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Showing posts with label Skin Disorders. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Skin Disorders. Show all posts

Tips for Avoiding Dangerous Allergic Reactions

 What’s an allergy?

The job of your body’s immune system is to protect you from outside invaders, like viruses and bacteria. However, sometimes the immune system produces antibodies in response to something that isn’t harmful at all, such as certain foods or medications.

The immune system’s response to such a generally harmless irritant or allergen is called an allergic reaction. Most allergies aren’t severe, just annoying. Symptoms usually include itchy or watery eyes, sneezing, and a runny nose.

The only sure way to prevent a severe allergic reaction is to completely avoid your triggers. This may sound like a nearly impossible task, but there are a number of ways to reduce your risk. The steps you take to protect yourself depend on your type of allergy. The most common severe allergies are from:

  • insect bites and stings
  • food
  • medications

When you’re allergic to insect venom, outdoor activities can become more stressful than they should be. Here are some tips to help prevent bites and stings:

  • Avoid wearing fragrant perfumes, deodorants, and lotions.
  • Always wear shoes when walking outdoors.
  • Use a straw when drinking soda out of a can.
  • Avoid bright, patterned clothing.
  • Cover food when eating outside.

Always inform your doctor and pharmacist about any drug allergies you have. In the case of a penicillin allergy, you may be told to avoid similar antibiotics, such as amoxicillin (Moxatag). If the drug is necessary — for instance, CAT scan contrast dye — your doctor may prescribe a corticosteroid or antihistamines before administering the drug.

Certain types of drugs are more likely to cause severe allergic reactions, including:

  • penicillin
  • insulin (especially from animal sources)
  • CAT scan contrast dyes
  • anticonvulsive drugs
  • sulfa drugs

Avoiding food allergens can be difficult if you don’t prepare everything you eat yourself.

When at a restaurant, ask detailed questions about ingredients in the food. Don’t be afraid to ask for substitutions.

When buying packaged food, read labels carefully. Most packaged foods now carry warnings on the label if they contain common allergens.

When eating at a friend’s house, be sure to tell them about any food allergies ahead of time.

Common food allergies

There are many common food allergens that can cause severe reactions in certain people. Some of these can be “hidden” as ingredients in foods, like:

  • milk
  • eggs
  • soy
  • wheat

Other foods can be dangerous due to the risk of cross-contamination. This is when foods come into contact with an allergen before consumption. Potential sources of cross-contamination include:

  • fish
  • shellfish
  • peanuts
  • tree nuts

Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening allergic reaction that occurs immediately upon exposure to the allergen trigger. It affects the entire body. Histamines and other chemicals are released from various tissues throughout the body, causing dangerous symptoms like:

  • narrowed airways and difficulty breathing
  • sudden drop in blood pressure and shock
  • swelling of the face or tongue
  • vomiting or diarrhea
  • chest pain and heart palpitations
  • slurred speech
  • loss of consciousness

Risk factors

Though anaphylaxis is hard to predict, certain risk factors exist that may make a person more likely to experience a severe allergic reaction. These include:

Even if you’ve only had a severe reaction once, you’re more likely to experience anaphylaxis in the future.

Preventing a reaction is always best, but sometimes severe reactions happen despite our best efforts. Here are some ways to help yourself in the event of a severe allergic reaction:

  • Make sure friends and family know about your allergy, and what to do in an emergency.
  • Wear a medical ID bracelet listing your allergies.
  • Never participate in outdoor activities alone.
  • Carry an epinephrine auto-injector or bee sting kit at all times.
  • Put 911 on speed dial, and keep your phone on hand.
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Mast Cell Activation Syndrome: Symptoms and Treatment

 What is mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS)?

Mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS) is a condition in which the mast cells in your body release too much of a substance that causes allergy symptoms.

Mast cells are part of your immune system. They’re found throughout your body, particularly in bone marrow and around blood vessels.

