- Crusty, itchy bumps on the skin (known as actinic prurigo)
- A burning rash that may develop a fluid-filled blister (polymorphic light eruption)
- Hives that may burn or itch
What causes sun allergies?
Some people can thank genetics for their sun allergy, while others may develop sun allergies due to certain medications such as antibiotics or antihistamines. In other cases, the cause is unknown.
What is the best way to handle a sun allergy?
It’s important that those with a hypersensitivity to the sun avoid spending extended periods of time outdoors, particularly between the hours of 10 am-4 pm. It’s important that everyone, particularly people with sun allergies, wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Make sure to apply the sunscreen liberally for about 30 minutes before going outside.
If you are taking any medications make sure to check the labels to see if they mention anything about photosensitivity. If so, you must heed the warning and avoid being out in the sun as much as possible. If you have a true sun allergy, your allergist is going to be able to provide you with the best course of action to help you manage your condition and prevent sun allergies from flaring up.
If you suspect that you might have a photosensitivity disorder, or if you’re dealing with recurring hives, an allergist is often the best doctor to turn to for answers. An allergist can examine skin rashes and provide allergy testing to determine whether the sun or other allergens could be to blame for your symptoms.
Hives are usually the most common sign of a latex allergy, but there are other symptoms, including,
- Flushed skin
- Itchy skin
- Runny nose
- Shortness of breath
- Persistent cough
- Chest tightness
Since there is no cure for latex allergy, one of the best things you can do is educate yourself on what products contain latex so you can avoid them. Most people know that disposable gloves often contain latex (which is why it’s important to always tell your doctor that you have a latex allergy before coming into the office). Other products that may contain latex include,
- Bottle nipples
- Some adhesive bandages
- Rubber bands
- Shoe soles
- Blood pressure cuffs
- The buttons of an ATM
While latex might seem like it’s in a lot of everyday things, there are definitely replacements and alternatives. For example, mylar balloons do not contain any latex, unlike their rubber equivalent. Talk with your doctor or any medical practice about your allergy before coming into the office, and also call restaurants or salons to let them know about your allergy. Not sure whether or not a product might contain latex? Check the label. It should tell you.
You could have asthma if you experience any of these symptoms,
- Shortness of breath
- A persistent cough that may be worse at night or first thing in the morning
- Chest tightness
- Feeling like you can’t get a full breath
Several things could trigger asthma. Common triggers include,
- Allergies (e.g., pet dander; mold; pollen)
- Environmental irritants (e.g., fireplaces; cold air; cigarette smoke)
- Respiratory infections (e.g., cold; flu; pneumonia)
If you had asthma before pregnancy then your asthma specialist has already provided you with a customized treatment plan and medications; however, if this is the first time you’ve been diagnosed with asthma and it’s during pregnancy you must see an asthma specialist right away. Untreated or uncontrollable asthma during pregnancy can increase your risk for preeclampsia, premature birth, and low birth weight. If you’re experiencing any symptoms of asthma during your pregnancy, you must seek proper medical attention.
Insects that Bite
There are a variety of insects that can bite and cause allergic reactions. The most common types include,
- Certain types of flies
Insects that Sting
The most common types of insects that sting include,
- Fire ants
Signs of an Allergic Reaction
A normal reaction to a bug bite is to experience a little pain, swelling, itching, or redness near the area. Symptoms may last a few hours or a couple of days, but usually aren’t anything to worry about. This is a normal reaction, and not considered an allergic reaction.
However, a severe allergic reaction (aka anaphylaxis) can be deadly, so you must be able to recognize the symptoms in yourself or others so you can seek immediate medical attention. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction include,
- Hives or blotchy skin that spreads all over the body
- Swelling of the lips or tongue
- Trouble breathing
Having a pet can be incredibly rewarding and a lot of fun; however, if you or your child has just found out that they have pet allergies, then you may be concerned about cohabitating with your furry companion or you may worry that now you can’t have a pet. Before you fear never being able to have a pet or having to rehome your companion, your allergist will be able to provide effective solutions to help alleviate and manage your pet allergies while still living a wonderful life with your pet under one roof.
Adopt Pet-Free Zones
If your pet has full reign of the house, chances are fairly good that your allergies are acting up pretty regularly. You must keep certain areas “allergy-free” zones, which are off-limits to your pet. Your bedroom should always be a pet-free zone if it isn’t already. Also use a HEPA air filter in these rooms to help purifier the air and remove dander, germs, and bacteria.
Give Your Pet Regular Baths
To help prevent dander from building up, you must bathe your pet at least once a week (if you find that this is too tough on your allergies, you can easily have the pet taken to a local groomer to have the job done). If you do plan to bathe your pet yourself, make sure to use shampoos and products that are designed for pets only.
Place Air Filters in all Rooms
If you can, it’s a good idea to place air filters throughout your home, not just in your bedroom. HEPA air filters will be able to remove dander and airborne germs, while also preventing allergens from getting trapped on curtains, rugs, and furniture. Of course, while an air filter can be helpful it isn’t foolproof. You’ll also want to wash all couch coverings, beds (including your pet’s), and rugs regularly.
Use Allergy Treatments
This will take some trial and error, and you’ll want to work with an allergist. After all, you might think that you’re allergic to your pet when it could actually be a different allergen altogether. An allergist can test for all allergies to determine what’s causing your symptoms. We can also recommend or prescribe antihistamine sprays or oral medications. For more severe pet allergies, you may wish to consider immunotherapy (aka allergy shots), which is incredibly effective for lessening or even getting rid of pet allergies completely.
If you are worried that your or your child might have pet allergies, an allergist is a perfect person to turn to for answers. They can diagnose your allergies and also provide you with a custom treatment plan to help you get your allergies under control so that you and your pet can live happily ever after.
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