Tag Archives: Allergen

Viburnum rufidulum

Botanical Name : Viburnum rufidulum
Family: Adoxaceae
Genus: Viburnum
Species:Rufidulm
Kingdom:Plantae
Phylum: Angiosperms
Order: Dipsacales

Synonyms: V. prunifolium ferrugineum. V. rufotomentosum.
Common Names: Rusty blackhaw, Blue haw, Rusty nanny-berry, or Southern black haw

Habitat :Viburnum rufidulum is native to Southern N. America – Virginia to Florida, west t Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas. It grows on moist woods and thickets. By the sides of streams, hillsides, roadsides, woodland margins and clearings. Also found in dry upland woods.
Description:
Viburnum rufidulum is a deciduous Shrub growing to 12 m (39ft 4in). Leathery deciduous leaves are simple and grow in opposite blades ranging from 0.5-3 inches in length and 1-1.5 inches in width. Petioles are “rusty hairy” with grooves and sometimes wings. Leaf margins are serrate. Autumn leaf colors are bronze to red.

Twigs range in color from “reddish brown to gray”; young twigs are hairy, and get smoother with age.

Bark is similar that of the Flowering Dogwood, ranging in color from “reddish brown to almost black” and forming “blocky plates on larger trunks”.

V. rufidulum blooms in April to May with creamy white flowers that are bisexual, or perfect and similar to those of other Viburnum species, but with clusters as large as six inches wide. The seeds ripen from Aug to October.

The fruits are purple or dark blue, glaucous, globose or ellipsoid drupes that mature in mid to late summer. The fruit has been said to taste like raisins and attract birds….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.
Cultivation:
An easily grown plant, it succeeds in most soils but is ill-adapted for poor soils and for dry situations. It prefers a deep rich loamy soil in sun or semi-shade. Best if given shade from the early morning sun in spring. A fast-growing but short-lived species in the wild. Plants grow well but do not flower very freely in Britain. Plants are self-incompatible and need to grow close to a genetically distinct plant in the same species in order to produce fruit and fertile seed.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe. Germination can be slow, sometimes taking more than 18 months. If the seed is harvested ‘green’ (when it has fully developed but before it has fully ripened) and sown immediately in a cold frame, it should germinate in the spring[80]. Stored seed will require 2 months warm then 3 months cold stratification and can still take 18 months to germinate. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a cold frame or greenhouse. Plant out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer of the following year. Cuttings of soft-wood, early summer in a frame[200]. Pot up into individual pots once they start to root and plant them out in late spring or early summer of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 5 – 8 cm long with a heel if possible, July/August in a frame. Plant them into individual pots as soon as they start to root. These cuttings can be difficult to overwinter, it is best to keep them in a greenhouse or cold frame until the following spring before planting them out. Cuttings of mature wood, winter in a frame. They should root in early spring – pot them up when large enough to handle and plant them out in the summer if sufficient new growth is made, otherwise keep them in a cold frame for the next winter and then plant them out in the spring. Layering of current seasons growth in July/August. Takes 15 months.

Edible Uses: …..Fruit – raw or cooked. The fleshy fruit has a sweet taste, somewhat like raisins, but it is nearly all seed. The taste is best after a frost. The ellipsoid fruit is up to 15mm long and contains a single large seed.

Medicinal Uses:..Antispasmodic……The bark is antispasmodic and has been used in the treatment of cramps and colic.

Other Uses :…Wood…….Wood – fine-grained, heavy, hard, strong, with a disagreeable odour. Of no particular value. It is occasionally used as an ornamental plant. It was used to cure rust.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viburnum_rufidulum
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Viburnum+rufidulum

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Anaphylax

 

ALTERNATIVE NAMES:  Anaphylactic reaction; Anaphylactic shock; Shock – anaphylactic

DEFINITION:
Anaphylaxis is an acute multi-system severe type I hypersensitivity reaction. The term comes from the Greek words ava ana (against) and  phylaxis (protection).It is  a life-threatening type of allergic reaction and it can occur within seconds or minutes of exposure to something you’re allergic to, such as the venom from a bee sting or a peanut.

The flood of chemicals released by your immune system during anaphylaxis can cause you to go into shock; your blood pressure drops suddenly and your airways narrow, blocking normal breathing. Signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis include a rapid, weak pulse, a skin rash, and nausea and vomiting. Common triggers of anaphylaxis include certain foods, some medications, insect venom and latex.

.CLICK & SEE

Due in part to the variety of definitions, between 1% and 15% of the population of the United States can be considered “at risk” for having an anaphylactic reaction if they are exposed to one or more allergens. Of those people who actually experience anaphylaxis, up to 1% may die as a result. Anaphylaxis results in approximately 1,500 deaths per year in the U.S. In England, mortality rates for anaphylaxis have been reported as up to 0.05 per 100,000 population, or around 10-20 a year. Anaphylactic reactions requiring hospital treatment appear to be increasing, with authorities in England reporting a threefold increase between 1994 and 2004.

