Immunodeficiency and Infection: Who’s At Risk?

Immunodeficiency is a serious issue, even if you’re not quite sure what it means. Any child or adult with an immunodeficiency suffers from some type of genetic or medical condition that negatively affects how their immune system works to fight infections.

Some children are born with abnormal immune systems due to genetic conditions called primary immunodeficiency disorders. Other people develop chronic conditions like cancer or lupus that require medications that stunt the immune system. Either way, those with immunodeficiency are significantly more vulnerable to infection than those with healthy and thriving immune systems.

What Medications Suppress the Immune System?

If you take any of the following medications to control a disease or chronic condition, it’s likely that your immune system has become compromised and placed you at higher risk of infection:

  • Steroids like prednisone
  • Calcineurin inhibitors like cyclosporine
  • mTOR inhibitors like sirolimus
  • Biologic response modifiers like Humira and Remicade
  • Chemotherapy or radiation

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What Is Causing Your Itchy Skin?

Scratching an itch brings a unique sense of relief, but what happens when your itching just won’t stop? Chronically itchy skin is usually a symptoms of a larger problem that needs to be addressed. If your skin has become red and raw from itching, try to narrow down the cause so you can finally seek relief.

Treat Dry Skin

Dry skin is one of the most common causes of itchy skin, especially as winter approaches. Dry air especially the forced heat in your home, will dry out your skin quickly. Be proactive by preventing dry skin with the following tips:

  • Use moisturizer every time you bathe or wash your hands
  • Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated
  • Run a humidifier
  • Don’t use scalding hot water
  • Choose mild soaps

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