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Allergies

Sudden allergic reaction

04/17/2008

Question:

Hi,

I have had a dilema over the past two years and am at a loss. I have suddenly developed an allgergic reaction whenever I visit my parents home, which up until that point had no problems. Whenever I visit, the next day I develop small blisters that start on my chin and within the next few days travel up my face to my eyes. It can get so bad that my eyes swell shut. One reaction I had the whites of my eyes swelled and I went to an optomistrist. He prescribed and antibotic which seemed to work. After exposure it takes an entire month to be back to normal. I have been to 4 doctors and a dermatologist but to no avail. I even took an allergy test which came back negative. The dermatologist stated there was nothing else she could do. We have tried everything to resolve this reaction but nothing seems to work. I can`t even take Benedryl as it does not make a difference in the reaction.

Nothing has changed in their house,their cleaning products and there are no pets. One thing I have noticed through the 2 years of dealing with this, is that the reaction only seems to affect what is exposed. Ie, Face and neck as I always seem to wear long sleeve shirts and pants.

I will mention that I have suffered from eczema all my life and I know that there is no way this is it. It may develp into it after the inital reaction but is not the cause. This reaction only happens at their place and no where else I visit.

Any help you could give would be greatly appreciated as my parents are not getting any younger and I can`t stay away as I help them out.

Thanks

Answer:

This sounds like a perplexing problem. It could be contact dermatitis, and patch testing, if not done, may help elucidate the problem. Without knowing more about your history and environment at home and work, it is difficult to tell you specifically what is going on. You need to see an allergist for routine skin testing to seasonal and perennial allergens to assess your allergic status and patch testing to rule out common sensitizing agents. Go to www.aaaai.org to find an allergist near you who is qualified and interested in allergic skin reactions.

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Response by:

Jonathan   Bernstein, MD Jonathan Bernstein, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati