Treatment of an
Avoid triggers! If you know you have an
allergic reaction to peanuts, for example, do not eat them. Go out of your way
to avoid foods prepared with or around peanuts.
Treatment at home is not enough in cases
of severe allergic reactions. A severe reaction is a medical emergency.
Shortness of breath, wheezing, swelling of the lips and mouth tissue, muffled
voice, inability to swallow, and widespread hives are all danger signals of
- Do not attempt to
treat or "wait out" severe reactions at home. Go immediately to a hospital
- If no one is
available to drive you right away, call an ambulance.
- For more information
on what to do in a severe reaction, see Anaphylaxis.
Small reactions with mild symptoms usually
respond to non-prescription allergy medications.
- An oral
antihistamine, such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl) can ease allergic
reactions. Caution -- these may make you too drowsy to drive or operate
machinery safely. They can affect concentration and interfere with children's
learning in school. Nonsedating antihistamines are now available over the
counter and include loratadine (Claritin). These drugs should be taken for
only a few days.
- For rashes, use an
anti-inflammatory steroid cream such as hydrocortisone
For small, localized skin reactions, try
cold, wet cloths or ice. Try applying a bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in a
First Aid Case List -
back to top -