• Atopic Dermatitis: The First Step in the Allergic March

    Allergy doctors use the terms “Allergic March” or “Atopic March” to describe the common progression of allergic diseases throughout a patient’s lifetime. Quite often, patients are first diagnosed with atopic dermatitis, or eczema, early in childhood. This condition refers to an allergic inflammatory condition of the skin. It is referred to as an atopic disease because it typically affects individuals with a personal or family history of hay fever or asthma.

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    Symptoms

    Patients with atopic dermatitis typically develop a dry red, itchy, scaly rash that usually appears behind the elbows and knees. However, when the disease develops in infancy, the child may have tiny bumps on his or her cheeks. The dry, scaly skin tends to itch intensely. When patients engage in prolonged scratching or rubbing, the skin may become thicker than usual. Intense scratching can also lead to the development of crusted sores or weeping lesions.

    Triggers                                                                                                                    

    The intensity of this allergic disease tends to wax and wane periodically. Certain triggers can lead to a flare-up of symptoms. These triggers commonly include sweating, overheating, emotional stress, and consumption of certain foods in those that have food allergy. Exposure to irritants or allergens is another possible trigger.

    Treatments

    An allergy doctor can develop an effective management plan for patients with atopic dermatitis. It’s advisable to identify a patient’s triggers and to avoid them whenever possible. Additionally, antihistamines may be taken to alleviate the itchiness. Topical steroids or non-steroid anti-inflammatory medications can relieve the inflammation of the skin.

    Prevention

    In addition to preventing exposure to triggers, atopic dermatitis may be managed with lifestyle modifications. Allergy doctors recommend taking lukewarm baths, since hot water removes natural oils from the skin. Moisturizer should be applied daily within minutes of bathing. Patients should wear 100% cotton soft fabrics, and try to avoid fabric softeners, bleach and excessive sweating.

    Fellowship-trained, board-certified allergists/immunologists comprise the entire physician staff of Allergy & Asthma Specialists. Allergy doctors at this premier medical practice provide comprehensive allergy and asthma diagnostics and state of the art treatment, including two types of immunotherapy, at offices located in center city Philadelphia, Blue Bell, King of Prussia, Jenkintown, Doylestown, Lansdale, Pottstown, and Collegeville, Pennsylvania. Schedule today online at www.AllergyandAsthmaWellness.com or by calling 1-800-86COUGH option 2.

  • Pinpointing the Causes of Asthma Attacks

    Individuals with asthma have inflamed and swollen airways. When an asthma attack occurs, the inflammation worsens, which makes it difficult to breathe. When you visit an allergy doctor, you’ll learn that identifying your asthma attack triggers is one step in managing your symptoms. Some common asthma attack triggers include exercise, barometric pressure changes, and infections. Irritants such as cigarette smoke and allergens such as animal dander are other possible triggers.

    You can hear more about what occurs during an asthma attack by watching this video. This video uses simple diagrams to explain the link between inflammation and asthma attacks. It also discusses the role of bronchoconstriction in causing respiration difficulties.

    Board certified allergists/immunologists comprise the entire physician staff of Allergy & Asthma Specialists. Allergy doctors at this premier medical practice provide comprehensive allergy and asthma diagnostics and state of the art treatment, including two types of immunotherapy, at offices located in Philadelphia, Blue Bell, King of Prussia, Jenkintown, Doylestown, Lansdale, Pottstown, and Collegeville, PA. Schedule today online or by calling 1-800-86-COUGH.

  • Signs of a Reaction to an Antibiotic

    Medications, including antibiotics, have the potential to cause allergic reactions. In fact, antibiotics are the most common culprits of drug-related allergic reactions. An adverse reaction to an antibiotic may involve symptoms such as high blood pressure, coughing, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and facial swelling. If you experience an allergic reaction to an antibiotic, you’re likely to suffer from a rash, hives, throat swelling and tightness, and joint swelling. An allergic reaction to an antibiotic can occur within a matter of hours of taking the medication or may take weeks to develop.

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    Allergic reactions to antibiotics can even be life-threatening. This is known as anaphylaxis. If you experience any of the symptoms of anaphylaxis, call 911 immediately. These can include the sensation of a lump in the throat, hoarseness, throat tightness, wheezing, trouble breathing, and chest tightness. Anaphylaxis can also cause a tingling sensation in the scalp, lips, hands, or feet.

    Board certified allergists/immunologists comprise the entire physician staff of Allergy & Asthma Specialists. Allergy doctors at this premier medical practice provide comprehensive allergy and asthma diagnostics and state of the art treatment, including two types of immunotherapy, at offices located in center city Philadelphia, Blue Bell, King of Prussia, Jenkintown, Doylestown, Lansdale, Pottstown, and Collegeville, Pennsylvania. Schedule today online at www.AllergyandAsthmaWellness.com or by calling 1-800-86COUGH.

  • Eliminating Indoor Allergens in Your Home

    It’s common to experience allergic reactions during plant-pollinating seasons. Yet, many individuals suffer from symptoms such as nasal congestion and chronic cough throughout the year. Allergy doctors recommend taking steps to eliminate allergens within the home to improve symptoms. Common indoor allergens include dust mites, animal dander, and mold spores.

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    Combat Dust Mites

    Cleaning the home frequently can help keep dust mites under control. Dust all of the furniture regularly while wearing a NIOSH rated N95 dust mask. Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter to remove dust from carpeting or consider swapping your carpet for hardwood floors. Avoid or minimize the use of throw rugs in the bedroom. Dust mites are also frequently found in curtains, bedding, and upholstered furniture. Wash the curtains and bedding every 10 days with hot water, and invest in allergy-proof bedding covers. Stuffed animals can also collect dust, so either keep them out of the bedroom or wash them often. Clean upholstered furniture with products that deactivate dust mites. Or, consider purchasing leather furniture or other furniture with a nonporous surface.

    Reduce Animal Dander

    Dusting and cleaning the fabrics in your home will help control animal dander as well as dust mites. However, there are some additional steps you can take to reduce allergic reactions to animal dander. Keep your bedroom door closed to prevent your pet from gaining access. You can also bathe your pet at least once per week to cut down on dander and use a HEPA air cleaner in your bedroom.

    Eliminate or Reduce Mold

    If you have reactions to mold spores, maintaining proper ventilation in your home is particularly important. Use exhaust fans in your kitchen and bathroom. During the warmer months, open the window in your bathroom while showering. Disinfect your home regularly, especially the bathroom, kitchen, and basement. You may need a dehumidifier or air cleaner to maintain proper ventilation in your basement.

    Fellowship-trained, board-certified allergists/immunologists comprise the entire physician staff of Allergy & Asthma Specialists. Allergy doctors at this premier medical practice provide comprehensive allergy and asthma diagnostics and state of the art treatment, including two types of immunotherapy, at offices located in center city Philadelphia, Blue Bell, King of Prussia, Jenkintown, Doylestown, Lansdale, Pottstown, and Collegeville, Pennsylvania. Schedule today online at www.AllergyandAsthmaWellness.com or by calling 1-800-86COUGH, option 2.