Allergic reaction (Urticaria)
Identifying an Allergic reaction:
- Generally appears as a red lesion on the skin, the skin is raised by a few millimetres and is very itchy.
- Run your fingers gently along the lesion to confirm an allergic reaction.
- Itching is a common occurrence during an allergic reaction but not always. Itching could also sometimes be caused by other factors and should be diagnosed differently.
- The appearance of the lesion depends on the area of exposure (mostly). For eg. Skin.
- If the child has consumed the allergic substance, it can present itself as swelling/ redness over/near the mouth.
Seek medical advice if:
- The reaction is severe accompanied by pain and discomfort
- There is swelling of lips or the mouth
- There is noisy breathing or discomfort while breathing
- There is discolouration of urine
- You suspect other causes/ Complications.
- In mild cases, treatment is generally not necessary. It usually subsides in a few hours.
- If moderate reaction/ discomfort, start oral antihistamines ( Chlorphenamine/ cetirizine) which are over the counter medications.
- A short course of steroid tablets (oral corticosteroids) may occasionally be needed for more severe cases.
- Adrenaline injections may be given in the hospital if there is a severe reaction.
- Meet your paediatrician if you are worried about the extent of the reaction.
- In severe reactions (anaphylaxis) you will be given Adrenaline auto-injector (a pen device with adrenaline)
- Skin prick test can be done to find the suspecting allergen.
- Small quantities of allergen are injected into the skin and the reaction is analysed.
Complications (Immediately consult your doctor if any of the below are present)
- Angioedema( swelling in the deeper layers of skin)
- Anaphylaxis (swollen eyes, lips/ breathing problem/ vomiting/ unconsciousness)
Using Adrenaline auto-injector pen (EPI-PEN, JEXT)
- It is a pen-like device containing Adrenaline in chemical form to treat severe allergic reactions.
- It is important that you use the auto-injector correctly so that the adrenaline is delivered into your muscle and works quickly. Ask for training from your doctor or nurse on how to use your adrenaline auto-injector.
- Carry two injectors with you at all times.
- The first dose should be given immediately and the second dose can be repeated after 15 minutes if symptoms don’t improve. Call for an ambulance immediately after the first dose.
- Your family members, carers or teachers should also be instructed in the correct use of the auto-injector. Wear a band instructing your condition.