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sabiha asked...

Managing the embarrassment and discomfort due to allergies

I have had an allergy for the past 2years which was fine last year but has returned again. I am constantly itchy and have red blotches all over my body. I used to work for virgin but as of today been transferred over to Nuffield . I am really struggling with my daily routine as I am constantly itchy. I got told 2 years ago I was allergic to dust and timothy grass but a recent blood test said I have high protein in my CRP. I have to go back to my GP in 4 weeks for another blood test. In the meantime I'm struggling with the pain I have on a daily basis.

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The answer

An allergy is an immune response by the body to a harmless substance, typically a food, pollen, fur, or dust.  Children can be prone to allergies and the allergy symptoms may disappear in childhood.  Sometimes adults can develop allergies as they get older with no previous experience of allergies.  Some families are prone to developing allergies and allergic symptoms and these families may have a history of hayfever, eczema or asthma.



Some of the symptoms of allergies can be:

•    a red and itchy rash
•    a runny nose and nasal congestion
•    wheezing from the lungs and coughing.  
•    Sneezing
•    Watery eyes that are red and itchy

Cause:

The symptoms of allergies are due to the body’s immune system reacting to substances which are harmless. The body triggers the release of histamine an inflammatory chemical that accounts for some of the symptoms of allergies.

Treatment:

The symptoms of allergies can be managed well with the following treatments or a combination of treatments.   Where possible we can try to avoid the allergen, but this can sometimes be very difficult due to the allergen being widespread in the environment and applying restrictions can affect the quality of our day to day life with sometimes little impact on the symptoms.  In most cases avoidance of allergens may still mean we have to use some of the following treatments.

•    antihistamines
•    decongestants
•    steroids
•    creams and lotions
•    immunotherapy
•    avoidance of the allergen

The management of allergy symptoms is typically managed by your general practitioner.    Your general practitioner may refer you to a dermatologist or immunologist if your skin symptoms are not controlled very well on the treatments discussed or the use of medications throughout the year is prolonged.



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