Allergic Reactions

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allergic-reactionMechanisms of Allergic Reactions

The most common hypersensitivity reaction is the allergic reaction. In susceptible people, IgE antibodies are induced when an individual is exposed to such antigens as airborne pollen of grasses, trees or weeds; animal dander, urine or saliva; mold spores; various insect-derived dusts and airborne organic dust; the venom of a certain stinging insect; or specific foods or drugs.

Allergens are antigens that produce allergic reactions. As encountered in nature, most allergic substances contain many different antigens or molecules capable of inducing an immune response. Most of the time, however, only a few of the antigens in these substances act as allergens. In recent years, allergens from a few pollen and animal sources have been identified, characterized and in many cases, isolated in pure form. In most cases the allergens clearly identified have proven to be proteins in a specific weight range of 10,000 to 40,000 daltons or in other words, they are microscopic in size.

The Single Allergy Gene Theory

We do not yet know what it is that leads to the spontaneous production of large amounts of IgE antibodies in some people. Recent evidence suggest that a person’s total IgE level is genetically determined by a single gene. In allergic individuals, the IgE levels are often two to four times above normal and is presumed to be from a result of the person’s  previous responses to environmental allergens. Exposure to small doses of antigens tend to favor IgE antibody production that is regulated by both helper and suppressor T cells.

Scientist now know that the level of IgE antibodies for ragweed-pollen antigens rises dramatically during and immediate after the annual ragweed season. The level then falls slowly until the next pollen season starts, when it rises quickly again.  Apparantly, T cells cause an influx of mast cells and basophils into an area such as the nose lining when exposed to ragweed pollen. As a result, symptoms of ragweed allergies can occur weeks after the official ragweed season has ended.

Allergy researchers have concluded that to understand and control allergic diseases, we must understand how the immune system functions. Recent knowledge has been harnessed allowing scientist to better control allergic reactions by controlling how the immune system reacts to a given allergen.

Source: The Allergy Encyclopedia

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Eczema Allergies

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Eczema and Allergies

It is true that there is no cure for eczema? – and will I have to use cortisone cream for the rest of my life?

Best Answer:

Allergies are the leading cause of eczema. If you have food allergies and have eliminated food allergens from your diet, but only show a moderate improvement in the eczema symptoms, switch to an organic diet. Organic foods are not sprayed with a large amount of chemicals: herbicides, fungicides and pesticides. Are fed with chemical fertilizers. The residues of these toxins remain in and about the product, no matter how well you wash it, and that you are eating small amounts of them every time you eat non-organic products. You could easily be sensitive or allergic to the toxins that have accumulated in your body over time. These chemicals not used in organic foods.

To get rid of the toxins in your body – and eczema – do a cleansing detoxification. Eliminate cleaning chemicals toxic chemicals from its cells and expel them from his body. Be assured that when you start a cleaning that may well feel worse before you begin. That’s because your body is reacting to the evil to be purged. You should start feeling better and notice an improvement in their symptoms of eczema.

You do not want to give further details on products you are sensitive to chemicals, so look around your home in the products you use. Replace products containing natural ingredients. You do not need a product with a lot of hard to pronounce chemicals in it to get your dishes, floors, laundry, or your body clean.

The same is true for lotions and creams used to moisturize the skin. Some of the ingredients, including artificial fragrances, reality can be irritating to the skin rather than help. Change to lotions containing natural ingredients such as coconut oil, shea butter and aloe vera.

Source: Yahoo Answers

Healing Eczema through diet

Latex Allergies

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latex-allergySterilized gloves were used in hospitals as early as 1894 but the first disposable latex based medical gloves were introduced to the world market in 1964 by Ansell Gloves, a company found by Eric Ansell in Melbourne, Australia in 1905.

AIDS and Latex Gloves

In the mid eighties and due to the breakout of the AIDS epidemic, the use of disposable gloves in the medical industry grew rapidly. Latex based gloves products continued their growth in non-medical markets until the mid-nineties when the media started reporting on allergic reactions to latex.

