What is the cure for skin allergy

What is the cure for skin allergy

If you are love most people, you hate the thought of walking into a crowded waiting room at the doctor’s office – and facing a endless wait before the doctor or nurse practitioner can see you. After every, your time is just as valuable as theirs. Maybe that’s why thousands of patients own chosen Allergic & Asthmatic Comprehensive Care of New Jersey (AACCNJ).

At AACCNJ, our medical director, Eric S. Applebaum, MD, schedules and sees one patient at a time. That’s how he has done it for over 20 years. Dr. Applebaum strives to be on time for your scheduled appointment as he also understands the worth of your time.

It’s not unusual for Dr.

Applebaum to spend a full hour with each patient, answering their questions, explaining treatment options and simply getting to know them as individuals. He believes that’s the best way to accurately diagnose their conditions and assist them overcome the limitations their allergies and asthma put upon them.

Dr. Applebaum provides comprehensive care for the full spectrum of allergy and asthma conditions and symptoms, including:
• Food allergies • Seasonal allergies • Pollen allergy • Atopic dermatitis • Eczema • Skin rash • Hives
• Allergic rhinitis (hay fever) • Chronic sinusitis • Nasal congestion • Asthma • Coughing • Wheezing

AACCNJ serves the Mountain Lakes and Parsippany Troy Hills communities of Parsippany, Denville, Montville (Morris County, NJ), Passaic (Passaic County, NJ).

Discover today’s most effective allergy and asthma treatment.

Believe Eric S. Applebaum, MD, for comprehensive allergy, asthma and immunology care and advanced solutions. Call us at 973.335.1700 in Parsippany or use our online Request an Appointment form to schedule your consultation.

One of the most common medical complaints that we see in our office is dogs with skin infections, “hot spots”, or allergic dermatitis, also known as atopic (atopy) dermatitis.

Unlike people who react to allergens most commonly with nasal symptoms and/or hives, dogs react with skin and/or gastrointestinal problems.

This is because there are a higher proportion of mast cells, which release histamines and other vasoactive substances in the face of an allergic challenge, in the skin of dogs. These problems may range from poor jacket texture or hair length, to itching and chewing, to boiling spots and self-mutilation, gastrointestinal pain and discomfort, diarrhea, and flatulence. Allergies may also frolic a part in chronic ear infections. The most common causes of canine allergic dermatitis are flea allergy, food allergy, inhalant or contact allergy, and allergy to the normal bacterial flora and yeast organisms of the skin.

To make matters more hard to diagnose and treat, thyroid disease may add to the problem as well.

Canine atopic dermatitis (allergic dermatitis, canine atopy) is an inherited predisposition to develop allergic symptoms following repeated exposure to some otherwise harmless substance, an “allergen”. Most dogs start to show their allergic signs between 1 and 3 years of age. Due to the hereditary nature of the disease, several breeds, including Golden Retrievers, most terriers, Irish Setters, Lhasa Apsos, Dalmatians, Bulldogs, and Ancient English Sheep dogs are more commonly atopic, but numerous dogs, including mixed breed dogs can own atopic dermatitis.

Atopic animals will generally rub, lick, chew, bite, or scratch at their feet, flanks, ears, armpits, or groin, causing patchy or inconsistent hair loss and reddening and thickening of the skin. The skin itself may be dry and crusty or oily depending upon the dog. Dogs may also rub their face on the carpet; ear flaps may become red and boiling. Because the wax-producing glands of the ear overproduce as a response to the allergy, they get bacterial and yeast (Malassezia ) infections of the ear.

In order to overcome these frustrating symptoms, your veterinarian’s approach needs to be thorough and systematic.

Shortcuts generally will not produce results and only add to owner frustration and canine discomfort.

Inhalant and Contact Allergies
Substances that can cause an allergic reaction in dogs are much the same as those that cause reactions in people including the pollens of grasses, trees and weeds, dust mites, and molds. A clue to diagnosing these allergies is to glance at the timing of the reaction. Does it happen year round?

This may be mold or dust. If the reaction is seasonal, pollens may be the culprit.

