5 Ways On Managing Your Dog’s Skin Allergies

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By Monica Mendoza

walkingdogJust like us humans, our dogs can be prone to skin allergies, causing them to scratch, itch, and chew at their skin and fur. This can cause not only unattractive, bald patches on their coat but possible wounds and injuries as well.

Fortunately, there are ways to help manage your dog’s skin allergies, or even prevent them from being triggered – with some you can do even before a veterinarian has to get involved. Below is a list to helpful tips you can implement in case you’ve noticed your dog scratching and itching more than usual.

Prevent flea infestation at all costs. Nothing can trigger or exacerbate a dog’s skin allergy faster and more effectively than fleas. In fact, it would only take a couple of bites from a lone flea to get your furry companion to scratch themselves until they’ve gouged bloody scratches onto their skin. Imagine, then, how they would feel with a full-blown flea infestation. As such, you should always have your dog on some sort of flea prevention method as much as possible. Giving them regular anti-flea treatment baths and powders are both effective solutions.

Buy only hypoallergenic accessories for your dog. Another similarity between dogs and humans when it comes to skin allergies is that the materials making up their accessories could also trigger an allergic reaction. Some dogs, for example, can get contact dermatitis from metal collars, while others may get skin irritation from wool covers on their beddings. In such cases it’s recommended to just get a brand new dog collar or cover, preferably one that’s made of hypoallergenic material and clearly sold as such. You may have to work with your veterinarian to verify what is hypoallergenic to your dog and what isn’t.

Maintain a strict diet. While the occasional store-bought treat is harmless and can give your dog a great mood boost, it’s always a good idea to keep your dog on a strict and hypoallergenic diet. Use fruit or brightly-colored vegetables (such as carrots) as treats instead of those with preservatives or artificial flavorings. Avoid giving your dog anything that has poultry, dairy or beef in it, as they are common allergy triggers.

Give your dog regular baths. Some dogs love baths while others just won’t get one without a fight. Whichever category your dog falls into, it’s important for them to be bathed one or twice a week – preferably with a gentle, soap-free shampoo formulated especially for canines. If you’ve already been to the veterinarian, then they should have already prescribed a medicated shampoo for your dog to use. Also, be sure to wash off all the shampoo suds off your dog completely, as any leftover suds may cause itching.

Have your dog undergo allergy testing and immunization therapy. Figuring out what is responsible for your dog’s allergy can be a trial of patience and anxiety. If you and your dog are both at your wits’ ends, you can go right to the veterinarian and have them perform allergy testing on your canine companion. From there, it’s possible that your dog will have to undergo immunotherapy – i.e. having your dog regularly injected with serum in order to desensitize them to their allergens and train their immune systems to ‘ignore’ the allergens. This may be a cost-prohibitive measure and involve multiple visits, but you’ll no longer have to worry about your dog having an allergic reaction, especially if it turns out that his allergens are something very common (such as pollen or even human dander).

Skin allergies are no picnic, especially for a dog. However, as their owners and companions, we can take certain steps in order to prevent our pets from developing these allergies. As with all medical advice, however, if you’re not sure about your dog’s allergies, it’s always a good idea to skip the self-diagnosis and go straight to the veterinarian.

6 Signs That Your Baby Has Allergies

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By Julieane Hernandez

mombabyBabies are not invincible. From the moment they enter world, they are very, very fragile beings. They are handled by care with all, to make sure that they are protected well.

But no matter how you do your best to protect babies, they will still be prone to a variety of sickness that serve to strengthen their immune system from future attacks. This is why they still need medicine for headache and fever from time to time.

One of the ailments that could trouble your bundle of joy are allergies. An allergy is a hypersensitive bodily reaction to normal irritants, signaling a dysfunction of the immune system. It could be triggered by food, animal fur, and even pollen!

But how can you tell if your baby has allergies? In this article, we’ll look at the 6 signs of this human hypersensitivity disorder.

