Many people suffer from allergies, some without even knowing the cause of their symptoms. Allergies exist in many forms and can affect all ages, races, and sexes, though they are most common in children. They may come and go, or be present your entire life.
Allergies typically develop when the body is exposed to allergens (allergy-producing substances) during a period of reduced immune response, such as illness or pregnancy. Allergens include (but are not limited to) pollen, bee venom, pet dander, and foods. When exposed to an allergen, your immune system produces antibodies. If you have an allergy, your body perceives a particular allergen as harmful, and contact with that allergen will cause your immune system to react and inflame your skin, sinus, airways, and/or digestive system.
The severity of an allergic reaction varies between individuals, and can range from minor irritation to potentially life-threatening emergencies.
Common symptoms of allergies include:
- Skin rashes, itching, and inflammation
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Watery, red, or swollen eyes
- Upset stomach
- Difficulty breathing
- Tingling or swelling in the affected area
Allergic reactions can be triggered by a wide variety of substances, and you may be allergic to more than one. Common triggers are:
- Airborne allergens (pollen, dust mites, mold, and animal dander)
- Insect stings (such as from a bee or a wasp)
- Medications (particularly antibiotics like penicillin or penicillin-based medications)
- Certain foods (peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, soy, fish, shellfish, eggs, and milk)
- Latex or other substances that you touch
Some patients also experience occupational allergic rhinitis, a condition in which they are allergic to workplace substances such as chemical fumes and cleaning products. Occupational allergic rhinitis can trigger and worsen allergy symptoms.
Whether you suffer from allergies or are wondering what steps you can take to help prevent allergies, we invite you to contact Dermatology & Plastic Surgery Specialists at 760-773-6616. Our dermatologist, Dr. Michael J. Messina, offers a variety of treatments and information about allergies in Palm Desert, California, to help you control your allergies and live a full life without worry. Please feel free to give our office a call today to schedule an appointment.
To learn more about allergic reactions, we invite you to visit the following pages: