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I was suffering from sneezing, but the causes were not very visible. During the complete sneezing treatment program, Dr Molly always supported and motivated me. I am almost on the path to recovery, Thanks to him for the perfect advice. Also, all the staff members were very helpful.
I was admitted to the Dr Molly Allergy & Asthma Centre in Kochi because of asthma in case of emergency, but not once did any of the nurses panicked.Thanks to dr Molly Joseph that the treatment she gave me has given brilliant results. I am very thankful to her.
I visited Dr Molly Allergy & Asthma Centre in kochi to consult dr Molly josep for my treatment of allergy with her. Her medications are the best and she is very clear in her ways. Thanks to her i am fine now
Very professional clinic. Doctor is knowledgeable . Staff helpful
Allergic asthma affects a vast majority of adults, being one of the most common respiratory disorders. There are various triggers, and with environmental pollution on the rise, the incidence of asthma has grown too. If there is a person in the family with asthma, it is not just the person who has it, but the entire family who needs to be sort of prepared to handle it. In most cases, there could be attacks or exacerbations and it is extremely important for the person who is in the vicinity to know how to act. This timely and prompt action could sometimes prove to be a life-saver.
- Handy inhaler: If your loved one has asthma, it is advisable to keep an inhaler handy. Practice how to use the albuterol nebulizer, which often is a lifesaver when a person has an acute asthma attack.
- What to do: In most cases, the doctor writes out an action plan that details what should be done if there is an attack. The person who could be potential caretaker should familiarize with this and probably do a mock trial so they are ready when required.
- Monitor: Whether it is a young or an elderly person, teach them to monitor peak flow levels. The peak flow meter is easy to use and the readings can help identify if there is any need to be watchful.
- Clean up the house: For allergic asthma, the accumulated dust in the furniture and animal dander are great triggers. It helps to keep the house clean by periodic cleaning of the carpets, mopping up the tiles and flooring. This helps to remove accumulated dust and prevents attacks. Avoid accumulating soft toys which tend to collect dust. Bookshelves need to be cleaned periodically.
- Smoking: Avoid smoking at home or as much as possible when the asthmatic person is around.
- Pets: If possible, avoid them as they produce dander which can trigger an attack.
- Empathy: An asthma patient requires a lot of empathy. One should understand that the asthmatics are also affected by their attacks, which in turn controls their overall schedule. Try to slow down and keep pace with them. Do not push for exercise or changes beyond a certain point, as the person knows how much they can stretch. Help them manage weight and stress, as these lead to acute attacks.
Healthify your lifestyle: Eat healthy, avoid foods which can induce an attack, get a good night’s sleep, avoid triggers, maintain weight, avoid smoking, and manage stress. Emotionally, match up their pace and show empathy. All these will definitely produce better control over asthma.
Despite this, it is possible to have an attack, so be cautious. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
A drug is used to treat a health issue or a disease, but it can rarely happen that the drug itself can cause an allergic reaction. Read on to know more about important things you must know about drug allergy.
What leads to a drug allergy?
The body’s immune system identifies any trigger as an antigen and produces “antibodies” to fight the antigen. It can, however, rarely happen that the drug itself can turn out to be an antigen and trigger the production of antibodies. There is a slight difference between side effect and allergy caused by a drug.
While a side effect will be seen in almost any person who takes it, the allergic reaction to a drug is based on the person’s immune system. A weakened immune system has a higher chance of triggering a drug allergy. For instance, steroids have the side effect of increasing sugar levels, whereas penicillin causing anaphylaxis is an example of a drug allergy.
A side effect may sometimes be positive too; however, a drug allergy is almost always negative.
Another aspect also is to note that a drug allergy may disappear over a period of time.
Possible drugs causing allergies:
- Antibiotics like penicillin and sulfa drugs
- NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)
- Chemotherapy drugs
Kinds of drug allergies: While there are many drugs which can cause minor allergies like a rash, there are some which could have a life-threatening effect. Anaphylaxis, for instance, can be very dangerous, and if not immediately attended to, can even cause death. Most often though symptoms include irregular heartbeat, swelling, and difficulty breathing.
Treatment of drug allergies:
For mild drug allergies, if the drug is critical for improving health, then the doctor can choose to continue the drug and give another drug to control the reaction.
However, if the reaction is severe, then an alternate needs to be given so that the health is taken care of, without causing a severe allergic reaction. Some common agents used to treat drug allergies are listed below:
- Antihistamines: Most allergic reactions are associated with the release of increased amounts of histamine. Therefore, antihistamines are used which can be used to control symptoms like swelling, redness of eyes, itching, and rashes. These can be used as eye drops, nasal spray, creams, or tablets.
