Understanding Allergy Shots

If your allergies are severe or if you have significant side effects from your prescription medications, your doctor may recommend that you get allergy shots. Get all the information you need about allergy shots ›

What You Need to Know About Hives

Hives occur when something prompts cells to release histamine, a chemical found in the skin. The histamine causes nearby blood vessels to dilate. Fluid leaks out of the dilated vessels and collects under the skin in a raised, flushed, itchy bump called a wheal or hive. Some wheals look like mosquito bites. Wheals often come in groups and may be as small as pencil erasers or as large as 2 to 3 inches across.

Some people know that certain foods or drugs give them hives. For most others, the causes may not be obvious.

"Acute" hives, or hives that are a reaction to a stimulus such as a drug, can last for hours or days. Chronic hives, often of unknown cause, can last for weeks or months.

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How Much Do You Know About Allergies?

True or False: A skin rash can indicate that you have a food allergy.

Allergies on Vacation

If you or your child has allergies or asthma, planning can help you keep sneezes, sniffles, wheezing, and attacks under control while you're on vacation.

“This is particularly important whenever you’re away from home,” says Richard A. Nicklas, M.D., an allergy specialist in Washington, D.C. Dr. Nicklas is also a spokesman for the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. You can’t always predict when you will have a reaction in a new place, he says. Make sure you have your medicines with you in case you need them.

The following steps can help you and your family travel safely:

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Did You Know?

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Which one of the following is not among the most common food allergens?

Allergies Related Conditions