1. Constant sniffles

If your infant regularly contracts the sniffles, especially in the morning, it could be a sign of allergic rhinitis, caused by allergens in the air during certain seasons or even those inside the house.

2. Crankiness

Allergens can be a bother to a point that it wakes up babies in the middle of the night, called micro-arousals. This can cause babies to be surprisingly grouchier because of the lack of sleep. You might even awaken to your infant’s cries or coughing episodes in the wee small hours.

3. Itchiness in the eyes

Do your little tots frequently rub their eyes to the point it turns red? Do you catch them frequently balling their hands into fists and scratching their eyes out? Itchiness there is a major indication of an allergic reaction, while red, unscratched eyes is a possible sign of a fever.

4. Clear phlegm

A phlegm-filled nose and throat is another indication of an allergic reaction. The color won’t be any hue of green or yellow, for that matter. Phlegm-induced allergic spells are clear in color. In relation to their viscosity, the clear phlegm is thin, instead of thick like the yellow/green colored ones.

5. Breathing difficulty/breathing through the mouth

babyThe fifth sign almost always goes hand-in-hand with the first. If a baby’s nose is clogged, he/she will definitely have a struggled breathing. What happens then is that an infant will be forced to breathe heavily through the mouth instead.

6. Rashes and swelling

Sometimes, children will contract rashes and possible swelling of a certain body party when near an allergen. Normal rashes look like red pockmarks on the skin. But if they are accompanied by swelling, then the rash is a definite sign of an allergic reaction.


To avoid this unwanted scenario from happening, get your child immediately tested for allergies before they even happen. This involves skin and blood work to determine what will set off one’s bodily reaction when faced with an allergen. Once the results are you, you’ll know what specific food, substances, or environments to avoid so that your baby doesn’t suffer from an allergic reaction.

And that ends our article. To recap, some of the signs a baby has allergies are constant sniffles, crankiness, itchiness in the eyes, clear phlegm, breathing difficulty, rashes and swelling on a certain body part. We hope you learned something new today.

Have you successfully averted any of these reactions with your infants? Do you know of any more signs that your baby suffers from allergies? If you have any more information regarding the above questions, let us know in the comments section below.

– Julieane Hernandez is a freelance writer and a hotel and restaurant management graduate turned designer. She’s an advanced tri-athlete during weekends. She’s been in the industry for about 6 years now and She’s learned so much from all the experiences she’s been through. Follow her on twitter and google+

Seasonal Allergies – The Annual Anomaly

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By Michael Ravitsky

dandelionFor most people, the turn of Spring is a wonderful time of year – the cold ebbs into the distance while tree leaves and flowers bloom anew. Unfortunately for millions of Americans, Spring also means a runny nose, sneezing, and congestion. Those who experience seasonal allergies – such as allergic rhinitis – have gotten accustomed to the inevitable discomfort. However, have you ever stopped and wondered, why? Why do I get these symptoms, but not my brother? We will take a look at the science behind seasonal allergies and why only some people get them despite being exposed to the same substances as everyone else.

Over one-third of children and around one-fourth of adults experience allergies. These numbers appear to be increasing over time. However, except for the idea that genetics may have some influence on susceptibility to allergies, the scientific community has been unable to pinpoint exactly what causes allergies and why people as a whole are experiencing more allergies. One idea is that our environments are becoming increasingly polluted, what with motor vehicles, cooking fumes, and miscellaneous industrial fumes becoming increasingly prevalent both within our homes and outside. This in turn is making our immune systems more sensitive and reactionary to foreign particulates.

Over one-third of children and around one-fourth of adults experience allergies.

Allergies are actually your immune system making a complicated mistake; when certain particles enter the body, some people react to them as though the substances are malicious pathogens – harmful or infectious microorganisms. Your immune system produces an antibody called IgE, which adheres to Mast cells. These cells contain a chemical called Histamine, which induces the inflammatory response in your body – this is your body’s chemical reaction to pathogens and irritants.
(On a side note, this is why allergy medicines are called antihistamines)

Under normal bodily function, this reaction occurs in response to viruses, bacteria, parasitic fungi, and other harmful organisms. The aforementioned mistake is this: for many people, relatively harmless substances will induce this same response. Examples include dust particles, pet dander, and pollen. In reality, none of these substances poses a serious biological threat to our systems; unfortunately, our bodies don’t realize this. For reasons unknown, pollen is particularly prolific in this physiological charade, which is why Spring causes millions of sneezes and watery eyes.

Pollen is a relatively fine powder containing the male sex-cell-producing organs of seed plants (gametophytes). The blooming of so much life comes at a cost to sufferers of seasonal allergies; every Spring, millions of trees release enormous amounts of pollen in attempt to reproduce. Certain grasses and weeds pollinate at different times of the year, which is why people particularly sensitive to pollen will continue to experience symptoms even long after Spring passes. For most people, though, it is Spring that brings about this annual anomaly.

– Submitted by Guest Author, Michael Ravitsky of factorypure.com.

Spring Has Sprung: Asthma And Allergies On The Rise

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By Dr. Barry Zeffren

twokidsunIt is that time of year again: birds are chirping, skies are bluer. The days are getting longer, and the grass is going from the brown and yellow of dormancy to the vibrant green that warmer weather promises. Leaves are emerging on the branches of the trees, and the Westerly Winds blow out the frigid cold air and swoop in with the warm winds and the promise of summer. We daydream about our emergence from our winter cocoons, and make mental checklists of the warm weather activities soon to come:from planning our summer gardens to our impending invitations to Mother’s Day brunches and barbecues. Of course, with all the planning for the beginning of spring, there comes the inevitable spring allergy season.

Because pollen is the most common allergen, cases of hay fever rise dramatically in the spring. Approximately 40 million Americans suffer from spring seasonal allergies, and this number is on the rise. Children with parents who suffer from seasonal allergies are over 30% more likely to also develop allergies. And while many of these people who suffer from allergies think they can alleviate the effects allergies have on their lives by sequestering themselves indoors during the spring months, the fact is that indoor air is often 50 times more polluted than outdoor air. For this reason, many allergy sufferers feel they can never escape the misery they are wrought with when it comes to spring allergies.

inhalerSo what causes allergies? It is an autoimmune response in which the body recognizes an otherwise harmless substance as harmful to the body. The results are the symptoms of seasonal allergies. These symptoms can be anywhere from mildly irritating to a debilitating condition which renders sufferers completely at the mercy of the pollen counts. These symptoms can include itchy and watery eyes, runny nose, congestion, sneezing, cough, skin rashes, and in severe cases can result in constricted airways and asthmatic symptoms. For some, the symptoms of seasonal allergies appear as severe skin allergies. Large, scaly, patchy plaques can appear in some skin allergy sufferers. Other skin allergies are prickly rashes which can cause extreme itching, redness, and discomfort.

Treatments for spring allergies and asthma can vary greatly. For mild cases of seasonal allergies, an antihisthamine prior to exposure to allergens can be helpful. Unfortunately, these types of medications can also cause drowsiness, even after regular and prolonged usage. There are a lot of over the counter medications which offer users 24 hour allergy relief. These work by actually blocking histamines (allergy-causing irritants). The medication binds to the histamines in the body, which then block the allergic reaction such as sneezing, itching, or coughing. For severe allergy sufferers, there are also more intense treatment options. Some patients require regular allergy shots during the spring allergy season simply to be able to get out of bed each day. Others require daily inhalers and prescription strength medications in order to get their symptoms under control and more manageable. There are also natural allergy remedies which many users find to be very effective. Yamoa powder has been touted by many users to be a complete cure for allergies and asthma, with most users being completely relieved of allergy symptoms after just four weeks of use.

kidsunningtogetherFor those who suffer from skin allergies during spring allergy season, hydrocortisone creams can be extremely helpful. These types of creams are a corticosteroid preparation which helps to reduce swelling and irritation, as well as relieve itching and redness. For severe cases of skin allergies, which can often result in eczema, more powerful topical steroid creams may be required. These are usually available by prescription, and can be fairly inexpensive. For those who are interested in an all-natural treatment for skin allergies, magnesium oil can be particularly helpful. There are ways to prepare magnesium oils at home, or pre-mixed solutions can be purchased at many different retailers. The magnesium oil is misted directly onto the skin, and has been shown to be highly effective at relieving the symptoms of skin allergies, eczema, and psoriasis.