- Corticosteroids: Often used to control overall inflammation and used in managing symptoms related to airways.
- Bronchodilators: If there are issues relating to breathing and chest tightness, this class of drugs are used.
Be frank with your doctor and tell any reaction you might notice. When having future surgeries, including dental, let the doctor know about your allergy. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Necessity is the mother of invention. Ironically, accidents to end up in discoveries. Sir Alexander Fleming accidentally discovered Penicillin in 1928. After many years of research and experiments, Penicillin eventually came into use during World War II. Though it’s believed to be a blessing, it has opened the doors for various allergic reactions and bacterial resistance over the period of time. About 10% of people report allergies to Penicillin, wherein more than 90% of these patients are found not to be allergic to Penicillin after skin testing.
Reactions to Penicillin:
Penicillin belongs to a family of antibiotics known as beta-lactams which also comprises of Penicillin G, Cloxacillin, Ampicillin, Amoxicillin, Piperacillin, and many more which are believed to be effective in eradicating common bacterial infections and relatively inexpensive.
The major problem in the use of Penicillin is hypersensitivity reactions. Your immune system can work wonders when encountered with any foreign body (antigen) by producing its antibody, which fights against the antigen. When your body is attacked by bacteria the lymphocytes (T-Cells) trigger the production of antibodies (immunoglobulin) to fight against the bacteria. However, in some people Penicillin administration can be considered as an invader and their immune system produces antibodies against it, thereby resulting in allergic reactions.
Acute and Sub - acute reactions:
You can observe two clinical pictures resulting from penicillin allergy:
Acute allergic reaction:
- Mediated by IgE(Immunoglobulin E) antibodies as a result of previous exposure.
- Arises immediately within minutes to an hour or two.
- Results in release of histamine and other mediators from mast cells.
Sub-Acute allergic reaction:
- Mediated by IgG (Immunoglobulin G) antibodies.
- Occurs 7 to 10 days after Penicillin treatment.
- Results in the activation of the complement reactions producing inflammation.
Risk factors for IgE mediated reaction:
- Frequent or repetitive courses of Penicillin.
- High dose parenteral (rather than oral) administration.
- A history of other allergies, such as food allergy or hay fever.
- Certain illness commonly associated with allergic drug reactions, such as infection with HIV or Epstein - Barr virus.
Watch out for:
While people are taking a Penicillin medication several different rashes can appear:
- Suggest a true allergy.
- Raised and intensely itchy spots.
- Come and go over hours.
- Occur with other allergic symptoms like wheezing or swelling of the skin or throat.
- Typically start after several days of treatment.
- Flat, blotchy and non-itchy.
- Spread over days but do not change by the hour.
- Unlikely to be the result of a dangerous allergy.
- Very rare but life-threatening condition.
- Causes the widespread dysfunction of the body systems.
- Signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis include:
Other conditions resulting from Penicillin allergy:
- Serum sickness
- Drug induced anemia
- Drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms(DRESS)
- Inflammation of the kidneys (nephritis)
It's the month of Phagun again and time to prepare for the most colourful and vibrant festival of India - Holi. As the festive cheer spreads and people get ready to paint the town red with colours, dance to rocking beats at Holi bashes, and gorge on Gujiya and Thandaai, it’s good to remember that you need to play it safely and naturally. The biggest reason for this is the synthetic agents, which are used to make the colours of Holi. What used to be a festival played with flowers, natural dyes and herbs have now transformed into a celebration of colours made from chemicals that are harmful for our body.
Apart from the allergies to the skin, there is also the risk of increased blood pressure after the Holi festivities due to the high intake of bhaang, the official Holi drink. To avoid the harmful effects of such materials used during the festival, here are some must-follow health tips for you.
Tips to care for your skin
- Use organic colours: Skin is the most sensitive body part and synthetic colours are a big no-no for it, as they can lead to rashes and other skin allergies. Therefore, it is advisable that you opt for organic colours, considering they are not only chemical free but are made from natural ingredients. Organic colours are safe for children too, as they are softer on the skin and easy to wash off. It is crucial that you protect kids from synthetic colours as they contain lead oxide, mercury sulphide and aluminium bromide, chemicals which not only damage the skin but can also cause various health issues.
- Skin and sun protection: To avoid any kind of damage to the skin from colours, apply a good amount of Vaseline, any other petroleum jelly or mustard oil to your skin. You can also apply this to your child’s skin as it is completely safe for their sensitive skin. When playing outdoors, opt for a waterproof sunscreen to protect your skin against sun damage.
