Almost every individual is allergic to some medium or the other in his/her lifetime. No human body is of the same composition and hence what could be allergic to someone can be harmless to another person. It is advisable to know your allergic agents, and it is better to stay away from them rather than coming in contact with them and spending for the treatment. As a rule, your doctor would first test your allergic reactions before prescribing medications and drug. In some cases, a drug that doesn’t suit can do more harm than good. In most of the cases, such a scenario can make your body behave abnormally, and you could experience an increase in blood pressure, heart beat, fatigue, skin disorders, etc. In some rare cases, an allergic reaction can lead to a coma and can be fatal if immediate medical attention is not given. So, let us say it’s safe to check your allergens through a series of tests and determine what you are allergic to beforehand. The allergy tests have been designed in such a way to establish this fact. In the changing times and with new contagions evolving every day, it is better to be safe and find what is really right for you and what type of agents you are comfortable with.
The treatment is done by a blood test that checks for the substance in the blood called as antibodies. They are efficient and form essential means of identifying what you are allergic to and what allergens you have to stay away from. The other types of test are sensitive and are used to determine the allergic nature of your skin. Most of the allergies throw their first symptoms only on the skin. Hence it would be safe to take a skin test too under the circumstances. Skin tests are of three types. Skin prick, Intradermal and skin patch test. In the skin prick test, a droplet of the solution containing the allergens is dropped onto your skin to check for the reaction. In the intradermal test, an allergen is directly injected into your skin to check for a reaction. Both these tests are done in a controlled environment and the compound used will be very minimal. Hence you would not have to worry about things going wrong. In the skin patch test, an allergen solution is placed on a pad, and it is stuck to your skin for a period of 24 hours to 48 hours. This test is usually done for getting the reaction levels of a condition known as dermatitis.
Any individual who wants to check his/her allergic pattern can undergo this test. What might be allergic for one person will not be allergic to the other. Hence it is always safe to check your allergic levels before hand so that you can take adequate precautions or can stay away from them. The allergy test also can be done when you want to take a new medication or a prescription drug.
People with a very high blood pressure and low blood pressure are not suitable candidates as, if they are allergic to certain allergens, this can cause the pressure to behave abnormally. Do consult with your doctor before you go for such tests. Also, pregnant women need to avoid these tests.
There will be no side effects for a blood test. However, if you are undergoing a skin prick test, then it works on the principle whether the chemical is allergic to you. In those cases, you might feel the allergic reactions. But since these are administered in controlled doses, the reactions are temporary and can go away on its own. These tests are safe to undergo.
If you are having a simple blood test, there are no post-treatment guidelines to follow. You can carry on your usual routine without any change. If you are undergoing the skin patch test then depending on your allergic reaction you might have to rest for some time before you get back. Also based on the results your doctor will advise on the allergens you have to stay away from. These can be food or even a physical thing like dust, pollens, dirt, etc.
Allergy test treatment is usually done to determine the allergic reactions of your body in a controlled way. Hence there is no recovery period, and after your results, you might have to make some changes to your lifestyle and diet patterns. You might also be asked to stay away from certain pills and medications. Also, you might be asked to cover your face and nose in case you are allergic to dust when you step out.
The average test would cost around INR 2,000 to INR 3,000 in India. These are mostly blood test and can test your immunoglobulin levels. For skin tests and the patch tests, the cost can be additional and depends on the medical center you are having. The medications and the treatment options can be additional too.
The results of the treatment can be permanent only when you stay focused away from the harmful allergens. You have every chance of developing the condition again if you accidently come in contact with your allergic agents. For example, unknowingly you take a medication that has a product that is not suitable for you – You could get the allergic reactions back. It is best to stay safe and have a caution of your surroundings if you have a tendency to get allergic effects.
For an alternative treatment, you can try going for getting the supplements and nutrients from the fruits and vegetables. You need to consult with your doctor if you can take herbal remedies for keeping the allergic reactions under control, as most of them are extremely safe without any side effects. If any food is allergic to you can try having it in an alternate form.
While a sizeable population suffers from allergy issues every year, treating them is often possible without an extensive diagnosis. However, diagnosis of the allergen becomes crucial when the problem recurs several times in a year.
The skin prick testing is a reliable means of diagnosing the IgE-mediated (immunoglobulin E) allergic disease in people who have asthma, urticaria, rhinoconjunctivitis, atopic eczema, anaphylaxis, and drug allergy.
It offers evidence for confirming the diagnosis of the type I allergy. The best aspect of allergy testing by skin prick method is that it is minimally invasive, inexpensive and the results are immediately available when carried out by trained professionals.