Based on the pathophysiology, anaphylaxis can be divided into “true anaphylaxis” and “pseudo-anaphylaxis” or “anaphylactoid reaction.” The symptoms, treatment, and risk of death are the same; however, “true” anaphylaxis is caused by degranulation of mast cells or basophils mediated by immunoglobulin E (IgE), and pseudo-anaphylaxis occurs without IgE mediation.

Classification:
Biphasic anaphylaxis:..CLICK & SEE
Biphasic anaphylaxis is the recurrence of symptoms within 72 hours with no further exposure to the allergen. It occurs in between 1–20% of cases depending on the study examined. It is managed in the same manner as anaphylaxis.

Anaphylactic shock:...CLICK & SEE
Anaphylactic shock is anaphylaxis associated with systemic vasodilation which results in low blood pressure. It is also associated with severe bronchoconstriction to the point where the individual is unable to breathe.

Pseudoanaphylaxis:….CLICK & SEE
The presentation and treatment of pseudoanaphylaxis is similar to that of anaphylaxis. It however does not involve an allergic reaction but is due to direct mast cell degranulation. This can result from morphine, radiocontrast, aspirin and muscle relaxants.[11]

Active anaphylaxis:….CLICK & SEE
Active anaphylaxis is what is naturally observed. Two weeks or so after an animal, including humans, is exposed to certain allergens, active anaphylaxis (which is simply called “anaphylaxis”) would be elicited upon exposure to the same allergens.

Passive anaphylaxis:....CLICK & SEE
Passive anaphylaxis is induced in native animals which receive transfer of the serum experimentally from sensitized animals with certain allergens. Passive anaphylaxis would be provoked in the recipient animals after exposure to the same allergens.

SIGNS & SYMPTOMS :
Anaphylaxis can present with many different symptoms due to the systemic effects of histamine release. These usually develop over minutes to hours.[9] The most common areas affected include: skin (80% to 90%), respiratory (70%), gastrointestinal (30% to 45%), heart and vasculature (10% to 45%), and central nervous system (10% to 15%).

Skin:
Skin involvement may include generalized hives, itchiness, flushing, and swelling of the lips, tongue or throat….

Respiratory:
Respiratory symptoms may include shortness of breath, wheezes or stridor, and low oxygen.

Gastrointestinal:

Gastrointestinal symptoms may include crampy abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting.

Cardiovascular:
Due to the presence of histamine releasing cells in the heart, coronary artery spasm may occur with subsequent myocardial infarction or dysrhythmia.

Nervous sys:

temA drop in blood pressure may result in a feeling of lightheadedness and loss of consciousness. There may be a loss of bladder control and muscle tone, and a feeling of anxiety and “impending doom”.

CAUSES:
Anaphylaxis can occur in response to any allergen. Common triggers include insect bites or stings, foods, medication and latex rubber

Tissues in different parts of the body release histamine and other substances. This causes the airways to tighten and leads to other symptoms.

Some drugs (morphine, x-ray dye, and others) may cause an anaphylactic-like reaction (anaphylactoid reaction) when people are first exposed to them. Aspirin may also cause a reaction. These reactions are not the same as the immune system response that occurs with “true” anaphylaxis. However, the symptoms, risk for complications, and treatment are the same for both types of reactions.

Anaphylaxis can occur in response to any allergen. Common causes include:

•Drug allergies :Any medication may potentially trigger anaphylaxis. The most common to do so include antibiotics (?-lactam antibiotics in particular), aspirin, ibuprofen, and other analgesics. Some drugs (polymyxin, morphine, x-ray contrast and others) may cause an “anaphylactoid” reaction (anaphylactic-like reaction) on the first exposure. This is usually due to a toxic reaction, rather than the immune system mechanism that occurs with “true” anaphylaxis. The symptoms, risk for complications without treatment, and treatment are the same, however, for both types of reactions. Some vaccinations are also known to cause “anaphylactoid” reactions....CLICK & SEE

•Food allergies :The most common are peanut, tree nuts, shellfish, fish, milk, and egg. Severe cases are usually the result of ingesting the allergen…...CLICK & SEE

•Insect bites/stings : Venom from stinging or biting insects such as Hymenoptera or Hemiptera may induce anaphylaxis in susceptible people…..CLICK & SEE

Pollens and other inhaled allergens rarely cause anaphylaxis. Some people have an anaphylactic reaction with no known cause…..CLICK & SEE

Less common causes of anaphylaxis include:

*Latex
*Muscle relaxants used during general anesthesia
*Exercise

Anaphylaxis triggered by exercise varies from person to person. In some people, aerobic activity, such as jogging, triggers anaphylaxis. In others, less intense physical activity, such as walking, can trigger a reaction. Eating certain foods before exercise or exercising when the weather is hot, cold or humid has also been linked to anaphylaxis in some people. Talk with your doctor about any precautions you should take when exercising.