- Choose the right clothes: Wear long pants and full-sleeved shirts. This will help you stay safe from the harmful effects of colours.
Tips to care for your hair
- Oil your hair: You can apply a generous amount of oil to your hair, this will not only moisturize your hair but also safeguard the scalp and hair from the chemicals in the colours.
- Cover your hair: Tie a ponytail and cover your hair with a shower cap to prevent your hair from dreadful damage. For a trendy look, you can also tie a bandana over your hair and safeguard them at the same time.
Tips to care for your eyes
- Wear sunglasses: Synthetic or organic, colours can be harsh on your eyes. You can protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses as they will help in preventing your eyes against any sort of damage. If your eyes come in contact with the colour, rinse them immediately to avoid infections.
- Moisturize around the eyes: Applying a good cream around your eyes will shield them from getting the colour into your eyes.
- Avoid wearing contact lenses: You should refrain from wearing contact lenses while playing Holi. In case you cannot do without them, wear the eyeglasses.
- Use rose water: Rose water is known for its antiseptic and antibacterial properties and can do a great job in removing colour from the eyes. It can also be used to reduce irritation cause by the chemicals present in the colours.
Other health tips
- Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water before, during and after the festivities. Staying hydrated will not only keep you energetic but will also prevent your skin against the absorption of harmful chemicals. Drinking fluids will also ensure that all the toxins are flushed out of the body.
- Check your sweets for purity: Adulteration is at all-time high during the festive season. Therefore, make sure you buy your sweets from a reputed brand. In case, you are preparing your own sweets, buy your ingredients from a reputed shop, especially in case of products like khoya or if you can you even make that at home.
- Keep your hands clean: Keeping your hands clean during the festivities can be a daunting task but since the colours used during Holi come as a fine powder and can easily get mixed with food, they can lead to different health problems. Make arrangements for snacks and drinks away from the festivity area. Make sure you wash your hands every time you touch the food.
- Preventing asthma attacks: If you are an asthmatic patient, you must avoid playing with dry colours as they can aggravate breathing problems. The particles can enter your lungs and trigger an asthma attack. Asthmatic patients are also advised to carry inhalers, in order to avoid complications.
Apart from the above mentioned problems, these synthetic colors can also cause health problems like nausea, headache and vomiting in many people. Follow these tips and enjoy the festival to the fullest, while steering clear of all the harmful effects. So, forget all your worries and storm in the riot of colours. Be safe and be healthy! Have a great Holi!
Allergic conjunctivitis is the result of a foreign particle (allergen) coming in contact with the eye. Once this happens, the immune system overreacts resulting into an inflammation of the eye. The eyes sore with pain. The over secretion of the histamine dilates the blood vessels causing the nerve to irritate and blood vessels of the eyes to expand. Some common reasons of allergic conjunctivitis include eye drops, pollen, dust mites, makeup and animal fur. The good news is that allergic conjunctivitis is easily treatable. Here are top five ways to deal with this condition:
- Taking care of the eye: It is advised not to wear contact lenses until the symptoms go away fully. If any medication is used, a person must wait for at least 24 hours before putting on the contact lenses. Sometimes our hands carry major pollens that result in allergic conjunctivitis. It is equally important not to rub the eye without washing both the hands. Many studies have also reported that frequent bathing of the eye with cold water helps to clear the symptoms quickly. Some even say that frequent splash of warm water does the trick.
- Avoid the allergen: Allergen being the villain behind the occurrence of this condition, it is very important to stay away from it. In peak pollen times, it makes sense to close the door. In case a person must go out, it makes sense to wear a sunglass. A pillow made of feathers should be changed every week to stay away from the infection. The number of dust mites at home should be decreased as much as one can.
- Antihistamines: To quickly get rid of allergic conjunctivitis, doctors often prescribe antihistamines. It can be in the form of eye drop or oral presentation. They can successfully counter the effect of histamine which the body produces because of the hyper activity of the immune system. An antihistamine can block the aggressive effect of the immune system in a short time. Some of the commonly prescribed histamines include loratadine, cetirizine, emedastine, and ketotifen. People taking this form of the medicine for the very first time should refrain from carrying heavy load or driving.
- Mast cell Stabilizers: These takes a little longer to act as compared to antihistamines. Their effects, however, are more lasting compared to its peers. Some of the popular mast cell stabilizers include nedocromil and lodoxamide. This medicine belongs to a non-steroid family and can successfully block the chemicals that cause inflammation.