Why is skin prick test conducted?
Skin prick test is usually used for diagnosing the food allergy symptoms which are typically caused by the interaction between a food allergen and the IgE antibody. To diagnose a food allergy, the allergy expert may recommend you undergo a skin prick test for measuring the number of antibodies present.
What can you expect?
During the skin prick test, the allergist places a drop of solution which contains the food allergen on the back or the forearm. When testing the fruits and vegetables, food is used in place of solution. In this allergy testing method, the doctor would use a needle or a plastic probe for gently pricking or scratching the skin for allowing a small amount of solution to penetrate the skin surface. This method is not painful, and no bleeding is involved in it. Though many people think that the process would cause much discomfort, the reality is that it feels similar to a scratch caused by fingernails.
On the basis of the case history, a patient may need to be tested for just one or many foods. The results are almost immediate; You can get them within half an hour of the test. The positive results of the test are indicated by a wheal which causes a raised white bump encircled by a small circle of itchy red skin. Though the size of the wheal is not the accurate indicator, a large wheal generally indicates that the patient is affected by food allergy.
How accurate is skin prick testing?
The skin prick allergy testing hardly produces any false negatives which indicate that you are not allergic to a food. Having negative results is synonymous with not being allergic to the food for which you are tested. On the other hand, positive results are also not always accurate. About 50 percent of cases show false positives which mean the positive result is shown even though you are not allergic to that particular food.
This simple test can be the means of identifying the allergens which will help determine the allergy prevention plan. Consulting an allergist before undergoing the test is essential.
A very serious allergic reaction, Anaphylaxis requires immediate attention and treatment. Common allergies usually affect a certain part of the body, while a person affected by Anaphylaxis may develop a life-threatening allergic reaction in multiple parts of the body. Dealing with Anaphylaxis can often be tricky as the symptoms of the allergy are hard to detect, knowing about them can help you seek much-needed help at the earliest.
That being said, here are some symptoms that may occur in the case of an Anaphylactic reaction:
Further research on symptoms due to anaphylaxis have shown that some patient may feel completely blacked out as soon as they are hit by an anaphylaxis reaction. Furthermore, few patients have also reportedly incurred a second reaction attack that is known as Biphasic anaphylaxis.
Diagnosis of an Anaphylaxis attack
After learning the seriousness of an anaphylactic reaction, you ought to stay put and deal with the condition at the earliest. Allergies, if ignored, can become fatal.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Allergic reactions are the body’s way of responding to foreign substances. The body recognizes these substances (be it food, pollens, insect bites, etc.) as antigens and produces antibodies. These antibodies can cause various reactions depending on the severity of the allergen, be it skin rash, hives, or angioedema. In severe cases, there could be swelling of the tongue and the respiratory tract, leading to choking of the airways.
Literally, angioedema means swelling of the blood vessels. These are located in the underlying layers of the skin and their swelling can lead to formation of giant hives, which can be extremely itchy, reddish, and oval or circular in shape. The affected area I usually warm and painful to touch.
Angioedema is caused due to the following:
Food allergies including eggs, peanuts, shellfish, milk, tree nuts, chocolates, etc.
Insect bites or stings
Pollen, latex, animal dander, poison ivy, and other common allergens
Medications like aspirin, penicillin, ibuprofen, and some blood pressure medicines
In response to blood transfusions
Auto-immune disorders like lupus
Conditions like leukemia and thyroid disorders
Infections like hepatitis, cytomegalovirus infections, Epstein-Barr infections, etc.
Weather conditions like extremes of cold, heat, or pressure
Extreme emotional stress
Genetic angioedema, passed on from parents to children, which could last forever
While hives usually develop without any warning, the following condition puts a person at risk of developing angioedema.
Predisposition to allergic reactions (highly active immune system)
Previous history of allergies
Genetic history of allergies or angioedema
Most angioedema cases are limited to the skin and hives, but there could be severe cases leading to respiratory distress.
If it is the first instance of hives, the doctor would ask detailed questions about similar occurrence in the past. They would also check if there are similar hives on other parts of the body like the back, which you may have missed. If required, this examination is followed by allergy testing and blood testing. The allergy testing will help identify if you are allergic to some of the common things which cause allergy. The blood test will look for your eosinophil count, which is usually high in people prone to allergies. C1 esterase inhibitor test and complement particles also can be checked, if there is suspicion of genetic angioedema.
This would depend on the severity of symptoms
Once you know what caused it, avoid exposure to these substances and further attacks can be prevented. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor.