Anaphylaxis symptoms are sometimes caused by aspirin, other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs — such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others) and naproxen sodium (Aleve, Midol Extended Relief) — and the intravenous (IV) contrast used in some X-ray imaging tests. Although similar to allergy-induced anaphylaxis, this type of reaction isn’t triggered by allergy antibodies.

If you don’t know what triggers your allergy attack, your doctor may do tests to try to identify the offending allergen. In some cases, the cause of anaphylaxis is never identified. This is known as idiopathic anaphylaxis.

Anaphylaxis is life-threatening and can occur at any time. Risks include a history of any type of allergic reaction.

DIAGNOSIS:
Anaphylaxis is diagnosed with high likelihood based on clinical criteria. These criteria are fulfilled when any one of the following three is true:[14]

1.Symptom onset within minutes to several hours of allergen exposure with involvement of the skin or mucosal tissue and any of the following: hives, itchiness, or swelling of the airway; plus either respiratory difficulty or a low blood pressure.

2.Any two or more of the following symptoms within minutes to several hours of allergen exposure: a. Involvement of the skin or mucosa b. Respiratory difficulties c. Low blood pressure d. Gastrointestinal symptoms

3.Low blood pressure within minutes to several hours after exposure to known allergen

Apart from its clinical features, blood tests for tryptase (released from mast cells) might be useful in diagnosing anaphylaxis.

Allergy testing may help in determining what triggered the anaphylaxis. In this setting, skin allergy testing (with or without patch testing) or RAST blood tests can sometimes identify the cause.

TREATMENT :
Anaphylaxis is an emergency condition requiring immediate professional medical attention. Call 911 immediately.

Check the person’s airway, breathing, and circulation (the ABC’s of Basic Life Support). A warning sign of dangerous throat swelling is a very hoarse or whispered voice, or coarse sounds when the person is breathing in air. If necessary, begin rescue breathing and CPR.

1.Call 911.
2.Calm and reassure the person.
3.If the allergic reaction is from a bee sting, scrape the stinger off the skin with something firm (such as a fingernail or plastic credit card). Do not use tweezers — squeezing the stinger will release more venom.
4.If the person has emergency allergy medication on hand, help the person take or inject the medication. Avoid oral medication if the person is having difficulty breathing.
5.Take steps to prevent shock. Have the person lie flat, raise the person’s feet about 12 inches, and cover him or her with a coat or blanket. Do NOT place the person in this position if a head, neck, back, or leg injury is suspected, or if it causes discomfort.

PROVIDING FIRST AID:
Although emergency medical help is essential, there are things that must be done to improve survival chances. If the person affected is conscious and having breathing difficulties, help them sit up. If they’re shocked with low blood pressure, they’re better off lying flat with their legs raised.

If the person is unconscious, check their airways and breathing, and put them in the recovery position.

If you know that the person is susceptible to anaphylaxis, ask if they carry a preloaded adrenaline syringe. If necessary, help the person inject it into their thigh muscle.  If available, antihistamines and steroids should also be given.

DO NOT:
•Do NOT assume that any allergy shots the person has already received will provide complete protection.
•Do NOT place a pillow under the person’s head if he or she is having trouble breathing. This can block the airways.
•Do NOT give the person anything by mouth if the person is having trouble breathing.
Paramedics or physicians may place a tube through the nose or mouth into the airways (endotracheal intubation) or perform emergency surgery to place a tube directly into the trachea (tracheostomy or cricothyrotomy).

The person may receive antihistamines, such as diphenhydramine, and corticosteroids, such as prednisone, to further reduce symptoms (after lifesaving measures and epinephrine are given).

You may click to see :

Natural Allergy Relief For Oak Pollen

Anaphylactic reactions in children – a questionnaire-based survey in Germany

PROGNOSIS:
Anaphylaxis is a severe disorder that can be life-threatening without prompt treatment. However, symptoms usually get better with the right therapy, so it is important to act right away.

Possible Complications:
•Airway blockage
•Cardiac arrest (no effective heartbeat)
•Respiratory arrest (no breathing)
•Shock

RISK FACTORS:

There aren’t many known risk factors for anaphylaxis, but some things that may increase your risk include:

*A personal history of anaphylaxis. If you’ve experienced anaphylaxis once, your risk of having this serious reaction is increased. Future reactions may be more severe than the first reaction.

*Allergies or asthma. People who have either condition are at increased risk of having anaphylaxis.

*A family history.
If you have family members who have experienced exercised-induced anaphylaxis, your risk of developing this type of anaphylaxis is higher than it is for someone without a family history.

