Allergies are hypersensitive reactions of the immune system, and allergic reactions range from mild to severe. They may be associated with runny nose, eczema, asthma or even anaphylactic shock and death. They result in an increased production of the immunoglobulin IgE. The overproduction of IgE results in the excessive activation of specific white cells, known as mast cells and basophils. These cells contain packets of histamine that can produce hives, itching and redness. Oral and topical steroids, antihistamines, and immunosuppressants are helpful in reducing the symptoms associated with these reactions.
Dr Dan’s Cortibalm and Dr. Dan’s Hand Lotion both work to reduce the symptoms of itching, swelling and redness associated with allergic reactions. Routine application can help your lips and skin feel softer and smoother.
What are Allergies?
Allergies are hypersensitive responses of the immune system. These responses occur when someone’s immune system responds to a substance in the environment that is recognized as “foreign” to the individual’s immune system. This substance called an allergen, produces an allergic response in the immune system. The response may be as mild as a sneeze or rash or as severe as anaphylactic shock, bronchoconstriction or even death. Most allergic responses are mild and result in the release of chemicals from cells that help to make up the immune system. These cells include lymphocytes, neutrophils, mast cells, eosinophils and macrophages. These cells contain chemicals such as histamines, bradykinins and hydrolytic enzymes that are released into your system when an allergic response occurs.
One of the most common allergic responses is called contact dermatitis. When an individual’s skin comes in direct contact with an allergen such as poison ivy, the oil on the leaves produces an allergic response. This results in the release of the cells containing chemicals that produce the raised, red, itching rash associated with poison ivy and similar plants.
How do I know if I have an Allergy?
The easiest way to identify an allergy is to associate the allergen with the allergic response. In the case of poison ivy, this can be fairly straight forward. If you are aware of a recent contact with this plant and develop a rash, you are more than likely allergic to it. In some cases, finding the allergen, or the substance that you are allergic to, is more difficult. In these cases, going to an allergist and having skin testing performed, will help you identify your allergies.
How do I treat my Allergies?
The most important part of treating allergies is to identify the substance you are allergic to and avoid it. If you do happen to develop and allergic reaction, the treatment is based on the type of reaction you have. Severe, life threatening reactions should be treated with the administration of epinephrine. Other symptoms may be treated appropriately with antihistamines, glucocorticoids, theophylline, decongestants and other medications.