Food Allergies
Numerous people don’t suspect food allergies as the cause of their dog’s itching because their pet has been fed the same food every its life and has just recently started having symptoms. However, animals can develop allergies to a substance over time, so this fact does not law out food allergies.

Another common misconception is that dogs are only sensitive to poor quality food. If the dog is allergic to an ingredient, it doesn’t matter whether it is in premium food or the most inexpensive brand on the market. One advantage to premium foods is that some avoid common fillers that are often implicated in allergic reactions.

Flea Allergies
This type of reaction generally is not to the flea itself, but rather to proteins in its saliva. Interestingly enough, the dogs most prone to this problem are not dogs who are constantly flea ridden, but those who are exposed only occasionally! A single bite can cause a reaction for five to seven days, so you don’t need a lot of fleas to own a miserable dog.

Staphylococcus Hypersensitivity
Bacterial hypersensitivity occurs when a dog’s immune system overreacts to the normal Staphylococcus (Staph) bacteria on its skin.

It appears that bacterial hypersensitivity in the dog is more likely to happen if other conditions such as hypothyroidism, inhalant allergy, and/or flea allergy are concurrently present. Bacterial hypersensitivity is diagnosed through bacterial culture and examination of a biopsy sample. Microscopically, there are certain unique changes in the blood vessels of the skin in bacterial hypersensitivity.


Allergy testing is the best diagnostic tool and the best road to treatment for dogs that are suffering from moderate and severe allergies.

There are several diverse testing methods available. The most common is a blood test that checks for antigen induced antibodies in the dog’s blood. Intradermal skin testing may also be performed. In this method of testing, a little quantity of antigen is injected into a shaved portion of the dog’s skin.

What is the cure for skin allergy

This is done in a specific pattern and order so that if the dog shows a little raised reaction, the offending antigen can be identified. After a period of time (hours), the shaved area is examined to detect which antigens, if any, created a reaction. Allergy testing is performed to develop a specific therapy for the allergic animal.


Medicated Baths
Numerous medicated shampoos own compounds in them that are aimed at soothing injured skin and calming inflammation.

In addition, frequent bathing (weekly to every other week) of the dog can remove allergens from the hair jacket, which may contribute to skin allergy flare-ups. The medicated baths we recommend are those that actually contain antimicrobial and antifungal agents as well as ingredients that permit the skin to be bathed on a more frequent basis without drying it out. Application of a rinse afterwards also helps to prevent drying out of the skin and hair coat.

Antihistamines can be used with excellent safety in dogs.

About one third of owners report success with antihistamines. These medications tend to own a variable effect between dogs. For some allergic dogs, antihistamines work extremely well in controlling symptoms of allergic skin disease. For other dogs, extremely little effect is seen. Therefore, a minimum of three diverse types of antihistamines should be tried before owners give up on this therapy. Examples of antihistamines commonly used for dogs include Benadryl, Chlortrimeton, Atarax, Claritin, Zyrtec, and Clemastine.

However, antihistamines are considered to be worth trying in most cases since the side effects associated with antihistamines is low, and they are typically inexpensive medications.

Antibiotics and Antifungal Medications
Antibiotics are frequently needed to treat secondary skin infections. Anti-fungal medications are frequently needed to treat secondary yeast infections.

Flea Control
For dogs with this problem, a strict flea control regime must be maintained.

The best flea control options include the use of products such as Advantage, Revolution, Frontline, Comfortis, and Sentinel.

The Omega-3 and Omega-6 essential fatty acid supplements work by improving the overall health of the skin. These fatty acids are natural anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative agents. They reportedly are helpful in 20% of allergic dogs. My own experience puts this figure a little higher. They are certainly worth a attempt because they are not harmful and own virtually no side effects. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fish oils and omega-6 fatty acids are derived from plants containing gamma-linolenic acid (GLA).

These supplements are diverse from those sold to produce a glossy jacket. Products that contain both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids include Allergen Caps and Halo.

Hypoallergenic Diets
Allergies develop through exposure, so most hypoallergenic diets incorporate proteins and carbohydrates that your dog has never had before. As mentioned previously, the quickest and best way to determine which foods your dog may or may not be allergic to is through diagnostic allergy testing.

