What – Hives, Rashes, Itchiness, Blisters, Swelling
Allergen – Food allergens, environmental substances such as chemicals, insect bites
What to Do – For mild symptoms or a localized reaction such as to an insect bite, a soothing ointment or gel should be sufficient.
Although several folk remedies purported to draw out the poison or allergen exist, be sure to research their efficacy before using them, as they can be counterproductive.
Food allergies tend to cause systemic skin reactions over a large area. Depending on the severity, medical treatment may be necessary. Some sensitized individuals will react with anaphylactic shock to an insect bite or sting or a severe food allergy; these individuals should have an Epi-pen on hand at all times.
What – All of the above
Allergen – Usually caused by toxic overload; see section on Toxic Overload for full discussion
What to Do – Avoidance of all pertinent allergens is the only sure way to gain relief from system-wide allergic response.
*There is some controversy between traditional medicine, which seeks usually to treat symptoms first with medications, and natural medicine, which maintains that the symptoms are serving an essential purpose and should be relieved only through natural methods while the cause is determined and corrected. In the case of allergic rhinitis, overuse of nasal sprays and OTC antihistamines can often lead to a rebound effect, leaving the patient worse off than before. Likewise, patients often misuse inhalers and could be better served by desensitization or other methods of coping with allergy. Avoid long-term use of these medications as described on the usage labels, and seek medical attention if acute symptoms last longer than two weeks. Long-term use of OTC medications should also be under a doctor’s supervision.
A word about anaphylactic shock or anaphylaxis: We have mentioned this condition several times, so a definition and more complete explanation are warranted. Anaphylaxis occurs when a person is exposed to an allergen and as a result, the bronchial tubes become inflamed and swollen, constricting the airway. If the reaction is severe enough, the airway can become completely blocked, which results in death if not treated immediately. When signs of anaphylaxis begin, seek emergency medical attention immediately. This severe reaction will not go away on its own.