HOT TOPICS in Allergens, Allergies and Allergists

Author: Action Against Allergy

Date: Jul 2013

New insights into the causes, effects and treatments of allergies were presented at the Lisbon international congress of more than 7,000 specialists from 95 countries. Most studies presented were small, and nearly all said more studies were needed.

Advances have been made in many areas concerning allergies over the years, but food allergies remain a big challenge. Latest developments in allergy research show universal concern with costs, and worry that even if clinical efficacy is proven governments and health care providers will not fund expensive new treatments, for example new biologics for psoriasis.

Other highlights regarding some of the other allergy studies were:

  • Tattoo allergies and the need for greater awareness about the increasing wave of severe allergic reactions in particular to black henna temporary tattoos, especially among young people.
  • Food allergies and how they are increasing. It was noted that they are the most common cause of emergency admissions and they can be fatal. 80% of food allergic reactions manifest on the skin, but other symptoms include: nausea, vomiting, gastroenteritis with diarrhoea, respiratory or cardiovascular symptoms and anaphylactic shock.
  • Contact dermatitis allergens particularly amongst children. The five most coming allergens were tested by at least two studies. The allergens tested were nickel sulphate, ammonium persulfate, gold sodium thiosulfate, thimerosal, and toluene-2, 5-diamine.
  • Hidden perfume allergy study where it was concluded that better labelling of perfumes, cosmetic products, and even toy make-up for children is needed.
  • Chronic hand eczema (CHE) study. CHE can lead to considerable sickness absences. However, quantitative data regarding CHE-related productivity changes under different treatments are scarce. The German observation study TOCCATA has shown successful treatment of CHE with oral alitretinoin with less disease-related sickness absence. The authors concluded: “This is the first report of beneficial changes in disease-related sickness absences in CHE patients associated with successful oral alitretinoin treatment.”

For more information, visit Action Against Allergy

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Last revised: 24 July 2015

Next review: 24 July 2018