allergenic and non-allergic. The most common allergy symptoms include watery or runny eyes, watering of the mouth, coughing, wheezing, sinusitis, swelling, and skin rashes.
Children and adults alike will experience allergy symptoms. Allergy symptoms can begin at any age, and sometimes they may appear immediately or after just a few days of exposure to the allergen.
There can be a sudden outbreak of allergies in children. These often occur after an attack on a very specific allergen. Even something as harmless as meringue or peanuts may provoke an allergic reaction, especially when they are consumed by an older child who has not developed an immunity to them.
Allergic rhinitis is the most common type of allergy. This occurs when the allergen affects the nose, the nasal passage, or the upper respiratory tract. It can affect almost anyone, and it can be very dangerous to an allergic person if he or she is exposed to it repeatedly.
People with very sensitive nasal passages or with allergic eyes should be particularly cautious about eating food. Many food additives are allergens. A person who eats food that contains onions or peanuts could unknowingly ingest a substance that triggers his or her allergy symptoms.
Allergic contact dermatitis is a type of infection that can occur around the area of a contact allergy. Allergens can be the irritants in cosmetics and toiletries, in hair dyes and bleaches, or in makeup, bath products, shampoos, and toothpaste. These chemicals cause a rash that resembles eczema.
Even cosmetic companies can make use of chemical substances that are allergens, and they are sometimes called hypoallergenic touch-ups. Skincare products that contain alcohol or formaldehyde are particularly hazardous.
Allergic contact dermatitis can be treated with prescription drugs, corticosteroids, antihistamines, and the less safe but much cheaper herbal remedies. The latter can be very effective in reducing or avoiding the symptoms of allergic contact dermatitis. Medications such as phenol and Mercurochrome have also proved to be effective.
If a person suffers from severe allergies, immunotherapy is available. Immunotherapy involves administering a protein directly to the patient, preventing the body from making the allergen. It works best on extremely sensitive skin, and to a lesser extent on the eyes.