PREVENTION:
Immunotherapy with Hymenoptera venoms is effective against allergies to bees, wasps, hornets, yellow jackets, white faced hornets, and fire ants.

The greatest success with prevention of anaphylaxis has been the use of allergy injections to prevent recurrence of sting allergy. The risk to an individual from a particular species of insect depends on complex interactions between likelihood of human contact, insect aggression, efficiency of the venom delivery apparatus, and venom allergenicity. Venom immunotherapy reduces risk of systemic reactions below 3%.[citation needed] One simple method of venom extraction has been electrical stimulation to obtain venom, instead of dissecting the venom sac.

A potential vaccine has been developed to prevent anaphylaxis due to peanut and tree nut allergies if they are exposed to a small amount of peanuts or nuts. Although it shows some promise to reduce the likelihood of anaphylaxis in affected individuals, the vaccine has not yet been approved for marketing and distribution. Desensitization techniques are also being studied for peanut allergies.

•Avoid triggers such as foods and medications that have caused an allergic reaction (even a mild one) in the past. Ask detailed questions about ingredients when you are eating away from home. Also carefully examine ingredient labels.

•If you have a child who is allergic to certain foods, introduce one new food at a time in small amounts so you can recognize an allergic reaction.

•People who know that they have had serious allergic reactions should wear a medical ID tag.

•If you have a history of serious allergic reactions, carry emergency medications (such as a chewable form of diphenhydramine and injectable epinephrine or a bee sting kit) according to your health care provider’s instructions.

•Do not use your injectable epinephrine on anyone else. They may have a condition (such as a heart problem) that could be negatively affected by this drug.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000844.htm
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/anaphylaxis/DS00009
http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/in_depth/allergies/allergicconditions_anaphylaxis.shtml
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anaphylaxis
http://www.bailey-law.com/files/anaphylaxis.html
http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Anaphylaxis

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Scratch Test for Allergies

allergy test 7/22/05

Image by scottobear via Flickr

Definition:
For more than a century, doctors have used skin tests to help diagnose allergies. During these tests, your skin is exposed to allergy-causing substances (allergens) and then is observed for signs of an allergic reaction.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Along with your medical history, skin tests can confirm whether signs and symptoms, such as sneezing, wheezing and skin rashes, are caused by allergies. They can also identify the specific substances that trigger allergic reactions. Such information can help your doctor develop an allergy treatment plan that may include allergen avoidance, medications or allergy shots (immunotherapy).

This test checks for a skin reaction to common allergy-provoking substances, such as foods, molds, dust, plants, or animal proteins. If your skin reacts to a substance, chances are that you are allergic to it.

Most people with allergy symptoms don’t need testing because they can identify their triggers and control their symptoms with medicine. Your doctor might recommend scratch testing when you have severe allergy symptoms but are not sure what is causing them. Knowing what you are allergic to can help you avoid the substance in the future, and will help your doctor determine whether you might benefit from allergy shots.

Why it’s actually done?
Skin testing is widely used to diagnose allergic conditions such as hay fever, allergic asthma and dermatitis (eczema). It’s safe for people of all ages, including infants and older adults.

Sometimes, however, skin tests aren’t recommended. Your doctor may advise against skin testing if you:

*Take medications that interfere with test results. These include antihistamines, many antidepressants and some heartburn medications. Your doctor may determine that it’s better for you to continue taking these medications than to temporarily discontinue them in preparation for a test.

*Have a severe skin disease. If conditions such as eczema or psoriasis affect large areas of skin on your arms and back — the usual testing sites — there may not be enough clear, uninvolved skin to conduct an effective test.

*Are highly sensitive to suspected allergens. You may be so sensitive to certain substances that even the small amounts of them used in skin tests could trigger a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis).

Blood tests (technically called in vitro allergen-specific IgE antibody tests) are particularly useful for those who should not undergo skin tests. Although blood tests can be as accurate as skin tests, they’re not performed as often because they may be less sensitive and are more expensive. If you want to start immunotherapy — a series of injections intended to increase your tolerance to allergens — you need either a skin or blood test to identify the specific substances that trigger your allergies.
.What risks are there from the test?
Because the allergen exposure is so small, a serious allergic reaction is extremely unlikely.

The most common side effect of skin testing is itching and redness. This may be most noticeable during the test, when you aren’t allowed to scratch yourself.For a few hours you’ll probably have some redness or irritation on the testing sites, similar to having several mosquito bites. It usually subsides within a few hours, although it can persist until the next day. A mild cortisone cream can be applied to relieve the itching and redness.

Rarely, skin tests can produce a severe, immediate allergic reaction, so it’s important to have skin tests performed at an office where appropriate emergency equipment and medications are available. If you develop a severe allergic reaction in the days after a skin test, call your doctor right away.

