Atopy is a condition that is hereditary through the passing of a gene from one’s mother. Children that have two parents carrying the gene are 50% more likely to show symptoms. Atopy is a condition where there is a hypersensitivity to allergens, such as mold, foods, dust, or pollen.
Atopy may appear as a skin rash or eczema, which is an irritation of the skin that may appear as small red bumps, leathery or scaly skin and is almost always accompanied by itchiness. Scratching will only increase symptoms and may lead to infections.
There are three types of atopic diseases. The first type is allergic asthma, which may cause a narrowing of airways that leads to a difficulty in breathing. The second type is atopic dermatitis. This is a form of eczema with inflamed, irritated skin. The third is allergic rhino-conjunctivitis, which results in a stuffy nose, sneezing, and a postnasal drip.
Some factors that lead to outbreaks of Atopy are chemicals found in soaps, shampoos and laundry detergents. Smoking can increase irritation. Certain food allergies can also cause an outbreak, such as fish, eggs, milk, peanuts and soy. Dry skin irritated by long hot baths or showers, or lack of moisturizers can also cause problems.
To treat dry skin, moisturizer should be used daily. Showers and baths should be lukewarm and under five minutes. When an outbreak or flare-up does occur, there are creams found over-the-counter or prescribed corticosteroids that should be used.
Treat reactions with nasal sprays, antihistamines, or/and decongestants. Oral prescriptions will be given for a short period of time, rather than long term. Nasal sprays will be prescribed to reduce asthma symptoms and aid in breathing.If other treatments have not worked, a doctor may prescribe a immunomodulator. This is a last resort and should be used with caution for short periods of time. It is dangerous due to its possible side effects. Another trigger to a breakout is stress, which can be reduced with breathing exercises and meditation activities. Physical activity is a stress reducer. If itchiness is a factor, this can be reduced with lotions that include oatmeal or baking soda.
Brief summary: Atopy is a disease where the individual has a hypersensitivity to allergens. Three common atopic diseases are allergic asthma, atopic dermatitis, and rhino-conjunctivitis. Common allergens are pollen, dust mites, mold, foods, or smoke. Allergic asthma affects nasal passages and treatment to aid in breathing could include nasal sprays, decongestants, or antihistamines.
Rhino-conjunctivitis affects the mucous lining and will lead to a drippy nose, sneezing, and oftentimes, coughing. Nasal sprays or allergy meds will be prescribed. Atopic dermatitis, itchy skin, can be prevented with creams and moisturizers.
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