Latex-based products are derived from extracting the sap of the rubber tree Hevea brasiliensis. This latex sap is mechanically extracted in commercial settings and chemical preservatives are added during a heating process. The primary additive is ammonia which is believed to increase the  rubber’s structural strength.

Latex Allergen

It is still not fully known if it is the chemical additives, the latex material itself or the combination of both which can lead to latex allergies. Preliminary studies have shown that the allergen which may cause a latex allergy may be from the protein found in the rubber (latex) but more studies must be completed before a definitive answer will be discovered.

Preventing Latex Allergies

If you feel you have a latex based allergy, then avoidance is always the best method for prevention. Even the dust from a latex glove may set off a reaction. There are great latex glove alternatives such as nitrile-based gloves which are found to be more tear resistant. Glove manufacturers and also recently introduced new low latex-protein, powder-free gloves which are shown to have less potential for creating a reaction in an individual which is  sensitive to latex.

Here are some additional products which may contain latex:

  • Adhesives
  • Band-Aids
  • Balloons
  • Cleaning gloves
  • Carpet backing
  • Condoms – Diaphragms
  • Electricians gloves
  • Elasticized fabrics
  • Elastic waist bands
  • Hot water bottles
  • Pacifiers
  • Rubber toys
  • Rubber bands
  • Shower curtains / mats / & other rubber mats
  • Sport racquet handles
  • Swim caps/ some goggle straps
  • Toy balls

About the Author: Jim Rothingham is a national sales manager for a major manufacturer and supplier of medical supplies to the medical industry.

Latex Allergy, Part 1

Makeup Allergy

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makeup-allergySkin rashes are a common skin discomfort which causes small red spots, redness and itching. It can happen anywhere on your skin – your face, hands or legs.

Using personal care products such as skin cleanser, toner, scrub, mask, moisturizer or skin may cause an allergic reaction.  No matter if you’re using chemical based or natural herbal product, if your skin cannot cope or accept a particular ingredient, your skin may break out. Some people may be allergic to essential oils, including the most expensive and brand-care products.

Switching products for skin care (different brands) too often in a short period of time say within a month or two, can also cause irritation and sometimes rash on the face. Case in point; Roberta tries many different skin care products and had severe skin eruptions as a result. Just before her skin could adjust to the current brand, she decided to try new ones. Finally, the skin could not take it and started showing signs of eruptions.

When trying new products, try to do a skin test and wait a day or so. Switch to a brand new one only when necessary because of changes in the skin, most importantly after 6-8 months of using the same skin care brand. Do not be tempted to try new products for care skin after viewing TV ads. If you want to, get some samples and try it in the neck or hands.

Old makeup products, as foundation, concealer, lipstick, rouge, eyeliner, mascara or eye shadow can cause skin rashes. Beware of make up tools like brushes dirty dirty comb. Try not to keep your brand more than 6 months in hot and humid area, and the area of dry cold weather, keep it up to about a year after the expiration deadline, but no more.

To allow your make up to last longer, keep the product clean and fresh at all times. Clean the sides and corners bottles, tubes or containers after use each time to avoid any contamination.

Do not allow certain products chemicals such as laundry detergent, dish washing liquid or other cleaning chemicals to smear on the facial skin. Some of these substances can be too strong for facial skin resulting in skin eruptions. Hair shampoo can also cause skin problems. When washing your hair, please make sure that shampoo for hair does not flow through the area of the face. Chemicals for construction can be detrimental to your facial skin too – cement, paint, shellac thinner. Avoid placing your face close to these chemicals.

Always keep your hands clean before touching your face. The bacteria on the hands can cause acne and even skin irritation. Keep your pillows, mattress and bed clean, otherwise the mites may end up disturbing the upper layer of the skin and cause rashes on the face and entire body. Face and bath towel should be kept clean at all times to prevent skin problems too.

About the Author: Juliet Cohen writes articles for the Beauty Makeup Blog.

Related Posts: Makeup Allergy Test, Perfume Allergies, Antiperspirant Allergies and Fragrance Allergies.

Makeup Tips for Skin Allergies

Perfume Allergies

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perfume-allergyPerfumes are used everyday by millions of people in thousands of countries around the world and is one of the broadest selling products. However, there are many people who can have serious allergic reactions to the fragrances used in them. More time than not, people who are sensitive to fragrances have been diagnosed with multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS).

Symptoms of a perfume allergy include difficultly breathing, skin rashes and has been known to cause asthma in people who are not necessarily an chronic asthma sufferer. Toddlers and young children are even more vulnerable to chemicals, as are people who are recovering from cancer and other illnesses.

Fragrances are actually chemicals and can be found in perfume and cologne which like other chemicals, may cause allergic reactions to those who have a sensitivity to them. A alcohol-based chemical is normally used as a base of the perfume. There are over 2500 fragrances used in perfume with about 105 are believed to cause an allergic reaction in humans. About 25 of these fragrances are used frequently and 12-15 are used very frequently in the more common and cheaper brands of perfume. In addition to perfume, chemical fragrances are also present in most laundry detergents, fabric softeners, anti-cling products, dish-washing liquids, disinfectants, soaps, shampoos, deodorants, cosmetics, aftershaves, incense and analgesic creams. Even products which are marked as “unscented”  may actually contain toxic fragrances.

About the author: Angelica Alexander is a sales representative for a national perfume and cologne distributor in New York.

Related Posts: Fragrance Allergies, Perfume Allergies, Makeup Allergy Test and Makeup Allergy.

Picking Perfume : Testing Perfume Skin Allergies

Makeup Allergy Test

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Makeup-allergy-testsMakeup Allergy Test

There are many skin symptoms attributed to other causes which are actually allergic responses to chemicals found in everyday products. If you often have rashes or other skin problems, they may be an allergic response to cosmetics, soaps or even laundry detergents.

Here’s how to identify the source of the problem without the expense of seeing a doctor. Use an unexposed area of your skin like your back (you will need assistance) or your arm (cover with a soft, long sleeved shirt). Make sure your skin is clean and dry.

Apply a small amount of the suspected allergy-causing substance to your skin and cover with a square of surgical gauze, followed by a bandage or surgical adhesive. If the test substance is dry such as face powder or solid makeup, put a tiny amount of it in some mineral oil and apply that to your skin. Keep the test patch on your skin for 24 to 48 hours and watch for an allergic reaction to develop.

Once you find out what substance or substances are setting off your allergic response, you’ll know what to avoid.

Source: Allergy Secrets and You Newsletter

Related Post: Makeup Allergy.

Makeup Tips for Skin Allergies

Antiperspirant Allergies

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AntiperspirantAntiperspirant allergies are rare but is a allergic reaction mostly experienced by women, especially those with acanthosis nigracans, a skin disorder. Acanthosis nigricans can begin at any age and generally causes light brown velvety-like markings on the neck, under the arms or in the groin area. It is still unknown why it is seen more in women who are overweight.

Causes of Acanthosis Nigricans

  • Addison disease (deficiency of hormones from the adrenal gland)
  • Disorders of the pituitary gland within the brain
  • Growth hormone therapy
  • Hypothyroidism (low levels of thyroid hormone in the thyroid gland)
  • Taking cholesterol medications (including nicotinic acid)
  • Taking oral contraceptives
  • Using certain skin care products such as antiperspirants

Diagnosing Acanthosis Nigricans

The condition may only be diagnosed by a health professional with a thorough a physical examination and medical history exam.  Blood work is also helpful in investigating the primary cause of acanthosis nigricans.

Treating Acanthosis Nigricans

Treating acanthosis nigracans is usually achieved though weight loss and exercise.  Increased insulin by a poor diet has also been connected to acanthosis nigracans so eating a healthy diet can lead to improvement and has been reported to cure the disorder completely.

There are topical treatments such as Retin-A, urea, alpha hydroxy acids and salicylic acid prescriptions.  Dermabrasion has also been used to reduce the raised portion of the affected skin. Certain oral medications have also been reported to make acanthosis nigracans worse and should be discussed with your doctor.

About the author: Rebecca A. Barlow is a professional cosmetologist consultant working at a well known New York City retailer.

Related Post: Makeup Allergy and Hair Dye Allergy.

Makeup Tips for Skin Allergies