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Asthma

Early Symptoms of Allergies

11/15/2001

Question:

At what age do allergy and asthma symptoms first begin to show? My 3-month-old granddaughter is exposed to dogs at my home when I babysit. I, my daughter, and several other people on the baby`s maternal side have allergies and asthma (under control by medication). No one on her paternal side is bothered by this. Could allergy symptoms appear this soon, and if so, could they appear as a skin rash or redness?

Answer:

Often in a baby this young the first sign of allergy could be an eczematous skin rash. This is often caused by food allergy at this age. Development of eczema at this young age means that the baby is at risk of developing allergic asthma as she gets older. With a strong family history of allergy and asthma, exposure to the dog, could result in allergic asthma at a young age. We try and convince parents who themselves have suffered with allergy to make their homes at allergy-proof as possible so as to minimize exposure to indoor allergens (animals, dust mite) as much as possible.

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Response by:

David I Bernstein, MD David I Bernstein, MD
Professor of Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati