The Different Types Of Infant Allergies

There are several different types of infant allergies a parent may have to contend with. Some times the allergic reactions are quite mild, and may not cause the infant noticeable discomfort, while in other rare instances an infant's allergy can be life threatening. Although rare, even the though of such an incident happening can be a scary one for any parent.

Children are born with an immune system that, as far as allergies are concerned, is ready to take on all comers. Like an adult's immune system, the infant's system can at times view a foreign substance which makes contact with, or enters the body, as an invader, even though the substance is harmless, and over react, causing an allergic reaction.

As is the case with adults, infant allergies come in different classifications. They may be ingested, they may be inhaled, or they may come into contact with the skin. No matter the source, the immune system may spring into action, although the symptoms of a reaction can vary.

Eczema And Dermatitis - One of the more common symptoms of infant allergies expresses itself in the form of atopic dermatitis. This is a skin condition, an eczema, which tends to be inherited, or rather the causes behind the condition, the allergen and the reaction to that allergen, tend to be inherited. Infants and babies can also suffer from contact dermatitis, where the skin reacts to an external agent, usually a chemical, but atopic dermatitis is far more prevalent among the very young. Moisturizers, lotions, and topical medications are the usual means of treatment, and are often meant more to soothe rather than cure, as some instances of eczema cannot be cured. Most children outgrow atopic dermatitis, although some have to deal with it their entire lives.

Hives - Reaction to an ingested allergen can result in a number of different symptoms, one of them being an outbreak of hives. When the hives are located in a single small area, the cause is most often one of contact with an external allergen. If the allergen is ingested or inhaled, hives are more apt to show up all over the body, or at least in several different places, such as the abdomen, hands, and face.

Symptoms of an inhaled allergen often manifest themselves as breathing problems, although any allergic reaction that is severe, no matter what the source, can sometimes through swelling, affect the airways. Inhaled allergens are most apt to result in a runny nose or watery eyes. Smoke is often a cause, whether it be wood smoke, a petroleum based smoke, or tobacco smoke.

Food Allergies And Breast feeding – Breast feeding can sometimes be the cause of infant allergies, as the infant inherits its mother's allergies. In general however, breast feeding is recommended for almost all children, and tends to make an infant's immune system stronger that it was at birth. It is seldom that a mother finds it necessary to switch from breast feeding to formula due to infant allergies.

As far as food allergies are concerned, about one in twenty children are allergic to one food type or another, with a dairy product allergy being among the most common. Hives can be one symptom, which usually shows up soon after feeding, although for some children and some foods, an allergic reaction sometimes does not occur until a specific food has been eaten a number of times. There may be no reaction when the allergic food is first eaten, followed by a mild reaction at some later date when the food is eaten again, and a more severe reaction still later, after which time the severe reaction is apt to occur any time that food is ingested.

General Symptoms - Besides hives, food allergies can cause diarrhea, eczema, constipation, congestion, and abdominal swelling or bloating. Symptoms of airborne allergies are usually confined to the respiratory system, while external allergens an infant may come into contact with may give rise to any number of symptoms.

Anaphylaxis - The worst case scenario is Anaphylaxis which is a very severe reaction and can be life threatening as both the respiratory and circulatory systems can be badly stressed. Breathing problems are commonly experienced if an infant is attacked by Anaphylaxis. As far as infant allergies are concerned, Anaphylaxis is often unpredictable and can come on suddenly. Fortunately it is rather rare.


 

 

 


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