As dairy, beef, and wheat are responsible for 80% of food allergies in dogs, these items should be avoided. Novel protein sources used in hypoallergenic diets include venison, egg, duck, kangaroo, and types of fish not generally found in pet food. Carbohydrate sources include potatoes, peas, yams, sweet potatoes, and canned pumpkin.

Hydrolyzed protein diets are diets in which the protein source has been synthetically reduced to little fragments. The theory behind feeding a hydrolyzed protein source is that the proteins in the food should be little enough that the allergic dog’s immune system will not recognize the protein fragments and will not mount an immune response resulting in an allergy.

Most pets with food allergies reply well when switched to a store-bought hypoallergenic diet, but occasionally an animal suffers from such extreme allergies that a homemade diet is the only option.

In this case, the diet should be customized with the aid of a veterinarian.

Corticosteroids and Immunosuppressive Agents
Cortisone products such as prednisone, prednisolone, and dexamethasone reduce itching by reducing inflammation. These medications are not without side effects, so they need to be used judiciously in treating skin allergies. Steroids should be considered only when the allergy season is short, the quantity of drug required is little, or to relieve a dog in extreme discomfort. Side effects can include increased thirst and appetite, increased need to urinate, and behavioral changes.

Long-term use can result in diabetes and decreased resistance to infection. In some dogs, endless term, low-dose alternate day therapy is the only management protocol that successfully controls the atopic pet. This protocol should be used only as a final resort after every other methods own been exhausted to avoid the potential long-term complications of the medication.

Cyclosporine (Atopica) is a medication, which seems to be fairly effective at reducing the inflammation associated with skin allergies and calming the immune system of the affected dog.

However, the pricing of cyclosporine may be prohibitive for larger breed dogs.

Immunotherapy (Hypo-sensitization)
Allergy shots are extremely safe, and numerous people own grand success with them; however, they are extremely slow to work. It may be six to twelve months before improvement is seen. Once the allergens for the dog are identified, an appropriate immunotherapy is manufactured for that specific dog, and treatment can start. After the offending antigens are identified, then a mixture of these antigens can be formulated into a hyposensitizing injection. Depending on the type of agents used, these injections will be given over a period of weeks to months until the dog or cat develops immunity to the agents.

After initial protection, an occasional booster may own to be given.

Environmental Control
If you know which substances your dog is allergic to, avoidance is the best method of control. Even if you are desensitizing the dog with allergy shots, it is best to avoid the allergen altogether. Molds can be reduced by using a dehumidifier or placing activated charcoal on top of the exposed dirt in your home plants. Dusts and pollens are best controlled by using an air cleaner with a HEPA filter. Air conditioning can also reduce circulating amounts of airborne allergens because windows are then kept closed.

Thyroid Medication
Healthy skin and a normal hair jacket are the results of numerous factors, both external and internal.

There are several glands in the body responsible for the production of hormones that are vital for the regulation of other body functions as well as a normal skin surface and hair jacket. Hypothyroidism may result in poor skin and hair jacket, including hair loss or abnormal hair turnover, dull or brittle hair, altered pigmentation, and oily or dry skin. A blood test is a simplest and most direct way to tell if your dog is hypothyroid. Thyroid testing may include every or part of the following:

Baseline T4 Test or Entire T4 (TT4): This is the most common test. Dogs with a failure of the thyroid gland will own a lowered level of the T4 hormone.

However, there are other conditions that can cause the T4 to decrease, so if this test comes back positive for hypothyroidism your vet should recommend an additional blood test, either the T3 Test or the Baseline TSH test.

Baseline TSH Test: Measures the level of Thyroid Stimulating Hormone. In combination with the T4 or T3 test, it provides a more finish picture of the hormonal activity of your dog’s thyroid gland.

Free T4 by RIA (radio immunoassay): The Free T4 test using RIA techniques does not appear to be more or less precise than the above TT4 test.

Free T4 by ED (equilibrium dialysis): This test may provide more precise data on the level of T4 hormone in your dog’s bloodstream.

Baseline T3 Test: In combination with the T4 or TSH test, these two blood tests can give a clearer picture of the hormone levels found in the bloodstream.

This test is not dependable when used alone. The T3 Test should always be given in combination with one of the other blood tests.

