Allergy Shots and Eczema

In children allergies are the most common reason for chronic nasal congestion. An estimated one third of all American citizens suffer from one form of allergy or another. Some people turn to allergy shots as an option for effectively managing their eczema flare-ups.

A general practitioner will often refer a patient with eczema to an allergist. An allergist is a doctor who is trained to help pinpoint the source of a patients allergy and then help the person to treat the symptoms, thereby reducing how often flare-ups occur.

Allergen Control

Allergy shots are “a form of allergy and asthma treatment in which increasing, controlled doses of an allergen are injected into a patient over a period of time.” The goal behind the use of allergy shots is to increase a patients ability to tolerate a particular allergen while at the same time, decreasing the symptoms that come about as a result of an allergic reaction.

Allergy shots (also known as allergen immunotherapy) can be compared to a vaccination. They serve to increase the ability of the immune system to do its job properly and therefore the stronger it is, the easier it will be to block an allergic reaction taking place.

Allergy Reactions

An allergic reaction takes place when “the body mistakes a common, harmless substance for an ‘invader. When the body is exposed to this ‘invader, it carries out a series of chemical reactions to protect itself.”

As long as the person administering them is trained and knows exactly what they are doing, allergy shots can be both effective as well as safe and can often be successfully used on young children of four or five years of age.

Some people believe in their effectiveness to control eczema while other people are less than impressed with the results. Research into allergy shots for eczema has shown that in some cases they can cause the symptoms to get worse. However allergy shots have been found to be very beneficial in treating other problems such as the symptoms associated with hay fever (also called allergic rhinitis), which are a runny nose, sneezing and watery eyes; breathing problems in regards to asthma and symptoms that accompany an insect sting allergy.

Allergy Shots Regimen

Allergy shots contain a form of the suspected allergen that is purified. Generally the shots are given to a sufferer year round and over a five-year span of time. The dosage of the allergy shot begins small and then gradually over the first four to six months is increased, little by little. After that period of time the dosage levels off to what is called a “maintenance dose.” This leveled off amount is then administered to the patient for up to a period of three years.

It is important to go for your allergy shots once or twice a week in the beginning of the treatment. The dose is started slower and then gradually increased to allow the immune system to get used to it as well as allow it time to begin to build an immunity to the invading substance.

This is generally referred to as the buildup phase. Once this is reached, the maintenance dose (as mentioned above) goes into play and then the frequency of having to get allergy shots begins to drop. It goes from a weekly shot, to bi-weekly, and then in many cases to monthly.

Allergy shots have been found to work better for some allergens than others. For example, they work best with inhaled allergens such as pet fur, dust, pollens, mold and pollens. That may explain why hay fever and asthma are two conditions that respond better to allergy shots than eczema.