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Laser useful for severe facial acne

AllergiesJul 27 06

Laser treatment can reduce inflammatory facial acne lesions with few side effects, new research shows. Moreover, it appears to work even with the darkest skin types.

The findings, which appear in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, are based on a study of 22 patients, with light to dark skin types, who underwent three treatments with the laser—specifically a1450-nanometer diode laser—at 3 to 4 week intervals.

The subjects received treatment at high or low doses on the left or the right side of the face, the report indicates.

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New vaccine reduces the risk of shingles

AllergiesMay 29 06

A new vaccine which reduces the risk of shingles (herpes zoster) for use in people 60 years of age and older has won approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The vaccine, Zostavax, is designed to treat shingles which is caused by the reactivation of the virus that causes chickenpox and is a painful disease characterized by a blistering rash.

The varicella-zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox, the varicella-zoster virus lies dormant following an attack of chickenpox, in certain nerve tissue and as people age, the virus sometimes reappears in the form of shingles.

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Autumn asthma peak driven by kids and colds

AllergiesMay 01 06

A Canadian study provides more evidence that the spike in hospitalizations for asthma that comes around every September is closely related to children returning to the classroom after summer vacation—because they catch viruses there that are known to exacerbate asthma, and share them with younger siblings and parents.

“The bottom line,” Neil Johnston from Ontario said, “is that asthmatics, especially those exposed to children, may be at high risk for worsening asthma symptoms following return to school after the summer vacation. They should be prepared for this,” he said, “by having and taking asthma control medications before and during this period.”

Johnston and colleagues analyzed Canadian asthma hospital admission data over a 13-year period. Their goals were to better understand the sequence of timing of September asthma hospitalization epidemics in children and adults and determine whether school-age children transmit agents that cause these epidemics.

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Food-allergic teens often take risks with food

AllergiesMar 13 06

A substantial number of teenagers with food allergies admit to “risk-taking” behavior such as not reading food labels or knowingly eating foods labeled “may contain” allergens, a survey shows.

The poll of 174 food-allergic individuals whose average age was 16 years also shows that many of them do not always carry self-injectable epinephrine—the medication that is immediately needed in the case of a severe allergic reaction.

Whether or not they pack their EpiPens depends largely on where they are going, who they will be with, and how convenient it is to carry it. If the purse is small or the clothes tight-fighting, odds are they won’t carry it.

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Study shows new atopic dermatitis therapy significantly delays onset of flares

AllergiesMar 07 06

Stiefel Laboratories, the world’s largest independent pharmaceutical company specializing in dermatology, announced that a recent study shows MimyX Cream extends the remission period of atopic dermatitis (AD) by 48 percent when used in conjunction with an emollient compared to emollient alone.

MimyX Cream, Stiefel’s new product for managing the signs and symptoms of atopic dermatitis, is a steroid-free, topical Rx therapy for the management of the disease, commonly referred to as eczema.

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Asthma harder to control in heavy individuals

AllergiesFeb 06 06

The findings from a new study indicate that asthma is more difficult to control in overweight individuals than in their leaner counterparts.

The study, reported in the journal Allergy, shows that a person who is overweight, with a body mass index or BMI of 25 or more, is less apt to go from an unacceptable to an acceptable level of asthma control. By contrast, the transition from acceptable to unacceptable control was not influenced by BMI.

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New cancer warnings added to eczema creams

AllergiesJan 20 06

Eczema creams sold by Novartis AG and Astellas Pharma Inc. will come with a “black-box” warning about a possible risk of cancer from the prescription treatments, U.S. regulators said on Thursday.

A black-box warning is the strongest type used in the United States for prescription drugs.

The new warnings apply to Novartis AG’s drug Elidel and Astellas Pharma’s Protopic.

Allergic Teen Dies After Kissing Boyfriend

AllergiesDec 01 05

A 15-year-old girl exquisitely sensitive to peanuts died after kissing her boyfriend who had eaten a peanut butter snack hours earlier.

Christina Desforges died a week ago at Chicoutimi Hospital here 155 miles north of Quebec City, several days after a severe reaction to the kiss from her boyfriend. According to published reports, Desforges had been immediately treated with a shot of adrenaline. The hospital declined to offer any further details.

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Anaphylaxis Requires Prompt and Appropriate Treatment

AllergiesDec 01 05

Anaphylaxis is a multiple-organ hypersensitivity reaction that needs immediate and appropriate treatment. It is important for both patients at risk and clinicians to be aware of the symptoms, as well as appropriate protocols of treatment, according to research presented at the Annual Meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) in Anaheim.

“Anaphylaxis affects many areas of the body, and involves all systems,” said Phillip E. Korenblat, M.D., a professor of clinical medicine at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Mo. It is generally characterized by the presence of significant skin, gastrointestinal, respiratory, or cardiovascular involvement.

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Food Allergies: Who’s Faking It?

AllergiesOct 25 05

When fast-food vendors begin providing “allergy lists” as part of their nutrition guides you know that food allergies have gone mainstream. However a new UK study of 11-15 year olds concludes that many young people are ‘mistaken’ about their food allergies (emphasis added).

Before we go declaring that we have a generation of hypochondriacs, it’s important to determine exactly what an allergy is. The words allergy, intolerance, and sensitivity mean different things to different people. In this particular study the words Food Hypersensitivity (FHS) are used. HON defines this as “Gastrointestinal disturbances, skin eruptions, or shock due to allergic reactions to allergens in food.”

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Bleach treatment neutralizes mold allergens

AllergiesOct 20 05

Treatment with household bleach reduces the allergy-inducing ability of mold spores, a new study shows.

Current efforts to remediate mold-contaminated buildings require replacement of contaminated materials, Dr. John W. Martyny of the National Jewish Medical and Research Center in Denver and colleagues note in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical immunology.

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Breastfeeding may reduce infant’s risk of eczema

AllergiesOct 13 05

Infants who consume breastmilk for four months or longer after birth have a reduced risk of being plagued by the dry skin or itchy rash characteristic of eczema by the time they are 4 years old, new study findings suggest.

“Early onset of eczema or asthma is a burden not only for the child but also for the family. As such, our results are promising,” study author Inger Kull, of Karolinska Hospital in Stockholm, told Reuters Health.

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Breast milk alternative may prevent food allergies

AllergiesSep 13 05

Using hydrolyzed casein or whey formulas when breast milk is inadequately produced may help prevent at-risk infants from developing allergies, according to a review of studies on the topic.

“Both partially hydrolyzed whey formulas and extensively hydrolyzed casein formulas have been shown to reduce the incidence of allergy in high risk infants,” said study author Tiffani Hays.

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Allergic to Drugs?

AllergiesAug 19 05

Allergic reactions to medications can occur with drugs you’ve taken before without incident—or to a drug that your doctor hasn’t prescribed to you before.

According to Health Canada, most allergic reactions occur within one hour of taking the medication.

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