When you’re exposed to allergens or other substances like medications and insect venom, your mast cells react by releasing substances called mediators. Mediators cause symptoms of an allergic reaction, including itching, mucus, and inflammation.

If you have MCAS, your mast cells release mediators too frequently and too often. It’s different from mastocytosis, another mast cell disorder that happens when your body produces too many mast cells in one or more organs within your body.

The release of too many mediators can impact almost every part of your body.

The primary affected areas typically include your skin, nervous system, heart, and gastrointestinal tract. The number of mediators released can cause symptoms that are mild to life-threatening.

Symptoms may include:

  • skin: itching, flushing, hives, sweating, swelling, rash
  • eyes: irritation, itching, watering
  • nose: itching, running
  • mouth and throat: itching, swelling in your tongue or lips, swelling in your throat
  • lungs: trouble breathing, wheezing
  • heart and blood vesselslow blood pressure, rapid heart rate
  • stomach and intestines: cramping, nausea, diarrhea, abdominal pain
  • nervous system: headache, confusion, fatigue

In severe cases, your symptoms may include a rapid drop in blood pressure, weak pulse, and narrowed airways in your lungs, making it difficult to breathe. This life-threatening condition is called anaphylactic shock and requires emergency treatment.

There’s no one-size-fits-all diet for MCAS. This is because different foods may trigger symptoms in different people.

Low-histamine diets may help some people manage symptoms of MCAS, though more research is needed. This diet limits foods generally thought to be high in the chemical histamine, which mast cells release when they’re activated. These foods include:

  • hard cheese
  • fish
  • spinach
  • sausage
  • alcohol

low-FODMAP diet, which eliminates food containing certain kinds of sugars, may also be beneficial for MCAS. The idea is to restrict certain foods and then reintroduce them to determine which ones may trigger symptoms.

2019 study in people with irritable bowel syndrome (a condition in which mast cells may play a role) found that the low-FODMAP diet significantly reduced participants’ levels of histamine. This suggests that the diet may affect mast cell activity. The diet involves avoiding high-FODMAP foods like:

  • dairy
  • wheat
  • legumes
  • certain fruits, including apples and peaches
  • certain vegetables, including asparagus and broccoli

Since you may respond to certain foods differently than other people, it’s important to talk with your doctor or dietitian to find a nutritious diet that will work best for you.

Researchers aren’t sure what causes MCAS. Some studiesTrusted Source suggest a genetic component to MCAS, but more research is needed.

It can also be hard to figure out what may trigger MCAS episodes. Common triggers include:

  • allergic-type triggers, such as insect bites or certain foods
  • drug-induced triggers, such as antibiotics, ibuprofen, and opiate pain relievers
  • stress-related triggers, such as anxiety, pain, rapid temperature changes, exercise, being overly tired, or an infection
  • smells, such as perfume or smoke

If your doctor can’t determine a trigger, the condition is called idiopathic MCAS.

MCAS doesn’t have a cure, but there are ways to manage symptoms. Treating your symptoms can also help you find triggers that cause your MCAS episodes.

Treatments include:

  • H1 or H2 antihistamines. These block the effects of histamines, which are one of the primary mediators that mast cells release. Histamine type 1 receptor blockers include diphenhydramine and loratadine and can help with symptoms like itching and stomach pain. Histamine type 2 receptor blockers include ranitidine and famotidine, which can treat stomach pain and nausea.
  • Aspirin. This may decrease flushing.
  • Mast cell stabilizers. Omalizumab may help prevent the release of mediators from mast cells, resulting in fewer episodes of anaphylaxis.
  • Antileukotrienes. Medications like zafirlukast and montelukast block the effects of leukotrienes, another common type of mediator, to treat wheezing and stomach cramps.
  • Corticosteroids. These should only be used as a last resort for treatment of edema, wheezing, or hives.

