Eczema refers to a wide variety of skin conditions also known as dermatitis. It is known as the *itch that rashes*. Patients may feel the intense itch long before a patch or rash forms.
As many as 30 million American may suffer from eczema, most are children.
37% of children with eczema, also have a food allergy.
Most forms of eczema are chronic and have no cure. Some severe forms can be debilitating and require intense medical treatments.
Treatments may include, prescription medications, both topical and oral, elimination of allergens or other aggravating factors (such as fragrance or certain fabrics) and over-the-counter creams and/or ointments.
Insect sting reactions account for at least 40 deaths each year in the United States. The stings of five insects - honeybees, hornets, wasps, yellow jackets and fire ants - are known to cause allergic reactions.
Penicillin (PCN) is the most common drug allergen. 10% of all PCN allergic patients are also allergic to cephalosporins.
Oral Allergy Syndrome (OAS) is caused by cross-reacting allergens found in both pollen and raw fruits, vegetables, or some tree nuts. Those with oral allergy syndrome typically have allergy to birch, ragweed, or grass pollens. Severe OAS can lead to anaphylaxis.
The term Atopic March describes the progression of atopic dermatitis (or eczema) to allergic rhinitis and/or asthma.
Living in the allergic world often means dealing with a variety of allergic and atopic diseases. Understanding these diseases and how they go together is extremely useful in learning to manage them. Additionally, understanding of the risks associated with certain diseases is key to prevention. Here we outline some the most common conditions and terms associated with allergic life.
Allergic disease, including asthma, is the third most common chronic disease in children under 18 years old.
Chronic Urticaria decribes a condition in which the patient suffers from ongoing, often daily, bouts of hives with unknown cause. This can last weeks, months or even years.
Physical Urticarias are hive reactions with known causes. There are several types:
Delayed pressure urticaria
Urticarias are also often associated with angioedema, or sudden swelling.
Anaphylaxis is a severe, potentially life-threatening allergic reaction. It can occur within seconds or minutes of exposure to a known or unknown allergen.
Sometimes, however, anaphylaxis can occur a half-hour or longer after exposure. Anaphylaxis symptoms may include:
-Skin reactions, including hives along with itching, and flushed or pale skin (almost always present with anaphylaxis) or swelling.
-A feeling of warmth
-The sensation of a lump in your throat
-Constriction of the airways and a swollen tongue or throat, which can cause wheezing, coughing and/or trouble breathing
-A weak and rapid pulse
-Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
-Dizziness or fainting (due to sudden drop in blood pressure)
Epinephrine should be administered immediately upon suspicion of anaphylaxis.
Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology
Food Allergy Research and Education
National Institute of Health
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Anyone can become allergic to any food, at any time, even if it is something they have eaten their entire lives.
1 in every 13 children have a food allergy.
Every 3 minutes, a food allergy reaction sends someone to the emergency department.
A reaction to food can range from a mild response (such as an itchy mouth) to anaphylaxis, a severe and potentially deadly reaction.
Epinephrine is the first line of defense to treat anaphylaxis, and you should immediately seek emergency medical attention AFTER administration by calling 911. Rebound reactions can occur as early as within 15 minutes of administration of epinephrine, a second epinephrine device should always be on hand.
Reactions may become more severe at any given time. A simple hive reaction may result in anaphylaxis at another time.
Asthma is a chronic disease that causes airways to become inflamed, making it hard to breathe. Common symptoms are coughing, shortness of breath, wheezing and chest tightness. People with asthma who have been prescribed a rescue inhaler should carry it at all times.
Nearly 26 million Americans have asthma, and 6.3 of them are children (under 18).
Asthma is the primary factor in 1.8 million emergency room visits per year. 3,600 people per year die as the result of their asthma.
Children with asthma and a food allergy at are increased risk for anaphylactic reactions.