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Receiving allergy shots can be an effective way of treating allergies in patients. Generally, people who suffer from allergies are often advised by medical practitioners to avoid environments and situations that can trigger an allergy attack. However, given the fact that this might be impracticable for certain patients, they are given the option of receiving regular allergy shots to keep the condition in check.
Allergy shots or “allergen immunotherapy”, involves receiving regular and controlled dosages of injections that contain pure strains of the allergens that trigger the patient’s attacks. This regular exposure to the allergens allows the body to get used to them and build the proper immunity that will help to prevent allergic reactions.
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Likely Side Effects of Allergy Shots
It is not uncommon for some patients to experience some form of body itching from allergy shots. This is especially more common amongst patients that are just starting off their allergen immunotherapy. The itching would generally be localized around the spot where the allergy shot was applied and would be mild in most cases. Some patients might show a more extreme reaction to an allergy shot and develop more serious cases of itches that spread all over the body or break out in hives.
This happens because the body is expressing its discomfort at this willful introduction of a substance that it doesn’t like. Some patients might also have a level of body hypersensitivity that is not immediately compatible with the first shot. As the therapy goes on for longer periods most cases of itches should disappear. In rare instances though, a patient will show an allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis which can be fatal if not immediately treated after receiving an allergy shot.
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Useful Tips to Keep Itching Minimal
Allergic shots should be administered only by medical personnel in an environment where they can immediately administer life-saving measures should an extreme reaction such as anaphylaxis occur. Most patients are always kept around for a period of at least thirty minutes after every allergy shot, to monitor if they will develop any unpleasant reactions. If none is noticed, the patients are allowed to go. However, a number of patients will experience some level of body itching after they might have left the hospital premises. Following some of the tips below could help prevent or mitigate this.
- Avoid Scratching
When you notice your itching, try as much as possible to avoid scratching the region. Scratching can only make the itching worse.
- Avoid unnecessary exertions
Keep your exertions at a minimal level immediately after receiving your allergy shots. This reduces sweating which may enhance body itching.
- Stay away from heated environments
Make sure you do not stay for too long in stuffy, humid or hot environments after taking your shots. Also try to avoid wearing clothing that could make you feel unnecessarily warm.
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What to Do When You Notice Your Body Itching
Not everyone might be able to follow some of the tips given above, especially avoiding scratching the affected area. A cool shower can help relieve body itching from allergy shots. You could also apply mild moisturizers and lotions to soothe the affected spots. Antihistamines can also be taken to reduce itching. If you take an antihistamine, you must make sure it is taken at a time and place where you know you can conveniently doze off to sleep as they tend to make one drowsy.
If you however notice that your level of discomfort is becoming unbearable, then it is best to immediately report to an emergency room or go to the hospital.
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Web: Kids Health: Allergy Shots http://kidshealth.org/parent/medical/allergies/shots.html
Web: MayoClinic: Allergy Shots http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/allergy-shots/MY01158