- Corticosteroids: These medicines are only prescribed by doctors when the symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis are serious. They belong to the steroid family of medicine produced synthetically. They can reduce the immune response of the body quickly and reduce the swelling as well. They can have possible side-effects. It is therefore wise, to consult a doctor before using it. Consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Some people use the same soap for a lifetime not because they are loyal to the soap brand, but because they fear the reaction their skin would have to other soaps. Similarly, people across the world often see rashes erupt after using a new perfume, cosmetics, jewellery or after coming in contact with plants, such as poison ivy or poison oak. This condition is known as Contact Dermatitis. This can be described as skin condition where the skin is inflamed, red and itchy as a result of exposure to a foreign substance.
Most cases of contact dermatitis are not serious, but can be quite unpleasant. There are three types of contact dermatitis. These are:
- Allergic Contact Dermatitis: This condition occurs when the skin is exposed to an irritant it may be allergic to. Common triggers are jewellery, perfumes and latex.
- Irritant Contact Dermatitis: This is the most common form of this skin condition. This condition is triggered by toxic materials, such as bleach, battery acid, detergents, drain cleaners and kerosene. It is also known as hand eczema as it often occurs as a reaction to soaps or over exposure to water.
- Photo Contact Dermatitis: This is the rarest form of contact dermatitis. It occurs when the active ingredients in sunscreen are exposed to sunlight.
Inflamed skin is one of the first symptoms of contact dermatitis. Some of the other symptoms are:
- Dry, flaky skin
- Redness of the skin
- Blisters that may be dry or oozing
- Burning sensation on the skin
- Sun sensitivity
Contact Dermatitis on its own rarely requires anything more than medication. Most cases often subside on their own. Avoid scratching the infected skin as it can make the condition worse. Wash the affected area as often as possible with cool water and soap. Over the counter anti itch treatment like calamine lotion and hydrocortisone cream can help ease the itchiness and inflammation. An anti histamine drug could also be beneficial. If the rash covers a large expanse of skin, consult a doctor who may prescribe a stronger steroid cream.
With contact dermatitis, prevention is better than cure. Three easy tips to follow to protect yourselves against the skin condition are:
- Only use those products that are labeled hypoallergenic or unscented.
- Use vinyl gloves instead of latex gloves
- Cover all exposed skin when working outdoors, hiking etc. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can ask a free question.
What is angioedema?
Angioedema or Chronic Urticaria is a form of severe swelling beneath the surface layer of the skin. In most of the cases, the swelling occurs along with the appearance of hives. This is why angioedema is commonly referred to as “giant hives.” They tend to be itchy and red boils can develop on the surface of the skin. They are predominantly caused by an allergic reaction to food or medication. Many other factors can also trigger angioedema. These can include pollen grains and insect bites. Angioedema is not a serious medical condition and only in some extreme cases, they tend to get really serious. It usually goes away on its own.
The most common symptom of Angioedema is the swelling beneath the surface of the skin. It may occur on any skin surface and can include your feet, hands, back, and lips. The other common symptom is the presence of the red boils on the surface of the skin. Additional symptoms of angioedema can include rashes, stomach cramping and in some cases swollen throat and difficulty in breathing. Difficulty in breathing can get serious if not treated immediately. Seek medical attention immediately if you get those symptoms.
Causes and Diagnosis:
Angioedema is caused predominantly by allergic reactions. Everybody condition is different and the allergic levels of your body can depend on various factors. Some of them can be even hereditary. Some of them can be due to insect bites, pollen allergies, poison oak or ivy, medications and certain types of food. It can also be due to illness or an underlying medical condition. There are certain risk factors too involved in it and this can include a previous allergic reaction, injury, stress and anxiety and as stated earlier – hereditary. Diagnosis is by a physical examination and in most cases, the doctors would examine the areas of the swelling. Your blood samples would also be tested and the substances that have caused the allergic reactions are identified first.
Angioedema is a condition that can go away on its own. Hence minor symptoms and minor skin allergies do not require medical treatment. Moderate symptoms, however, do require treatment and mostly these involve drugs and medications to curb the itching and swelling. There are also certain home remedies that can be used to relieve such symptoms. You can use wet compress, cold press and wear cotton clothes to avoid itching and scratching. In many instances, the agents that cause the irritants are identified first and then the patient is advised to stay from those agents. For example, if a certain type of food is causing you allergic reactions, then you might be asked to stay away from it. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can ask a free question.
Every year, the emergency rooms at hospitals get flooded by cases of allergic reactions from food. According to a census, about 15 million Indians suffer from some kind of food allergy. The symptoms of food allergy may vary from itchy mouth to potentially fatal conditions like anaphylactic shock. Other symptoms of an allergic reaction can present themselves as difficulty in breathing, swelling of the tongue, rashes and intestinal discomfort.
