Insect bites, water temperature, sun exposure or the intake of certain foods can trigger severe allergic reactions in summer. Summer is coming and our body is more exposed to external environmental factors, thanks to the beautiful and sunny days. But it is also a complicated time if one suffers certain allergies that become relevant in summer time.
Insect bites, water temperature, sun exposure or the intake of certain foods can trigger severe allergic reactions.
“In summer, the most frequent allergy symptoms are insect stings, exposure to the sun (reactions on the skin), the action of certain foods (food allergy) and contact with pollen, mites and other sensitizing agents such as chlorine, “explained Ricardo Darío Zwiener, a physician at the Austral University Hospital (HUA).
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Reactions to sunbathing
“The skin reactions generated by the sun are usually caused by the non-use of sunscreen, or exposure between 11 and 16. Thus, there are hives of vasodilation and eczema that usually worsen if there is excess perspiration” , affirmed Zwiener.
His colleague, the specialist in allergy and immunology, Jorge Maspero, director of the CIDEA Foundation (Center for Research on Allergic and Respiratory Diseases), said that some patients with basic skin allergies usually get worse if they suffer from sunburn but there are also photoallergies or the phyto-photoallergy that are allergic reactions that are triggered after a sun exposure which often require collaboration, the help of some kind of sap. “That is to say, it is very common that after contact with the sap of rue, if the person is exposed to sunlight, this will produce a dermatitis with blisters that looks a lot like a burn. it is the only one that can unleash it,
“Food allergies occur when the immune system responds to a certain food in a previously sensitized person.The cases increase to consequences of carelessness:” It is very important to read carefully the ingredients of the foods that are ingested, especially milk, nuts ( almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts) in ice cream and fruits like melon and kiwi in desserts, especially in people allergic to latex. You also have to pay attention to the presence of seafood or fish in pasta or salads, “explained the expert,” said Zwiener.
While Máspero said: “The tourist movement to the coast entails, in many cases, changes in the food habit and the intake of some foods that are not usually consumed, such as seafood, shrimp and prawns that have as a striking fact that In a percentage of patients with allergies to mites they will trigger allergic reactions, mainly urticaria and angioedema.This is because these mollusks share some proteins with mites, so that patients with respiratory allergies when eating shrimp or prawns in Many cases have allergic skin reactions, this does not happen to all of them, only to a certain percentage, but it must be taken into account because it is repeated. ”
“Allergic reactions to insect bites are common in summer and this reaction can be of different types.The most common are the so-called exaggerated local reactions that are larger, painful and lasting welts that are seen especially when young children with allergies base are stung by mosquitoes and in some cases are a concern if the bites are many, or if they are on the face, on the eyelids or on the ears, “Maspero warned. The severity may vary depending on the area where the insect bites, the most dangerous are in highly vascularized parts of the body such as, for example, the head, fingers, lips or genitals.
Zwiener listed the insects responsible for producing more severe allergic reactions by stings: bees, wasps and red ants, which make up the group of Hymenoptera. In certain occasions they can also generate a generalized, severe and potentially fatal allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis. If this happens, different organs are involved, there are hives all over the body, the face swells, there is glottis edema and there is nausea, vomiting, seizures, shortness of breath, and even shock with low blood pressure and loss of consciousness. These pictures, of course, represent a medical emergency.
During the summer there is more occurrence of cases of hives and in particular of some, physical urticarias that are allergic reactions that are triggered in front of a physical stimulus such as, for example, heat, cold or pressure.
“Cold urticaria in particular is much more severe during the summer months and usually manifests itself with a urticarial reaction, sometimes even with loss of consciousness in patients who have been exposed to cold water on a hot day,” he said. More.
Action of pollen, mites and other allergens
While allergic rhinoconjunctivitis and asthma can develop from pollen, mites and other allergens. Zwiener listed among the possible symptoms to “nasal congestion with frequent sneezing and abundant watery mucus (rhinorrhea), tearing and itchy eyes”. In addition, a crisis of asthma can be triggered with the presence of shortness of breath, oppression and wheezing in the chest.
Tips to avoid insect bites
- Stay away from the habitat of insects including combs and anthills.
- Avoid the clothes with bright colors and intense perfumes because this attracts insects to be confused with flowers.
- Keep food covered until consumed because the smell of food attracts insects.
- Move slowly to be near flying insects.
- Don’t try to scare him.
- Do not walk with bare feet or lean your bare torso on the grass.
- Use repellent.