Reactions Get Worse With Time – How bad your reaction is, depends a lot on how much of the allergen you were exposed to, and how much got into your body. So the next reaction you have could be better or worse than your first reaction, although if you know what you should be avoiding, hopefully the chances of you taking a big bite of something by mistake will be less.
Giving A Little Bit To Encourage Tolerance Is A Good Idea – This is a nice theory, and there is evidence that giving regular (daily) small amounts of egg, milk and nut can help tolerance develop. HOWEVER, there is also a genuine risk that you will also cause a reaction, particularly if your allergy is severe, or if you are not administering the right type or amount of food. So you should ONLY do this if advised by your allergy doctor/nurse.
Kids Outgrow Their Allergies – This is true in many cases for milk and egg allergy, it is however not true for most other allergies.
Allergy Testing Is Dangerous – Skin testing and blood testing is extremely safe. The worst reaction you get from a skin test is an itchy lump. Some people faint with these tests, but this is not due to the allergy! A “challenge test”, where you are given an actual food to eat, does carry a risk of a severe reaction, so should only be used when there is a good chance that the allergy has gone away (or that the child is not actually allergic), and should be done in an experienced centre in a gradual, step by step way.
You Can Test For Allergies Using Hair Samples – There is no scientific basis for allergy tests using hair samples. Always ask for evidence that the test being offered is looking for specific antibodies and that it gives results that predict the result of a double blind challenge.
You Can Test For Allergies Using Bioresonance (Vega) Testing – There is no scientific basis for allergy tests measuring electrical currents at different sites in the body, and these tests are banned in the US. Always ask for evidence that the test being offered is looking for specific antibodies and that it gives results that predict the result of a double blind challenge.
Goats Milk Is Good For Milk Allergy – Goat’s milk is pretty much identical in allergy terms to cow’s milk, you are extremely likely to react to it if you are genuinely allergic to cow’s milk.
Milk And Wheat Allergy Common In Adults – True (type 1) allergy to milk and wheat is uncommon in adults, and much less common than people report. Those who are not allergic may well be intolerant, this tends to cause problems with digestion rather than skin/breathing reactions but there are lots of different intolerances and symptoms/signs can vary widely. So you may well need an assessment by an allergy professional to establish what exactly the problem is.
Milk Allergy Causes Sinus And Ear Problems – Many families report that milk seems to cause nasal and sinus congestion, but there is not scientific evidence for this. Dust – dust mite allergy is common. It is not the dust itself you are allergic to, but the microscopic beasties that feed on the skin debris that comes from our bodies. So dust from brick, building work etc will not cause allergic reactions.
Food Additives Can Cause Allergies, (e.g. Sorbic Acid (Sorbate), Tartrazine, MSG, Benzoate). There is very limited evidence for any role of food additives in causing allergy. Reactions may be more common in children with chronic urticaria and angioedema. Many symptoms including migraine, gastrointestinal disturbances and joint pains have been attributed to food additives, but there are no reproducible and consistent data from challenge studies to support this. Research done in Southampton in 2007 suggested that in children without ADHD, certain food additives were linked with hyperactive behaviour, but this is not a symptom of allergy. Sulphites and natural salicylates may cause problems but these are best termed adverse reactions as they have an effect on the immune system similar to some medicines eg aspirin/ibuprofen. [PJ Turner, J Paeds Child health 2010]
Steroid Creams Are Dangerous - Excessive steroid use will cause skin problems including thinning, changes in pigment. The other side effects of steroids eg mood changes, diabetes are only when large doses are ingested or injected. But uncontrolled, chronic inflammation in the skin (eczema) will also cause long term skin damage! So the key is to use as little steroid cream as you need, and to make good use of other eczema treatments eg emollients.
Egg Yolk Is Ok, Even If You Are Allergic To Egg - Although most of the protein is in the egg white, you can still react to the yolk.
MMR And Egg - MMR vaccine is made using egg, but there is no identifiable egg protein in the final product. Although in the past there was concern about allergic reactions, there is lots of experience of giving MMR to children with egg allergy, and current advice is that MMR should be given to everyone, unless you have had an anaphylactic reaction to the vaccine in the past.
Having A Dog At Home Can Cause Chronic Coughing And Wheezing – If you are allergic to dogs, then yes, but in fact there is evidence that allergies including asthma are LESS common if you grow up in a home with a dog.
Allergy Free Dogs – There are lots of different dog allergens, and you get different ones in saliva and skin cells. So you can be more allergic to some dogs than to others (it also means that allergy tests for dog are unreliable). Certain breeds are described as being hypoallergenic, because they shed less, but this is no guarantee that you won’t be allergic to it, and ignores the role of grooming and washing. The other thing that often happens is that you can be OK with your own dog (due to regular contact) but allergic to other dogs.