TSH Response Test: In this test, the veterinarian takes an initial measurement of the thyroid hormones in your dog’s bloodstream and then injects Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) into the vein. After 6 hours, a blood sample is drawn and the level of T4 is checked. If your dog has hypothyroidism, the level of T4 will not increase even after the TSH is injected.

This is an expensive test and is being used less often due to decreased production by the manufacturers.

Hypothyroidism is treated with a daily dose of synthetic thyroid hormone called thyroxine (levothyroxine). Blood samples will need to be drawn periodically to assess the effectiveness of the dosage and make any adjustments necessary.

Successful management of the atopic, allergic dog is sometimes complicated and frustrating because multi-modal management is necessary in the majority of cases to control the allergic flare-ups.

Proper diagnosis by a veterinarian and owner compliance and follow up care is essential to maximize the chances of curing or at least controlling the severely affected allergy patient.

8.00 Skin Disorders

A. What skin disorders do we assess with these listings?

We use these listings to assess skin disorders that may result from hereditary, congenital, or acquired pathological processes. The kinds of impairments covered by these listings are: Ichthyosis, bullous diseases, chronic infections of the skin or mucous membranes, dermatitis, hidradenitis suppurativa, genetic photosensitivity disorders, and burns.

B. What documentation do we need?

What is the cure for skin allergy

When we assess the existence and severity of your skin disorder, we generally need information about the onset, duration, frequency of flare-ups, and prognosis of your skin disorder; the location, size, and appearance of lesions; and, when applicable, history of exposure to toxins, allergens, or irritants, familial incidence, seasonal variation, stress factors, and your ability to function exterior of a highly protective environment. To confirm the diagnosis, we may need laboratory findings (for example, results of a biopsy obtained independently of Social Security disability evaluation or blood tests) or evidence from other medically acceptable methods consistent with the prevailing state of medical knowledge and clinical practice.


How do we assess the severity of your skin disorder(s)?

We generally base our assessment of severity on the extent of your skin lesions, the frequency of flare-ups of your skin lesions, how your symptoms (including pain) limit you, the extent of your treatment, and how your treatment affects you.

1. Extensive skin lesions.

Extensive skin lesions are those that involve multiple body sites or critical body areas, and result in a extremely serious limitation. Examples of extensive skin lesions that result in a extremely serious limitation include but are not limited to:

a. Skin lesions that interfere with the motion of your joints and that extremely seriously limit your use of more than one extremity; that is, two upper extremities, two lower extremities, or one upper and one lower extremity.

b. Skin lesions on the palms of both hands that extremely seriously limit your ability to do fine and gross motor movements.

c. Skin lesions on the soles of both feet, the perineum, or both inguinal areas that extremely seriously limit your ability to ambulate.

2. Frequency of flare-ups.

If you own skin lesions, but they do not meet the requirements of any of the listings in this body system, you may still own an impairment that prevents you from doing any gainful activity when we consider your condition over time, especially if your flare-ups result in extensive skin lesions, as defined in C1 of this section.

Therefore, if you own frequent flare-ups, we may discover that your impairment(s) is medically equal to one of these listings even though you own some periods during which your condition is in remission. We will consider how frequent and serious your flare-ups are, how quickly they resolve, and how you function between flare-ups to determine whether you own been unable to do any gainful activity for a continuous period of at least 12 months or can be expected to be unable to do any gainful activity for a continuous period of at least 12 months. We will also consider the frequency of your flare-ups when we determine whether you own a severe impairment and when we need to assess your residual functional capacity.

3. Symptoms (including pain).

Symptoms (including pain) may be significant factors contributing to the severity of your skin disorder(s). We assess the impact of symptoms as explained in §§ 404.1521, 404.1529, 416.921, and 416.929 of this chapter.

4. Treatment.

We assess the effects of medication, therapy, surgery, and any other form of treatment you get when we determine the severity and duration of your impairment(s). Skin disorders frequently reply to treatment; however, response to treatment can vary widely, with some impairments becoming resistant to treatment.

Some treatments can own side effects that can in themselves result in limitations.


