Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Are You Exposing Yourself to These 10 Common Skin Allergy Triggers?

Is your allergist in Scottsdale constantly helping you battle skin allergies? It may be because you are constantly exposing yourself to common allergy and asthma triggers.

No touching!

Contact dermatitis, skin allergies characterized by rashes or skin irritation resulting from allergens coming in contact with your skin, affect up to 3 percent of adults. Its triggers are often common – and sometimes surprising.

When it comes to skin allergies, are you your own worst enemy?
  1. Perfumes.
    Not just Chanel No. 5, we’re talking shampoo, soap, detergents, dryer sheets, air fresheners, and more. Only products labelled “fragrance-free,” not unscented, are immune.
  2. Nickel.
    Found in items from jewelry, watchbands, and glasses, to the zippers and buttons on your clothes, this common allergen can be worsened by sweat. To avoid sensitivity, items must be coated.
  3. Latex.
    Gloves, rubber bands, waistbands on pants, and more can contain latex, resulting in reactions from itchy eyes and rashes to difficulty breathing and vomiting.
  4. Dyes.
    To avoid contact dermatitis, a patch test is required prior to the application of hair dye or henna tattoos containing para-phenylenediamine (PPD).
  5. Clothing.
    Formaldehyde resins, used in clothing elastics and fabrics for waterproofing, shrinkage, and wrinkle resistance, can cause burning eyes, skin rashes, and chest tightness. Cotton, polyester, nylon, and acrylic are typically more lightly treated.
  6. Cosmetics.
    Preservatives such as formaldehyde, parabens, and thimerosal used in cosmetics can cause skin irritation at the site of contact.
  7. Creams and ointments.
    Neomycin, used in antibiotic and anaesthetic (pain relief) creams, ear drops, and eye drops, can irritate the skin. Not sure if that’s you? Try a patch test.
  8. Sunscreen.
    Common sunscreen ingredients can cause allergic reactions, including PABA (para-amino benzoic acid), oxybenzone, salicylates, benzophenones, and cyclohexanol. Reactions may be on contact for some, or for others only following sun exposure.
  9. Household products.
    Skin irritation is common after exposure to adhesives (superglue) and organic solvents (charcoal lighter fluid, paint thinner, furniture stripper, and nail polish remover).
  10. Poison ivy, oak, and sumac.
    Urushiol, a sticky substance found in poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac, can cause redness, itchiness, hives, and blisters – but only in susceptible individuals.
Give your allergist in Scottsdale a hand. Put these items on your list of usual suspects. Take them out of commission and reduce your skin allergy risk today!
Rosalyn Carson-DeWitt, MD. Top 10 Skin Allergy Triggers.  Retrieved from

Friday, October 16, 2015

6 Simple Tips for Reducing Fall Allergies

Your allergist in Avondale knows fall can be a miserable time for allergy sufferers. Why do fall allergies seem to wreak more havoc than in the spring? Cooler weather and changing foliage leading plants and weeds to release pollens, in addition to the additional punch of outdoor molds proliferating under fallen leaves.
Before ragweed and other fall allergens have you running to your allergist-immunologist, try implementing these simple, common sense tips for foiling fall allergies:

  1. Plan ahead.
    Before you plan outdoor activities, check pollen counts, scheduling events for when pollen is at its lowest.
  2. Take an antihistamine.
    Consult your allergist in Avondale to determine the best over the counter antihistamines to take before heading outdoors.
  3. Reduce exposure.
    If you can’t skip outdoor activities, consider donning a mask and leaving tasks until the middle of the day when pollen is at its lowest. Avoid outdoor activities in the early morning hours
  4. Stay clean.
    Your home – and your body. Wash off as soon as possible after spending time outside. When possible, change clothes before entering your home to prevent distributing allergens inside. Store shoes outside, and don’t hang clothes out to dry either.

Make sure air conditioning system is clean!
When allergy season is in full bloom, close your windows and let your heating and air system help you keep indoor air clear of allergens. Change your filter regularly, particularly during allergy season. To prevent the distribution of allergens throughout your home.  Also, investing in a HEPA air filter would be worthwhile! Don’t hide out in your home, manager allergies with ease this fall season. With these simple tips and the help of your immunologist, you too can get back to enjoying the great outdoors!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Allergy-Free Outdoor Living Yard in the Desert during Fall?

Desert fall brings a drop in temperatures but also brings fall allergies.  The weather becomes beautiful but asthma and allergy sufferers sometimes get cooped up indoors - and not able to enjoy the AZ outdoors like they so desperately look forward to after surviving 4 months of 100 degree temperatures.

Be the change, opting for hypoallergenic landscaping options that can help return you a great outdoors. Sound too good to be true? It’s not. Even reducing the allergenic plants in a single garden can make a difference for asthma clinic patrons and sufferers, reducing pollen levels and the spread of allergenic plants far and wide.

Allergy-proof your yard with these suggestions from a Scottsdale allergy doctor & specialist:
  • Fruit trees
    With the exception of citrus flower fragrance, fruit trees are generally not allergenic or irritating.
  • Bamboo and palms
    Bamboo and female date and fan palms offer a beautiful, drought-tolerant option for your yard.
  • Succulents and Cacti
    The following do not produce wind-born pollen and are excellent low-water choices:
    • Saguaro
    • Peruvian Cereus
    • Golden Barrel
    • Hedgehog Cactus
    • Rainbow Cactus
    • Easter Lily
    • Sea Urchin Cactus
    • Prickly Pear
    • Cholla
    • Organ Pipe
  • Vines
    Hypo-allergenic climbers include bougainvillea, queen’s wreath, trumpet creeper, passion flower, cat’s claw, and roses such as Lady Banks and Tombstone.
  • Shrubs
    The University of Arizona’s offers an extensive
    list of shrubs which are both low-allergy and drought tolerant.
  • Accent plants
    For accent planting, your
    allergy and asthma clinic suggests various yucca species, agave, and aloe, as well as sotol, desert spoon, ocotillo, and Mexican evening primrose are your friends.
  • Brightly colored flowers
    Attracting bees, insects, and hummingbirds, these flowers are generally not allergenic:
    • Annual: California poppy, Mexican gold poppy; desert and arroyo lupine.
    • Perennial: assorted penstemons, chia, globe-mallow, and Peruvian and Goodding verbena.
  • Ground cover
    Morning glory, trailing indigo bush, lantana, African daisy, and rosemary, in addition to ice plant, treasure flower, germander, and gazania offer great low-lying options.
Pediatric allergists suggest avoiding these highly allergenic landscaping choices:
  • Olive trees
  • Mesquite trees
  • Juniper trees
  • Nut trees
  • Bermuda grass and most other grass species
  • Triangle Leaf Bursage (Rabbit Bush)
  • Desert Broom
  • Privet
Ready to head out and get started on an allergy-free outdoor retreat? You’re sure to get the job done with your local allergy and asthma clinic and the University of Arizona Agricultural extension service. Start sowing the seeds of change today!
University of Arizona Health Sciences Center. Gardens Compatible with Respiratory Allergy in Southern and Central Arizona.
Dr. Aaron Davis, M.D. Cedar Fever is Coming to Town. Retrieved from: