When the body senses a foreign substance, called as antigen, the immune system is triggered. The immune system normally protects the body from harmful agents such as bacteria and toxins. Its overreaction to harmless substance (allergen) is called as hypersensitivity reaction, or allergic reaction.
Anything can be an allergen e.g. dust, pollen, plants, common food allergens include shrimp and other shellfish, peanuts, eggs, soy, dairy, wheat, insect bites (such as from mosquitos or bees), animal dander, viruses, or bacteria are examples of allergens.
In my practice I frequently see allergy due to vaccines and medications (antibiotics like penicillin, amoxicillin, aspirin, ibuprofen, iodine), general anesthesia and local anesthetics, latex rubber (such as in gloves or condoms), dust, pollen, mold, animal dander, and poison ivy are well-known allergens. Other known allergens can include detergents, hair dyes, and the ink in tattoos.
Stress and emotions are root causes of most of the allergy.
Allergies and tendency to have allergic reactions runs within some families.
Reactions may occur in one spot, such as a small localised skin rash, itchy eyes, face bumps or all over, as in a whole body rash such as hives (urticaria).
A reaction may include one or several symptoms.
Most allergic reactions are minor, such as a rash from poison ivy, mosquito or other bug bites, or sneezing from hay fever. The type of reaction depends on the person’s immune system response, which is sometimes unpredictable. In rare cases, an allergic reaction can be life-threatening (known as anaphylaxis)
Role of Homeopathy
Because the allergic reactions can progress and become worse with the time, therefore it needs to be treated by boosting the immune system of the patient.
Improving the susceptibility of an individual should be the priority, which can be achieved by giving constitutional remedy, and only in very acute conditions a local remedy may be used. Before starting the homeopathic treatment it is always advisable to investigate the serum IgE levels, complete blood count etc.
A 25 years old female returning after holiday in Goa complained of severe allergic reaction on her left arm after getting tattoo.
The affected part showed large vesicular eruptions. The patient complained of severe burning in the affected region followed by scratching. The affected part was red and hot.
Burning was aggravated by washing with water; however application of ice gives temporary relief. Touching the affected part also aggravates the burning. When asked about the type of pain, the patient described it as stinging pain.
The patient was extremely frightened about her skin lesions and thought as if she had rabies. She also felt that this was due to the curse and witch craft by her enemies. She was becoming irritable and restless about her condition. She was constantly blaming herself about getting the tattoo done especially from the cheaper roadside place.
The patient also had low grade fever and hot perspiration at night. She had taken a course of antibiotic Augmentin 675 mg for five days and locally applied steroid based cream without any relief. She came to me on the 10th day of her illness and she said she was getting worse every single day.
I gave her Cantharis vesicatoria LM1, in five cup method, 1 tsf 6 hourly and subsequently Cantharis vesicatoria LM6.
Within two weeks majority of eruption disappeared along with fever.
In the case like above try using LM potency and five cup method as using centesimal potency may cause aggravation.
Cantharis vesicatoria has stinging pain like Apis mellifica, Silicea terra and Sepia officinalis. Cantharis vesicatoria is always worse on washing the part locally like Clematis erecta and Sulphur.
Cantharis vesicatoria like Stramonium and Lyssinum has a delusion of suffering from rabies.
Allergy to cheap dyes used in tattoo is a very common thing seen among the younger generations.
A 28 years old male came with severe allergy all over his body; his skin looked red like fire and was burning like charcoal. It started after swimming in sea for 3-4 hours on a Sunday afternoon. There was no complaint while swimming, but after that when he consumed two bottles of chilled beer, in less than half an hour he started to feel hot with large red patches covering all over his body, he was unable to wear his shirt as it aggravated his condition, he wanted cold breeze of air constantly over his body, he was mortally afraid to allow someone to come near him as the slightest touch to his skin was unbearable. Ever since these eruptions came he has started passing dark brown urine. His father who happens to be an animal lover and knows me very well rushed him within few hours after the eruption came. I remember when he entered my clinic he said doctor please put all your air conditioners in full speed. With all the above symptoms I gave him Coccus cacti 200C five cup method, 1 tsf 2 hourly. By next morning all most all the rashes disappeared and never returned back.
Coccus cacti is a very useful remedy in my practice for skin diseases especially in beer drinkers. Skin sensitive to clothing, red rashes sensitive to touch are the key symptoms of this remedy. Many skin symptoms are worse during summer especially cracks.
Never ever allow antihistaminic like loratadine, cetirizine or fexofenadine as this will suppress the case and may produce many unwanted side effects like drowsiness.
For small, localised skin reactions, I use a cold, wet cloth or ice for relief or a bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in a towel as an ice pack or apply slice of papaya for relief in itching and burning.
A mixture of equal quantity of apple and carrot juice, taken orally 2-3 times a day is equally useful.