According to specialists, allergies to food can develop at any age, at any time. Hence, if you suspect a sudden allergic reaction to a food that you have consumed before without any problem, it is advised to consult a doctor.
Here is a list of the most common food allergies that people suffer from frequently-
- MILK: Milk is the most common food that children and infants are allergic to. Milk allergy must not be confused with lactose intolerance wherein a person faces many difficulties in digesting the sugar present in milk. The two conditions are not related. Milk allergy is the hypersensitivity reaction that happens in response to certain proteins present in milk and can be potentially deadly. Most children are seen to outgrow their allergy to milk.
- WHEAT: It is a common misconception to confuse Celiac’s disease with a wheat allergy. Wheat allergy exclusively occurs due to the hypersensitivity to the protein present in wheat alone. In Celiac’s disease, it is the gluten in the food they are hypersensitive to, which is also present in rye, barley and oats.
- SOY: Soy is a very common allergic food and most children seem to outgrow it by the age of 10. Most of the time, soy allergy is not too severe and the symptoms presented are mostly mild. Although, cases of anaphylaxis in reaction to soy have been reported. Soy and soy protein are very common ingredients found in food, hence it is advised to check the ingredients present before consuming it.
- SHELLFISH: This allergy usually does not go away and you are most likely to deal with all your life. Most people who experience allergies from shellfish are most likely to be hypersensitive to both crustaceans (lobsters, shrimps and crabs) and mollusks (mussels, oysters, scallops and clams). This type of allergy can become very intense and you must even avoid the steam produced from cooking shellfish. For some people, the mere contact with shellfish can trigger an allergic reaction
Also known as contact dermatitis or contact eczema, allergic eczema is a condition wherein one experience symptoms of skin rash on coming in contact with an allergen. Other symptoms include a burning sensation in the eyes, coughing and a runny nose.
This condition is caused when you come in contact with an allergen. Some common triggers that cause your immune system to react in this manner are:
Perfumes in cosmetics
Metals such as nickel found in jewelry
Latex based products
Chemicals present in soaps and other cleansing agents
Certain antibiotic creams and lotions
With allergic eczema, the most common symptoms include itching and pain around the affected area and tender skin. Inflammation and dry skin are some other common symptoms that one may experience. Pus-filled red bumps are common occurrences along with this disorder. The skin may start to thicken and turn scaly. The symptoms may show up when one is exposed to sunlight.
The treatment for this disorder begins after a thorough diagnosis of the symptoms. Based on how severe the symptoms are, the treatment is prescribed accordingly. The first step is usually to wash the affected area with warm water to wash away the allergens. In case of mild symptoms, you may not need any treatment. It is also advised to use apply moisturizing cream to maintain hydration of the skin. To reduce inflammation and itching, use of corticosteroid creams is recommended.
In case of severe symptoms, strong corticosteroid pills may be prescribed.
If the treatments are carried out properly, the symptoms tend to clear up within 15-20 days. However, it is important to remember that the condition may erupt again if you come in contact with the allergen once more. Thus identification of the allergen is very important for long-term treatment and preventive measures. By seeing an allergist contact dermatitis can be ruled out by doing an Allergy Patch Testing. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a dermatologist and ask a free question.
What is allergic rhinitis?
Allergic rhinitis is defined as allergic symptoms in the nasal passage. Allergic rhinitis can be seasonal (occurring during specific seasons) or perennial (occurring year round). The allergens that most commonly cause seasonal allergic rhinitis include pollens from trees, grasses and weeds, as well as spores from fungi and moulds. The allergens that most commonly cause perennial allergic rhinitis are house dust mites, cockroaches, animal dander and fungi or moulds. Perennial allergic rhinitis tends to be more difficult to treat.
How does allergic rhinitis occur ?
This condition occurs when allergens (allergy- causing substances) come into contact with the nose, and usually also the ears, sinuses, and the throat. When allergens come in contact with the lining of the nose and sinuses, they trigger the cells to release the chemical histamine, which causes the allergy symptoms described below.
What are the symptoms ?
- Nasal congestion
- Watery " runny nose"
- Itchy eyes,nose,or throat
- Puffy eyes or 'allergic shiners'
- Post nasal drip
These symptoms may occur during a certain season or year long. They can occur at any age.
What is the treatment for allergic rhinitis ?
A number of medications, including antihistamines, intranasal corticosteroids, and decongestants are available to control symptoms. Allergen immunotherapy could provide long lasting benefit. You can "train" your immune system not to react exaggerated to an allergen anymore.