Archive for November, 2015

Itching?

Itching without a rash may not be an allergy

Itching is a common symptom seen often in the allergist/immunologist’s office. However, if the patient is itching without a preceding rash, there are a list of numerous possible causes and include non-allergic conditions. We first need to determine whether the cause of itching is derived from the skin or another organ system. Itching that is not caused by a skin condition usually does not have a rash, although some patients can develop a secondary rash.

Several circumstances can cause itching without a rash and can be due to systemic, neurologic, or psychiatric conditions. A few examples of systemic conditions include kidney disease, liver disease, hyperthyroidism, lymphoma, polycythemia vera, and HIV infection. Narcotic medications can have itching as a side effect, as well as nerve injury from shingles or spine disease, as they can cause localized itching at the affected area. Lastly, psychiatric conditions such as substance abuse or obsessive-compulsive disorder can also lead to itching.

The management of itching without rash should start with evaluating for and treating the underlying cause. There are a variety of remedies available for symptomatic relief; moisturizing the skin, keeping nails short, wearing loose clothing and taking antihistamines. While antihistamines are often used for itching, studies suggest that first generation antihistamines only help itching by causing sedation.

There are more successful, prescribed oral medications available which can be slowly increased to minimize side effects.

If you have questions regarding an allergic condition, I invite you to come in for a consultation.

For more on allergy triggers, visit my website NYC Allergy Doctor.

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Tips for Managing Food Allergies

Managing food allergies may seem overwhelming at first, but it does get easier over time.

Start with these basic measures to safeguard yourself from adverse reactions and prepare yourself for the challenges you will face.

  • Emergency medication – Due to the nature of food allergies, it is important to be prepared against anaphylaxis, always carry your Epi-pen.
  • Outline an emergency care plan and inform family and friends of the plan. This will alert those around you to recognize signs and symptoms of your allergies so that they know when and how to use your emergency medication.
  • Wear medical identification at all times to make responders aware of your allergy.
  • Plan in advance how to handle certain situations; prepare yourself for variety of environments you may find yourself in. Keep a food diary to assist in learning what foods to avoid and get tested if symptoms persist.

To successfully manage food allergies, you have to monitor your diet and lifestyle.

Accidents can happen and you should always be prepared. If you have any questions, you can read more about Food Allergies on my website at http://www.nycallergydoctor.com Or if you feel the need to be tested for allergies and live in the NYC area, please call our office to arrange for a consultation, 212-247-7447.

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