There are many cosmetic procedures that are accessible to patients who need to surgically reposition the facial tissues that have loosened as one ages. One of them is the Vampire Facelift which uses infusions of the patient's own blood through an element known as Selphyl.
The Vampire Facelift, or Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP), includes extracting spoons of a patient's blood from their arm and spinning it in a rotator to isolate the plasma - the liquid part - from the red and white platelets.
The concentrated plasma, which is rich in platelets, is then infused into the face. A few experts pump it with dermal fillers to further lift up the loosened zones, for example, under the eye. The procedure is as follows:
Blood from the arm is extracted, which is then spun in a rotator to isolate the platelets.
The platelets are then re-infused into the skin with a fine needle and just infused into the areas that need be lifted or rejuvenated.
These infusions include a little fat as well, to make a smooth, rounder and plumper appearance.
During the Vampire facelift procedure, Hyaluronic corrosive (HA) fillers are utilised which help in lifting the skin from the bone to give your skin a decent shape with a younger look.
Again this HA filler would pursue the wrinkle that is connected with your face and make an alternate shape of the face which might look different from the original one.
Some of the advantages of this facelift are:
Change in skin surface and tone.
Reclamation of facial shape.
Growing new and younger tissues.
Superior option to neurotoxin (Botox) and different infusions.
Infusion of the blood causes no bruising, as it is a thin, watery liquid.
No allergy testing is required as the substance is the individual's blood.
However, there are certain disadvantages as well. These are as follows:
Most plastic surgeons do not believe in the efficacy of this procedure.
Uncertainty whether Selphyl has been FDA approved for facial revival.
There will be some redness in the rejuvenated area.
The Vampire Facelift takes a few weeks to bring about results.
The disadvantage with HA fillers is the way it will make your eyes hurt.
The infusions are not just used to smoothen the wrinkles on the face. It can likewise be utilised on different parts and areas of the body with diminished volume or wrinkles. The technology that is behind the Vampire Facelift is not new. Doctors have been utilising one's own plasma to help other procedures like bone mending after spinal wounds and to recover delicate tissues after plastic surgery for a long time. Like any sort of medicinal technique, it is important to conduct appropriate research to check whether it is ideal and suitable for your body and skin type. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a dermatologist and ask a free question.
Eczema is not a disease per se, but is a name given collectively to a group of medical conditions, which can cause the skin to become inflamed and irritated. Atopic dermatitis is one of the most common types of eczema.
While the exact cause of eczema is not known, the most commonly attributed reason is an increasingly sensitive immune system. The overactive immune system produces antibodies, which cause these skin reactions. It is also noted that people with allergies including hay fever and asthma are more likely to develop eczema.
Other conditions which can lead to eczema include allergic dermatitis, irritant dermatitis, stasis dermatitis, scabies, fungal infections, xerotic dermatitis, lichen planus and scalp infections.
There is also a genetic predisposition, and children whose parents have had eczema are likely to develop eczema.
In most people, eczema is present in the form of small blisters, which are filled with fluid and can ooze. Gradually, there could be dryness, crusting, scaling and thickening of the skin with plaque formation. The most common symptom would be itching. The different types of eczema as noted above would have diagnostic features. For instance, when testing for irritant or contact dermatitis, there would be an irritant that is causing this. Stasis dermatitis would have circulatory issues and often affects the lower legs.
In fair-skinned people, these lesions begin as red and then turn brown. There also could be lightening of the affected skin area in people with slightly darker skin.
For a trained medical eye, diagnosis of eczema is not a tough task. A complete physical examination may be done to assess the extent of eczema spread. Blood tests may be done to test for allergies. In very rare cases, a biopsy may also be required.
The goal of treatment is to reduce itching and improve moisturization. Eczema, unless associated with an infection, is not contagious.
Using copious amounts of creams and lotions help in improving hydration and moisturization, as they are allowed to soak into the skin.
Topical steroids may be required if allergy is suspected. In most cases, hydrocortisone and corticosteroid creams are very effective.
Associated infections like scalp infections and fungal infections should also be treated with suitable products.
Immunomodulator creams like Elidel are useful by suppressing the immune system and preventing flare up of the allergic reactions.
Cold compresses may be used to relieve itching.
Since there is a strong genetic component related to eczema, prevention is helpful.
Constantly keep the skin moist and hydrated by using moisturizers, especially during winters.
Avoid clothes and metals which can cause allergy- like wool, nickel, harsh soaps, detergents, etc.
Avoid or be careful about food items which are known to cause allergies. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a dermatologist and ask a free question.