Medical questions & health advice by licensed doctors
"How are allergies treated?"
Is there any permanent cure for allergies? I have to live on antihistamine creams and pills for my rash that keeps flaring up for no apparent reason. I can't determine what it is related to, but the rashes are red and itchy, and very uncomfortable. They are not seasonal. Is there some kind of testing that I can have done, or treatment?
Allergies have many different treatments. This is mainly because there are various locations, causes and severity of allergies. I would recommend that you see your primary care physician to help you with this. If you have severe allergies, seeing a specialist (an allergist) would be important. Allergies are common. Essentially, this occurs when the body's immune system recognizes a foreign substance and attempts to clear this with an inflammatory response. One of the way the body signals for the inflammatory response is through the release of histamine. Therefore antihistamines can work. There are many different types -- benadryl, allegra, claritin, zyrtec etc. Exactly where the allergy is can help determine which would be the best. Talk to your doctor. The best way to reduce the inflammatory cascade is to give the strongest anti-inflammatory. This is steroids (like oral or topical prednisone). This has many side effects, but can be helpful if needed. Again, talk to your doctor. It is important to identify the allergen as avoidance is the fundamental treatment. Allergists can diagnose the cause with skin allergen tests. (They inject small amounts of common allergens and see what causes a reaction). There is also RAST blood testing. Talk to your doctor. An allergist would also be helpful.
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