Some doctors who practice complementary or alternative medicine may perform provocation-neutralization tests, but these tests aren’t proved and aren’t considered reliable.
.How you prepare for the test ?
Before recommending a skin test, your doctor will ask detailed questions about your medical history, your signs and symptoms, and your usual way of treating them. Your answers can help your doctor determine if allergies run in your family and if you might also have them.

Next, your doctor will perform a physical examination to search for additional clues about the causes of your signs and symptoms.

Your medical history and physical examination may provide enough information for your doctor to discuss your diagnosis and treatment. If so, a skin test may be unnecessary. But if your doctor is uncertain or suspects that you have allergies and needs more information about the possible causes, he or she may recommend that you have a skin test.

Before scheduling a skin test, your doctor will need a list of all your prescription and over-the-counter medications. Some medications can suppress allergic reactions preventing the skin testing from working effectively. Other medications may increase your risk of developing a severe allergic reaction during a test.

Because medications clear out of your system at different rates, your doctor may ask that you stop taking certain medications for up to 10 days. Medications that can interfere with skin tests include:

*Prescription nonsedating antihistamines, such as fexofenadine (Allegra) and cetirizine (Zyrtec)

*Over-the-counter antihistamines (Claritin, Benadryl, Chlor-Trimeton, others)

*Tricyclic antidepressants, such as amitriptyline and doxepin (Sinequan)

*Heartburn medications, such as cimetidine (Tagamet) and ranitidine (Zantac)

Tell your doctor if you have ever had anaphylaxis, a lifethreatening allergic reaction, or if you have had a serious reaction to a previous allergy test.

What happens when the test is performed?

In adults, the test is done on the forearm; in children it’s done on the upper back. (The child disrobes from the waist up and lies on his or her stomach.)

Your doctor decides what allergies are to be tested for. Some people are tested for as many as a few dozen at one visit. Individual drops of fluid are dripped in rows across the skin. The doctor uses a needle to make small light scratches in the skin under each drop, to help the skin absorb the fluid. The scratches aren’t deep enough to cause bleeding. Each drop contains proteins from a separate allergen (a substance, like ragweed pollen, that triggers allergy symptoms).Your doctor notes where each drop of fluid was placed, either by keeping a chart or by writing a code on the area of skin being tested.

For many people, the most difficult part of this test is next: You need to stay still long enough (usually about 20 minutes) to give the skin time to react. Your skin might tickle or itch during this time, but you won’t be allowed to scratch it. At the end of the waiting time, your doctor will examine each needle scratch for redness or swelling.

What must you do special after the test is over?
Nothing.

What you can expect from the test?
Contrary to what you may have heard, skin tests cause little if any discomfort. Because the needles used in these tests barely penetrate your skin’s surface, you won’t bleed or feel more than mild, momentary discomfort.

Some tests detect immediate allergic reactions, which develop within minutes of exposure to an allergen. Other tests detect delayed allergic reactions, which develop over a period of several days.

Procedure
Skin testing is usually performed in a doctor’s office. Typically, a nurse administers the test and a doctor interprets the results. The three main types of skin tests are:

*Puncture, prick or scratch test (percutaneous). In this test, which is the type of skin test most commonly performed, tiny drops of purified allergen extracts are pricked or scratched into your skin’s surface. This test is usually performed to identify allergies to pollen, mold, pet dander, dust mites, foods, insect venom and penicillin.

*Intradermal test (intracutaneous). Purified allergen extracts are injected into the skin of your arm. This test is usually performed if your doctor suspects that you’re allergic to insect venom or penicillin.

*Patch test (epicutaneous). An allergen is applied to a patch, which is then placed on your skin. This test is usually performed to identify substances that cause contact dermatitis. These include latex, medications, fragrances, preservatives, hair dyes, metals and resins.

Tests for immediate allergic reactions:
A puncture, prick or scratch test checks for immediate allergic reactions to as many as 40 different substances at one time. In adults, the test is usually done on the forearm. Children are usually tested on the upper back.

After cleaning the test site with alcohol, the nurse draws small marks on your skin and applies a drop of allergen extract next to each mark. He or she then uses a sharp instrument (lancet) to introduce the extracts into the skin’s surface. A new lancet is used for each scratch to prevent cross-contamination of allergens. The drops are left on your skin for 15 minutes, and then the nurse observes your skin for signs of allergic reactions.

To see if your skin is reacting the way it’s supposed to, the nurse introduces two additional substances into your skin’s surface:

*Histamine. In almost everyone, this substance causes a skin response, so it’s used as a positive control. If you don’t react to histamine, the skin test may be difficult or impossible to interpret.

*Glycerin or saline. In almost everyone, these substances cause no reaction. So one or the other is used as a negative control. If you react to glycerin or saline, you may have sensitive skin, so your reactions to the allergen extracts will need to be interpreted with caution.