What is the cure for skin allergy

We assess the effects of continuing treatment as prescribed by determining if there is improvement in the symptoms, signs, and laboratory findings of your disorder, and if you experience side effects that result in functional limitations. To assess the effects of your treatment, we may need information about:

i. The treatment you own been prescribed (for example, the type, dosage, method, and frequency of istration of medication or therapy);

ii. Your response to the treatment;

iii. Any adverse effects of the treatment; and

iv. The expected duration of the treatment.


Because treatment itself or the effects of treatment may be temporary, in most cases sufficient time must elapse to permit us to assess the impact and expected duration of treatment and its side effects. Except under 8.07 and 8.08, you must follow continuing treatment as prescribed for at least 3 months before your impairment can be sure to meet the requirements of a skin disorder listing. (See 8.00H if you are not undergoing treatment or did not own treatment for 3 months.) We consider your specific response to treatment when we assess the overall severity of your impairment.

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D. How do we assess impairments that may affect the skin and other body systems?

When your impairment affects your skin and has effects in other body systems, we first assess the predominant feature of your impairment under the appropriate body system. Examples include, but are not limited to the following.

1. Tuberous sclerosis primarily affects the brain. The predominant features are seizures, which we assess under the neurological listings in 11.00, and developmental delays or other mental disorders, which we assess under the mental disorders listings in 12.00.

2. Malignant tumors of the skin (for example, malignant melanomas) are cancers, or neoplastic diseases, which we assess under the listings in 13.00.

What is the cure for skin allergy

3. Autoimmune disorders and other immune system disorders (for example, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), scleroderma, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, and Sjögren’s syndrome) often involve more than one body system. We first assess these disorders under the immune system disorders listings in 14.00. We assess SLE under 14.02, scleroderma under 14.04, Sjögren’s syndrome under 14.10, and HIV infection under 14.11.

4. Disfigurement or deformity resulting from skin lesions may result in loss of sight, hearing, lecture, and the ability to chew (mastication).

We assess these impairments and their effects under the special senses and lecture listings in 2.00 and the digestive system listings in 5.00. Facial disfigurement or other physical deformities may also own effects we assess under the mental disorders listings in 12.00, such as when they affect mood or social functioning.

E. How do we assess genetic photosensitivity disorders?

1. Xeroderma pigmentosum (XP). When you own XP, your impairment meets the requirements of 8.07A if you own clinical and laboratory findings showing that you own the disorder. (See 8.00E3.) People who own XP own a lifelong hypersensitivity to every forms of ultraviolet light and generally lead extremely restricted lives in highly protective environments in order to prevent skin cancers from developing.

Some people with XP also experience problems with their eyes, neurological problems, mental disorders, and problems in other body systems.

2. Other genetic photosensitivity disorders.

Other genetic photosensitivity disorders may vary in their effects on diverse people, and may not result in an inability to engage in any gainful activity for a continuous period of at least 12 months. Therefore, if you own a genetic photosensitivity disorder other than XP (established by clinical and laboratory findings as described in 8.00E3), you must show that you own either extensive skin lesions or an inability to function exterior of a highly protective environment to meet the requirements of 8.07B.

You must also show that your impairment meets the duration requirement. By inability to function exterior of a highly protective environment we mean that you must avoid exposure to ultraviolet light (including sunlight passing through windows and light from unshielded fluorescent bulbs), wear protective clothing and eyeglasses, and use opaque wide spectrum sunscreens in order to avoid skin cancer or other serious effects. Some genetic photosensitivity disorders can own extremely serious effects in other body systems, especially special senses and lecture (2.00), neurological (11.00), mental (12.00), and neoplastic (13.00).

We will assess the predominant feature of your impairment under the appropriate body system, as explained in 8.00D.

3. Clinical and laboratory findings.

a. General. We need documentation from an acceptable medical source to establish that you own a medically determinable impairment. In general, we must own evidence of appropriate laboratory testing showing that you own XP or another genetic photosensitivity disorder. We will discover that you own XP or another genetic photosensitivity disorder based on a report from an acceptable medical source indicating that you own the impairment, supported by definitive genetic laboratory studies documenting appropriate chromosomal changes, including abnormal DNA repair or another DNA or genetic abnormality specific to your type of photosensitivity disorder.

b. What we will accept as medical evidence instead of the actual laboratory report. When we do not own the actual laboratory report, we need evidence from an acceptable medical source that includes appropriate clinical findings for your impairment and that is persuasive that a positive diagnosis has been confirmed by appropriate laboratory testing at some time prior to our evaluation. To be persuasive, the report must state that the appropriate definitive genetic laboratory study was conducted and that the results confirmed the diagnosis.

