What Is Contact Dermatitis, and How Is It Treated?

Contact dermatitis is a general diagnosis for a rash that comes up as a reaction to contact with a substance. There are a lot of different things that can cause contact dermatitis. Treatments for contact dermatitis vary, and allergy testing may be needed to ensure that it doesn’t happen again. Here’s what you need to know.

Causes of Contact Dermatitis

Contact dermatitis usually takes the form of a red, bumpy, very itchy rash. This rash is actually an allergic reaction to a substance. There are many potential causes of contact dermatitis, including soaps, laundry or dish detergents, cosmetics, lotions, fragrances, jewelry, and plants. Some other common irritants that can cause contact dermatitis include:

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Symptoms of Antibiotic Allergy and What to Do

Whether you have taken antibiotics in the past or not, it is possible to develop an allergy to certain antibiotics. An allergy is the immune system attacking because it thinks the antibiotic is a harmful substance. The first time you take an antibiotic, the immune system determines whether or not to attack, but may not do so. However, the next time you take the antibiotic, it could cause an allergic reaction. Here are the symptoms of antibiotic allergy and what to do if you have an allergy.

Common Symptoms 

It is important to distinguish an antibiotic allergy from side effects from the medication. Common side effects are rash, diarrhea, nausea, loss of appetite, and yeast infections or thrush. These are not signs of an allergy, although they can be concerning and you should report any side effects to your doctor. On the other hand, common symptoms of an antibiotic allergy include:

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What Allergy Shots Are and How They Work

If you have been suffering from allergies for most of your life, you may be interested in what many people are calling allergy shots. These allergy shots are supposed to limit or eliminate your allergy, depending on who you talk to. In reality, allergy shots can help reduce allergic reactions to some allergens, but they aren’t necessarily the miracle that some say. Here’s what you need to know about what allergy shots really are and how they work.


What Allergy Shots Are

Allergy shots are actually injections that contain a bit of the allergen that you are attempting to eliminate. Your allergist will formulate the injection based on the severity of your allergy and your effective course of treatment. The allergy shots contain a very small amount of the allergen at first, with the dose increasing over time. 

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Winter Cold or Indoor Allergies? When to Get Allergy Testing

Just because spring and pollen are no longer issues, there are still some allergies that can affect you in the winter months. Especially if they have never had issues with allergies before, many people assume that their sniffling and coughing is due to a winter cold, but it may be an immune system response to indoor allergens such as dust mites, molds, or pet dander. Here’s what you need to know about when to get allergy testing.


Allergic Symptoms

There is some overlap in symptoms between a winter cold vs. indoor allergies. With both conditions you will have a runny nose, sore throat, and a persistent cough. However, allergy symptoms will also include itchy or watery eyes, itchiness in the back of the throat, or itchiness of the ears. Alternatively, if it is a winter cold you may have fever and aches. If you have the allergy prone symptoms, you should get tested.

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Three Myths and Facts About Indoor Allergies

Winter is coming, and that means spending more time indoors. If you have outdoor allergies, you might be thinking that this is the time of year that you get a reprieve. Yet if you have any indoor allergies, those are likely to flare soon as you spend more time indoors. Here are some myths and facts about indoor allergies that you should know.

Myth: Indoor air is cleaner than outdoor air.

The truth behind this myth could be surprising. The indoor environment is 5 to 10 times more polluted than outdoor air. There are a number of allergens that circulate in closed environments. There are also some pollutants that you face such as smoking, cleaning products, and other sprays. The more time you spend indoors with these allergens, the more likely you will be to have a problem.

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Three Types of Pets for People with Pet Allergies

It is natural for people to want a pet to love, cuddle, and play with. Many adults without children would like a pet, and many families would be happier with a pet in the mix. But allergies in adults or children can make getting a pet seem impossible. However, there are still some pets that might work for you. 


If you have a dog or cat allergy, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have an allergy to all pets. You may very well be able to get a rabbit. Rabbits can make great pets. You can groom them and play with them the same way you would a cat, for the most part. A rabbit is also very easy to care for. 

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Three Common Indoor Allergies and How to Treat Them

Now that spring and summer are over and fall is here, it is time to shift your attention from seasonal allergies to indoor allergies. If you have never dealt with allergies before, it is possible that you will have a reaction to some of the indoor allergens that are present in nearly any home. Just as with seasonal allergies, there are treatments available that can decrease your symptoms of indoor allergies. Here are the four most common indoor allergies and how to treat them.

House Dust

House dust is actually comprised of a number of particles, including food particles, fabric particles, and other potential allergens. However, what really makes house dust an allergen is dust mites. Dust mites are tiny arachnids that cannot be seen with the naked eye, and they live in every home regardless of how clean you keep it. If you have an allergy to dust mites, you will likely need to take over-the-counter allergy medication on a daily basis when you are spending more time indoors.

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Three Things You Can Do to Minimize Indoor Allergies

Now that spring and summer are over, you might think that you are going to get relief from your seasonal allergies. However, there are many indoor allergens that can cause allergies during the fall and winter months, and because it is colder, you are spending more time indoors with those allergens, making it more likely that they will affect you. Here are three things you can do to minimize indoor allergies in fall and winter.

Replace Furnace Filters

Your furnace filters catch all types of airborne allergens in its webs, but those same allergens are being sucked back through the furnace and throughout your home through the vents. It is important that you change your furnace filters frequently, at least once a month, to prevent allergens from being circulated back through the air.

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The Difference Between Food Intolerance and Food Allergy

Do you feel ill when you eat a certain food? Many people assume that if a food doesn’t agree with them that they have a food allergy, but there is actually a difference between a food allergy and food intolerance. It is important to understand the difference, as they are treated differently.


What Is Food Intolerance?

Food intolerance is a condition in which the body’s digestive system rejects a food. A common example of this is lactose intolerance. Many people are unable to eat dairy of any kind due to lactose intolerance, and eating dairy can cause these people to have horrible digestive issues such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. A food intolerance is a nuisance, but it is not life threatening or dangerous to your health. 

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What Are Hives, and How Are They Treated?

If you have ever known people who have allergies, you have probably heard of hives. Hives is a skin reaction that forms raised bumps or welts on the skin. It is usually caused by an allergy. If you ever get hives, it is important to see an allergist to discover what you are allergic to and get treatment. For severe cases of hives, an emergency room visit might be necessary.

Is It An Allergy?

When you get hives, your priority is to discover the cause of those hives so that it can be avoided in the future. Although there are a few other things that can cause hives, the most common culprit is allergies. To discover if you have an allergy, you should see an allergist. They will take a medical history, ask you questions about your lifestyle, and formulate a possible list of allergens. 

Once a list of allergens has been made, the allergist will use patch testing to determine if you have an allergy to them. The allergen is put into a patch that is placed on the skin for 24 hours to discover if there is a skin reaction. A very small amount of the allergen is used for testing, so that the reaction will not be severe.

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