You may need a more sensitive immediate-reaction test — known as an intradermal test — if a puncture, prick or scratch test is inconclusive. During this test, a nurse uses a thin needle and syringe to inject a small amount of allergen extract just below the surface of the skin on your arm. Then he or she inspects the site after 15 minutes for a local skin reaction.

Tests for delayed allergic reactions
Patch tests detect delayed allergic reactions. During a patch test, your skin may be exposed to 20 to 30 extracts of substances that can cause contact dermatitis. Caustic substances — such as industrial solvents — are diluted to prevent skin damage.

Allergen extracts are applied to bandages that you wear on your arm or back for 48 hours. During this time, you should avoid bathing and activities that cause heavy sweating. The bandages are removed when you return to your doctor’s office for an evaluation.

Results:
Before you leave the doctor’s office, you’ll know the results of a puncture, prick or scratch test or an intradermal test. A patch test may take several days or more to produce results.

If an allergen provokes an allergic reaction to a puncture or intradermal skin test, you’ll develop a raised, red, itchy bump (wheal and flare) that may look like a mosquito bite. A nurse will then measure the bump’s size.

After the nurse records the results, he or she will clean your skin with alcohol to remove the marks and allergen droplets. Then you’ll meet with your doctor to discuss the results and possible treatment options.

A positive skin test means that you may be allergic to a particular substance. Bigger bumps usually indicate a greater degree of sensitivity. A negative skin test means that you probably aren’t allergic to that particular allergen.

The accuracy of skin tests can vary. You may react differently to the same test performed at different times. Or you may react positively to a substance during a test but not react to it in everyday life.

In general, skin tests are most reliable for diagnosing allergies to airborne substances, such as pollen, pet dander and dust mites. Because diagnosing food allergies can be complex, you may need additional tests or procedures.


Resources:

https://www.health.harvard.edu/diagnostic-tests/allergies-scratch-test.htm
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/allergy-tests/MY00131/UPDATEAPP=false&FLUSHCACHE=0

Drug Allergy

Synonyms and Keywords:-
drug allergy, allergen, allergic reaction, anaphylactic shock, anaphylaxis, antibodies, antibody, hypersensitivity, medication allergies, medication reactions, immune system, immunoglobulin E, IgE, serum sickness

Description:
A drug allergy is an allergy to a drug, most commonly a medication. Medical attention should be sought immediately if an allergic reaction is suspected....CLICK & SEE

An allergic reaction will not occur on the first exposure to a substance. The first exposure allows the body to create antibodies and memory lymphocyte cells for the antigen. However, drugs often contain many different substances, including dyes, which could cause allergic reactions. This can cause an allergic reaction on the first administration of a drug. For example, a person who developed an allergy to a red dye will be allergic to any new drug which contains that red dye.

A drug allergy is different from an intolerance. A drug intolerance, which is often a milder, non-immune-mediated reaction, does not depend on prior exposure. Most people who believe they are allergic to aspirin are actually suffering from a drug intolerance.

Both over-the-counter and prescription drugs can cause various problems. Most symptoms, such as nausea and diarrhea, are not allergies but side effects that can affect anyone. A drug allergy occurs when the immune system produces an abnormal reaction to a specific drug. Often the reactions are mild, but some can be life-threatening.

Several different types of allergic reactions to medications can occur. Reactions to drugs range from a mild localized rash to serious effects on vital systems. The body’s response can affect many organ systems, but the skin is the organ most frequently involved.

It is important to recognize the symptoms of a drug allergy, because they can be life-threatening. Death from an allergic reaction to a medication is extremely rare, however.

An allergic reaction does not often happen the first time you take a medication. A reaction is much more likely to occur the next time you take that medication. If you have a reaction the first time, you probably were exposed to the medication before without being aware of it.

Causes:
An allergic reaction is caused by the body’s immune system overreacting to the drug, which is viewed as a chemical “invader,” or antigen. This overreaction is often called a hypersensitivity reaction.

*The body produces antibodies to the antigen and stores the antibodies on special cells.
*The antibody in an allergic reaction is called immunoglobulin E, or IgE.
*When the body is exposed to the drug again, the antibodies signal the cells to release chemicals called “mediators.” Histamine is an example of a mediator.
*The effects of these mediators on organs and other cells cause the symptoms of the reaction.

