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arrow Allergies

Contact Allergies

Most of us have had adverse contact reactions at some stage in our lives.

Various materials, metallic, synthetic or even natural have been known to produce allergic reactions in our skin or even as a systemic reaction.

Examples of these materials would be like nickel, a metallic substance found in buttons, jewellery, watches, spectacle frames etc. Latex is another naturally producing material that is widely used in everyday domestic, industrial and medical applications.

These are only two of an endless list of potential allergy causing materials.

The symptoms could be mild like a contact dermatitis reaction to extremely severe leading to anaphylaxis and death.

Some materials are hidden and therefore their presence will go undetected until a reaction occurs.

It is possible to test for these allergies either by contact patch testing, skin prick tests and by RAST in-vitro blood tests.

Treatment is of course by avoidance, and various medical treatments in lessening the effects of the allergy.

One cannot assume however that contact allergies are only caused by contact. They are able to manifest their effects by the inhalation and ingested routes as well - e.g. someone with a severe nickel allergy is likely to react to mushrooms, asparagus, oysters, peanuts and a list of another 30+ foods.

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