Spring is almost here. Blue skies and green grass hold the promise of warmer, long, sunny days and sultry evenings. Unfortunately for many allergy sufferers, spring is also the beginning of months of miserable allergy symptoms. For those who suffer from seasonal allergies, there are a lot of different ways to treat the cause and the symptoms to make allergy season a lot less miserable.

– This article was written by Dr. Barry Zeffren who is an allergist at the Allergy and Asthma Care Clinic in Granite City IL. To find out more about Dr. Zeffren or the Allergy and Asthma Car Clinic go to www.metroeastallergist.com.

Guest Post – Murray Grossan, M.D., What Is Best For The Child’s Allergy? Breakfast In Bed!

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Dr. Grossan Suggests ‘Breakfast In Bed’ For A Healthy Alternative

This year promises to be the worst allergy season; already more allergy problems are flooding the doctor’s offices due to increased pollen in the air.

Your five year old Suzy is sneezing and hacking when she gets out of bed, even though you gave her the prescribed expensive prescription yesterday? What to do? Give her breakfast in bed. How does that work?

In allergy, you have what I call, a crooked thermostat.

Without allergy you go from hot to cold without problems. Your body is designed to adjust nicely.

But, with allergy, instead of the normal adjustment to temperature change, when you get chilled, you sneeze and hack. This movement does warm the body; but once you start the sneezing, it continues, often all day.

When you sleep your temperature normally goes down. When you leave the warm bed and your feet hit the cold floor and you breathe the relatively cooler air, you need to make an adjustment to the temperature change. In allergy, that’s the sneeze and hack, because the thermostat is now “crooked.”

The solution is to drink hot tea, or hot cereal or hot chocolate, preferably with bread or cereal, before getting out of bed. Now, the temperature is adjusted and there is no need to sneeze. You don’t activate the crooked thermostat. Getting chilled is bad for allergy. Iced drinks, in and out of air conditioning, a fan blowing on you – with the crooked thermostat, you increase your allergy symptoms.
Does this work? I have written about this for years and I get letters from readers of my book, Free Yourself from Sinus and Allergy all the time on how that simple action reduced their allergy symptoms.

Why tea? Green and black tea, with or without caffeine, has various elements that really benefit any allergy. For the child, try to find a honey or jam that suits the child’s taste. This doesn’t have to be boiling hot, just so it is warm. The reason allergy may lead to a sinus infection is that, with constant sneezing, the nasal cilia that normally move bacteria out of the nose, become exhausted. Drinking hot tea speeds the nasal cilia and helps to restore good cilia function of moving the bacteria out of the nose and sinuses.

Remember, allergy is like arithmetic, you need a ten:

Pollen is four, dust is 2, fatigue is four, getting chilled is four equals 14 you get symptoms.

If pollen is four, dust is two, no fatigue, chilled is three equals nine, no symptoms.

Other factors such as hot spicy foods, avoiding pollen, less dust in the bedroom are all part of the allergy arithmetic.

I am fully aware that the busy mother doesn’t have time to serve a hot breakfast in the bedroom. Try finding a flavor the child will accept and prepare a thermos. Surprisingly, once the child understands how effective this is, they will even volunteer to prepare the thermos themselves!

Today we understand that the fewer drugs, antibiotics, that the child takes, the better his/her health. The breakfast in bed, the warm tea, reducing the arithmetic of allergy can help.

For more suggestions please see www.grossaninstitute.com