The most common triggers of drug allergies are the following:
*Painkillers (called analgesics) such as codeine, morphine, nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen or indomethacin), and aspirin
*Antibiotics such as penicillin, sulfa drugs, and tetracycline
*Antiseizure medications such as phenytoin (Dilantin) or carbamazepine (Tegretol)

Symptoms:
Drug allergies may cause many different types of symptoms depending on the drug and the degree of exposure to the drug (how often you have taken it). These are the most common reactions:

Skin reactions:
A measles-like rash
Hives—Slightly red, itchy, and raised swellings on the skin, which have an irregular shape
Photoallergy—Sensitivity to sunlight, an itchy and scaly rash that occurs following sun exposure
Erythema multiforme—Red, raised and itchy patches on the skin that sometimes look like bull’s-eye targets and which may occur together with swelling of the face or tongue

Fever
Muscle and joint aches
Lymph node swelling
Inflammation of the kidney

Unlike most allergic reactions, which occur fairly quickly after exposure to the allergen, allergic reactions to drugs tend to occur days or weeks after the first dose of the drug.

Anaphylaxis or anaphylactic reaction—This is a serious allergic reaction that can be life threatening. A person with anaphylaxis must be treated in a hospital emergency department. Characteristics of anaphylaxis (sometimes referred to as anaphylactic shock) include:

Skin reaction—Hives, redness/flushing, sense of warmth, itching

Difficulty breathing—Chest tightness, wheezing, throat tightness

Fainting—Light-headedness or loss of consciousness due to drastic decrease in blood pressure (“shock”)

Rapid or irregular heart beat

Swelling of face, tongue, lips, throat, joints, hands, or feet

Almost all anaphylactic reactions occur within four hours of the first dose of the drug. Most occur within one hour of taking the drug, and many occur within minutes or even seconds.
An allergic reaction to a drug may give rise to the following symptoms:

If you develop the symptoms and suspect they may be due to a prescription, or over-the-counter drug, contact your doctor at once before taking the next dose. Rarely, a drug allergy may lead to a severe and potentially fatal reaction called anaphylaxis.

Risk factors for drug allergies include the following:-

*Frequent exposure to the drug

*Large doses of the drug

*Drug given by injection rather than pill

*Family tendency to develop allergies and asthma

*Certain food allergies such as to eggs, soybeans, or shellfish

When to Seek Medical Care:-

Always contact the health-care provider who prescribed the medication for advice.

*If the symptoms are mild, such as itching and localized hives, the provider may switch you to a different type of medication, recommend that you stop the medication, or, if appropriate, prescribe antihistamines to relieve your symptoms.

*If you cannot reach this provider for advice quickly, play it safe and go to a hospital emergency department.

*If you are having any “systemic” symptoms such as fever or vomiting, you should stop taking the medication and be seen immediately by a medical professional.

*If you are having difficulty breathing, your throat is swelling, or you are feeling faint, you may be having an anaphylactic reaction. Go immediately to a hospital emergency department. Do not attempt to drive yourself. If no one is available to drive you right away, call 911 for an ambulance. While waiting for the ambulance, start self-treatment.

Diagnosis:-
Generally a drug allergy is identified by signs and symptoms. Medical professionals are trained to recognize hives, swelling patterns, and rashes associated with allergic reactions. You will be asked questions about your medical history and possible triggers of the reaction.Blood tests and other tests are needed only under very unusual circumstances.

Treatment:-
After getting advice from your health-care provider, some mild allergic reactions may be treated at home.In very serious cases only , Hospitalization may be required.

Self Home Care:-

For hives or localized skin reactions, perform the following:

*Take cool showers or apply cool compresses.
*Wear light clothing that doesn’t irritate your skin.
*Take it easy. Keep your activity level low.

To relieve the itching, apply calamine lotion or take nonprescription antihistamines, such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl) or chlorpheniramine maleate (Chlor-Trimeton).

For more severe reactions, self-treatment is not recommended. Call your health-care provider or 911, depending on the severity of your symptoms. If you have symptoms of anaphylaxis, here’s what you can do while waiting for the ambulance:

Try to stay calm.

*If you can identify the cause of the reaction, prevent further exposure.
Take an antihistamine (one to two tablets or capsules of diphenhydramine [Benadryl]) if you can swallow without difficulty.
*If you are wheezing or having difficulty breathing, use an inhaled bronchodilator such as albuterol (Proventil) or epinephrine (Primatene Mist) if one is available. These inhaled medications dilate the airway.
*If you are feeling light-headed or faint, lie down and raise your legs higher than your head to help blood flow to your brain.
*If you have been given an epinephrine kit, inject yourself as you have been instructed. The kit provides a premeasured dose of epinephrine, a prescription drug that rapidly reverses the most serious symptoms.

Bystanders should administer CPR to a person who becomes unconscious and stops breathing or does not have a pulse.

If at all possible, you or your companion should be prepared to tell medical personnel what medications you take and any known allergies.

Modern Medical Treatment:-

Generally, treatment of a drug allergy falls into three categories:

Mild allergy (localized hives and itching)
Treatment is aimed at caring for the symptoms and stopping the reaction caused by the drug.
Medications prescribed may include antihistamines, such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl)
You may be advised to stop taking the medication that caused the allergy.
Moderately severe allergy (all-over hives and itching)
Treatment is aimed at caring for the symptoms and stopping the reaction.