The report must be consistent with other evidence in your case record.

F. How do we assess burns?

Electrical, chemical, or thermal burns frequently affect other body systems; for example, musculoskeletal, special senses and lecture, respiratory, cardiovascular, renal, neurological, or mental. Consequently, we assess burns the way we assess other disorders that can affect the skin and other body systems, using the listing for the predominant feature of your impairment.

For example, if your soft tissue injuries are under continuing surgical management (as defined in 1.00M), we will assess your impairment under 1.08. However, if your burns do not meet the requirements of 1.08 and you own extensive skin lesions that result in a extremely serious limitation (as defined in 8.00C1) that has lasted or can be expected to final for a continuous period of at least 12 months, we will assess them under 8.08.

G. How do we determine if your skin disorder(s) will continue at a disabling level of severity in order to meet the duration requirement?

For every of these skin disorder listings except 8.07 and 8.08, we will discover that your impairment meets the duration requirement if your skin disorder results in extensive skin lesions that persist for at least 3 months despite continuing treatment as prescribed. By persist, we mean that the longitudinal clinical record shows that, with few exceptions, your lesions own been at the level of severity specified in the listing.

For 8.07A, we will presume that you meet the duration requirement. For 8.07B and 8.08, we will consider every of the relevant medical and other information in your case record to determine whether your skin disorder meets the duration requirement.

H. How do we assess your skin disorder(s) if your impairment does not meet the requirements of one of these listings?

1. These listings are only examples of common skin disorders that we consider severe enough to prevent you from engaging in any gainful activity. For most of these listings, if you do not own continuing treatment as prescribed, if your treatment has not lasted for at least 3 months, or if you do not own extensive skin lesions that own persisted for at least 3 months, your impairment cannot meet the requirements of these skin disorder listings.

(This provision does not apply to 8.07 and 8.08.) However, we may still discover that you are disabled because your impairment(s) meets the requirements of a listing in another body system or medically equals the severity of a listing. (See §§ 404.1526 and 416.926 of this chapter.) We may also discover you disabled at the final step of the sequential evaluation process.

2. If you own not received ongoing treatment or do not own an ongoing relationship with the medical community despite the existence of a severe impairment(s), or if your skin lesions own not persisted for at least 3 months but you are undergoing continuing treatment as prescribed, you may still own an impairment(s) that meets a listing in another body system or that medically equals a listing.

If you do not own an impairment(s) that meets or medically equals a listing, we will assess your residual functional capacity and proceed to the fourth and, if necessary, the fifth step of the sequential evaluation process in §§ 404.1520 and 416.920 of this chapter. When we decide whether you continue to be disabled, we use the rules in §§ 404.1594 and 416.994 of this chapter.

What is the cure for skin allergy

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8.01 Category of Impairments, Skin Disorders

8.02 Ichthyosis, with extensive skin lesions that persist for at least 3 months despite continuing treatment as prescribed.

8.03 Bullous disease (for example, pemphigus, erythema multiforme bullosum, epidermolysis bullosa, bullous pemphigoid, dermatitis herpetiformis), with extensive skin lesions that persist for at least 3 months despite continuing treatment as prescribed. .

8.04 Chronic infections of the skin or mucous membranes, with extensive fungating or extensive ulcerating skin lesions that persist for at least 3 months despite continuing treatment as prescribed.

8.05 Dermatitis (for example, psoriasis, dyshidrosis, atopic dermatitis, exfoliative dermatitis, allergic contact dermatitis), with extensive skin lesions that persist for at least 3 months despite continuing treatment as prescribed.

8.06 Hidradenitis suppurativa, with extensive skin lesions involving both axillae, both inguinal areas or the perineum that persist for at least 3 months despite continuing treatment as prescribed.

