Everyday I teach patients the difference between “allergy” and “irritant” reaction. TV ads are overloaded with allergy advertisements in an attempt to sell antihistamines, so why wouldn’t you think that everyone has allergy of some kind. The link below is a question about allergy (anaphylaxis in this case) to chemicals. Consider the following:
- Adverse reactions to pollen, food, chemicals can be divided into “allergy” or “intolerance/irritants“.
- Allergy is defined as the production of IgE to the substance in question. This is why you have positive skin tests and blood testing. Why does this matter?
- You can only be “desensitized” to allergens, not chemicals. IgE can be decreased and if you don’t have IgE to begin with you can’t delete its effect.
- The only treatment for irritants is to avoid them, regardless of whether the substance is a food or chemical.
- For chemical reactions or food intolerance, there’s not much to say except to stay away. Click on the link below just to make sure!