Usually the offending medication is stopped.
Medications prescribed may include antihistamines such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl)), oral steroids (prednisone), or histamine blockers such as cimetidine (Tagamet), famotidine (Pepcid), or ranitidine (Zantac).

Severe allergy (shortness of breath, throat tightness, faintness, severe hives, involvement of many organ systems)
Treatment includes strong medications to quickly reverse the dangerous chain of events.
The offending medication is stopped immediately.

Medications prescribed may include antihistamines such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl), oral or IV steroids such as prednisone or methylprednisolone (Solu-Medrol), or histamine blockers such as cimetidine (Tagamet), famotidine (Pepcid), or ranitidine (Zantac).

Depending on the severity of other symptoms, other medications may be used including epinephrine (also called adrenaline), which is inhaled, given by IV, or injected under the skin.

If your reaction is severe, you may need to be admitted to the hospital for continued therapy and observation.

Follow-up:-
Follow up with your health-care provider after an allergic reaction to a drug. At this follow-up appointment, he or she can evaluate your recovery from the reaction and adjust any medications.
If you do not respond to the treatment prescribed for your drug allergy, it is important that you see a medical professional for re-evaluation.

Ayurvedic Treastment : VIRECHAN

Prevention:-
There is no known way to prevent drug allergies. You can reduce your risk by taking as few medications as possible. The more exposure your body has to medications, the greater the likelihood of a drug allergy.

Always tell any new health-care provider you see about your allergies and the types of reactions you have had. Talk to your doctor about the possibility or necessity of having a portable epinephrine kit to treat severe reactions.

Do not take a drug that you have reacted to in the past. Once you have a reaction to a drug, your risk of having a more severe reaction next time increases dramatically.

Consider wearing a medical alert ID bracelet or necklace. These devices are worn on the wrist or neck and can alert medical personnel and others about the risk for an allergic reaction.

Adults might carry a card with pertinent medical information in a wallet or purse. Tell your health-care provider about any adverse reactions to medications in the past before he or she prescribes medications to you.

Tell your health-care provider about any medications, prescription or over-the-counter, that you are taking.

Click for->Practice Guidelines: Drug Allergy

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drug_allergy
http://www.emedicinehealth.com/drug_allergy/page15_em.htm
http://www.charak.com/DiseasePage.asp?thx=1&id=246

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Eczema

 

Eczema is a noncontagious inflammation of the skin, characterized chiefly by redness, itching, and the outbreak of lesions that may discharge serous matter and become encrusted and scaly.
The main feature of eczema is red, inflamed, itchy skin that is often covered with small, fluid-filled blisters. in long-standing eczema, the affected skin may become thickened as a result of persistent scratching. eczema tends to recur intermittently throughout life.


What are the types?

There are several different types of eczema. Some are triggered by particular factors, but others, such as nummular eczema, occur for no known reason.

Atopic eczema:
This is the most common form of eczema. it usually appears first in infancy and may continue to flare up during adolescence and adulthood. the cause of the condition is not known, but people who have an inherited tendency to allergies, including asthma, are more susceptible to it. Click to learn more

Contact dermatitis

Direct contact with an irritant substance, or an allergic reaction to a substance, can result in a type of eczema known as contact dermatitis. it can occur at any age. Click to learn more

Seborrheic dermatitis:
This form of eczema affects both infants and adults. the precise cause of seborrheic dermatitis is unknown, although the condition is often associated with a yeastlike organism on the skin. Click to learn more

Nummular eczema:

Otherwise known as discoid eczema, this form of the condition is much more common in men than women. In nummular eczema, itchy, coin-shaped patches develop on the arms or legs, and the affected areas of skin may ooze and become scaly or blistered. the cause is not known. Click to learn more

Asteatotic eczema:

Most common in elderly people, this is caused by drying of the skin that occurs with aging. the scaly rash is random and cracked. Click to learn more

Dyshidrotic eczema:
This type of eczema occurs when the skin is thickest, such as on the fingers, the palms of the hands, and the soles of the feet. Numerous itchy blisters develop, sometimes joining to form large, oozing areas. the cause is not known. Click to learn more.

What is the treatment?
Try to keep your skin moist with emollients, take short, luke-warm showers or baths, and use mild soaps. Topical corticosteroids help reduce inflammation and itching. Avoid contact with substances that may irritate the skin. If contact dermatitis occurs, patch testing can be done to identify a triggering substance. most forms of eczema can be controlled successfully.

Click to learn more ……………………………….(1)

Alternative Treatment………………………………………….…(1).………...(2)

The Truth About Eczema

Diet and Eczemas

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.

Resources:

http://www.charak.com/DiseasePage.asp?thx=1&id=148

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