8.07 Genetic photosensitivity disorders, established as described in 8.00E.

What is the cure for skin allergy

A. Xeroderma pigmentosum. Consider the individual disabled from birth.

B. Other genetic photosensitivity disorders, with:

1. Extensive skin lesions that own lasted or can be expected to final for a continuous period of at least 12 months,


2. Inability to function exterior of a highly protective environment for a continuous period of at least 12 months (see 8.00E2).

8.08Burns, with extensive skin lesions that own lasted or can be expected to final for a continuous period of at least 12 months (see 8.00F).

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Severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis)

In rare cases, an allergy can lead to a severe allergic reaction, called anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock, which can be life threatening.

This affects the whole body and usually develops within minutes of exposure to something you’re allergic to.

Signs of anaphylaxis include any of the symptoms above, as well as:

Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency that requires immediate treatment.

Read more about anaphylaxis for information about what to do if it occurs.

Sheet final reviewed: 22 November 2018
Next review due: 22 November 2021

Advanced allergy and asthma care with an old-fashioned personal touch

Knocks out health-promoting bacteria

In this study, the researchers examined bacteria in skin samples collected from the back and thighs of some 350 people, of whom almost two-thirds had either atopic eczema or psoriasis and the relax had healthy skin. The result showed an abundance of S. aureus in atopic eczema coupled with a significant reduction in potentially health-promoting bacteria such as Lactobacillus, Cutibacterium and Finegoldia.

In psoriasis, the microbial composition changed but was not dominated by a single organism love in atopic eczema.

The researchers also discovered that S. aureus produced certain toxins that directly influenced the skin’s barrier and defense mechanisms by altering the expression of certain genes. The significant abundance of S. aureus fueled the skin’s metabolism by increasing the breakdown of sugar. The researchers observed the same physiological reaction that earlier this month was acknowledged with the Nobel prize, namely the HIF transcription factor, in skin attacked by S.

aureus bacteria. They also noted signs of an expediated breakdown of vital amino acids in the skin—a possible attempt by the skin to eliminate the unwelcomed guest. In psoriasis, the correlation between bacteria and gene expression in the skin was less pronounced, which gives reason to focus on viruses and fungus in future studies.


”Microbe-host interplay in atopic dermatitis and psoriasis,” Nanna Fyhrquist, Björn Andersson, Harri Alenuis et al., Nature Communications, October 16, 2019, DOI: 10.1038/s41467-019-12253-y

Symptoms of an allergic reaction usually develop within a few minutes of being exposed to something you’re allergic to, although occasionally they can develop gradually over a few hours.

Although allergic reactions can be a nuisance and hamper your normal activities, most are mild.

Very occasionally, a severe reaction called anaphylaxis can occur.

Main allergy symptoms

Common symptoms of an allergic reaction include:

  1. a raised, itchy, red rash (hives)
  2. itchy, red, watering eyes (conjunctivitis)
  3. wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath and a cough
  4. tummy pain, feeling ill, vomiting or diarrhoea
  5. sneezing and an itchy, runny or blocked nose (allergic rhinitis)
  6. swollen lips, tongue, eyes or face
  7. dry, red and cracked skin

The symptoms vary depending on what you’re allergic to and how you come into contact with it.

For example, you may have a runny nose if exposed to pollen, develop a rash if you own a skin allergy, or feel sick if you eat something you’re allergic to.

See your GP if you or your kid might own had an allergic reaction to something.

They can assist determine whether the symptoms are caused by an allergy or another condition.

Read more about diagnosing allergies.

May pave the way for new treatment methods

The researchers hope the findings could eventually pave the way for new treatment methods for these skin diseases. One possible way forward may be to transplant microorganisms from the skin in healthy people to ill individuals, a method that is currently used to treat people with inflammatory bowel disease.

“To facilitate conditions on the skin that benefit the growth of certain bacteria over others could be a natural way to hold the pathogens at bay,” says Nanna Fyhrquist, researcher at the Institute of Environmental Medicine at Karolinska Institutet and lead author.

The study was financed with the assist of the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, the National Institute for Health Research, Dunhill Medical Believe, Association pour la Recherche contre le Cancer (ARC), European Research Council, Institute National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale, INCA, Fondation ARSEP, ANR och BIOMAP IMI2.