If you develop anaphylactic shock or other severe symptoms, you’ll need an injection of epinephrine. This can be done at a hospital or with an auto injector (EpiPen). If you often experience severe symptoms, consider wearing a medical ID bracelet until you figure out your triggers.

MCAS can be challenging to diagnose because it has similar symptoms to many other conditions. There are also disagreements about criteria for diagnosis. As a result, research from 2020 notes that the occurrence of MCAS may be anywhere from rare to affecting as much as 17% of the general population.

An American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology work group report proposed the following criteria for diagnosing MCAS:

  • You have recurrent, severe symptoms (often anaphylaxis) that affect at least two organs.
  • Taking medications that block the effects or release of mast cell mediators reduces or resolves your symptoms.
  • Blood or urine tests taken during an episode show higher levels of markers for mediators than when you aren’t having an episode.

Before making a diagnosis, your doctor will likely review your medical history, do an exam, and order blood and urine tests to check for other possible causes of your symptoms. They may also use bone marrow tests to confirm the diagnosis of MCAS.

Unlike MCAS, which features a standard amount of mast cells that release mediators too frequently, mastocytosis occurs when your body produces too many mast cells. These cells can continue growing and tend to be overly sensitive to activation and releasing mediators.

Since there are more mast cells, they release a higher amount of mediators, causing an allergic reaction and sometimes anaphylaxis. These symptoms, along with their treatments, are similar to those in MCAS.

Mastocytosis may be cutaneous — in which the higher numbers of mast cells are only present in the skin — or systemic, in which the mast cells are in other organs.

Cutaneous mastocytosis often causes skin lesions. Systemic mastocytosis may lead to a larger liver or spleen, or reduced organ function. Mast cell leukemia is also a rare form of mastocytosis that may develop over time.

Skin or bone marrow biopsies may be used to look for elevated numbers of mast cells. The presence of the mutation called KIT D816V causes the ongoing growth of mast cells, along with their activation, and can also indicate mastocytosis.

MCAS can cause unexpected allergic symptoms that interfere with your daily life.

While the cause of MCAS is still unclear, proper diagnosis and treatment can help you manage your symptoms.

Once you figure out your MCAS triggers, you may also be able to avoid them to reduce your number of episodes.

JPeei Clinic

Heat Rash vs. Eczema: How to Tell the Difference

 Heat rash is a skin condition that often develops in hot and humid environments. Although it can be annoying, it typically doesn’t last too long.

Eczema, on the other hand, is a long-term, chronic condition that needs ongoing treatment and symptom management.

Although the two conditions may have some similarities in their appearance, they’re not the same.

Read on to learn more about how to tell the difference between these two skin conditions, how to treat them, and when to get medical attention.

You can blame your sweat glands and perhaps your summer wardrobe for heat rash, which typically happens in warm, humid conditions.

To cool your body down when you’re warm, sweat is produced by glands in the deeper layers of your skin. But if the pores in your skin get clogged, the sweat can’t be released onto the surface of your skin. In some cases, clothing that doesn’t allow your skin to breathe may also play a role in trapping the sweat.

When sweat gets trapped by clogged pores or clothing, it can cause a heat rash to develop. The good news is that heat rash is usually not serious, and it generally doesn’t last too long.

There are three kinds of heat rash:

  • Miliaria crystallina. This is the mildest form and tends to show up as a wave of white or clear fluid-filled bubbles or blisters on the skin. This type of heat rash often appears on the shoulders, neck and chest. It’s more common in babies than adults.
  • Miliaria rubra. Your grandmother probably referred to this as “prickly heat.” It develops when sweat gets trapped under your skin. This rash is uncomfortable and itchy, with red bumps that tend to appear on your shoulders, neck, or chest, or where your clothes rub against your skin.
  • Miliaria profunda. This is the most severe type of heat rash, but it’s also the least common. It often happens after a period of prolonged exercise when you sweat more than usual. If the sweat gets trapped in your skin, you may develop a series of larger, firm, reddish-colored bumps. This type of heat rash is more common in adults than children or babies.

Unlike heat rash which usually clears up fairly quickly, eczema is a long-term, chronic condition that needs treatment and ongoing management.

It tends to develop in infancy or childhood, and is very common in children. In fact, it affects between 10 and 20 percentTrusted Source of children.

Eczema, which is also known as atopic dermatitis, can and does persist into adulthood for more than 16 million adults. If you first developed eczema in childhood, you may have learned to recognize the hallmarks of an eczema flare-up by now.

But it might be harder for an adult who develops what dermatologists call adult-onset atopic dermatitis. It may also be more challenging for a parent who’s not sure whether their child has eczema or just a heat rash.

There are actually many different kinds of eczema. In fact, experts tend to group them into seven specific types.

The most common is called atopic dermatitis. It affects more than 26 million people in the United States. Atopic dermatitis tends to develop in the first 6 months of life, but it can also develop later.

Atopic dermatitis is characterized by dry, itchy skin. The color of the rash tends to be:

  • reddish in people with lighter skin tones
  • brown or gray in people with darker skin

Sometimes your skin will get thicker in patches where the rash appears. It has a genetic component, but your immune system and environmental triggers may also play a role.

According to the National Eczema Association, the other six types of eczema include:

  • Contact dermatitis. With contact dermatitis, a rash develops in the area where your skin comes into contact with a substance that irritates it, for instance a product that contains chemicals or dyes that you’re allergic to.
  • Dyshidrotic eczema. People who develop dyshidrotic eczema tend to get itchy blisters on the soles of their feet and palms of their hands.
  • Neurodermatitis. Also known as lichen simplex chronicus, this type of eczema starts with one or two itchy patches of skin that get itchier and itchier. Repeated scratching can make the skin thicker (but usually still itchy).
  • Seborrheic dermatitis. Seborrheic dermatitis tends to develop in areas that are rich in oil glands, like the scalp, nose and upper back. It typically shows up as red, scaly patches. In babies, greasy, scaly patches that are commonly referred to as cradle cap, is a form of this type of eczema.
  • Stasis dermatitis. Poor circulation to the lower legs is usually the culprit for stasis dermatitis. It may start out with just small spots of discoloration and some ankle swelling and progress to larger areas of swelling, along with redness or scaling.
  • Nummular eczema. This type of eczema is characterized by round, oozy patches on the skin. It can easily get infected, so treatment is usually necessary.

It’s important to note that different kinds of eczema can overlap. In other words, you could have more than one kind at the same time. And they may require different treatment or management strategies.

Because heat rash and eczema can look similar to each other, it’s not always easy to tell them apart. If you can’t tell by looking at the rash, it’s important to consider the following factors.

Heat rash vs. eczema

  • Location. Eczema can appear anywhere, but it often develops behind the knees, in the inner part of the elbows, on your hands, and on your scalp and head. Heat rash is more prevalent in the folds of your skin or areas where your clothing rubs up against your skin.
  • Timing. Have you been sweating a lot, or experienced hot, humid conditions? If so, it could be a heat rash.
  • Triggers. Certain things can trigger an eczema flare-up. For example, if you’ve been exposed to a known trigger, like a fragrance, chemical, food allergy, pollen, or an emotional stressor, you may be having an eczema flare-up.

Once you know what type of skin condition you’re dealing with, you can take steps to treat it appropriately.

How to treat heat rash

The good news is that heat rash typically goes away on its own. You might be able to speed up the process by stopping whatever activity you’re engaged in and cooling off.

Remove any heavy or sweaty clothing that may be trapping sweat in your skin. Take a cool shower to help lower your body temperature. This can also help remove any dirt and oils from the surface of your skin that may be clogging your pores.

For a more intense case of prickly heat, you may want to apply a calamine lotion or a low-dose hydrocortisone cream.

How to treat eczema

The treatment for eczema can vary based on the type of eczema you have and how severe it is.

For a typical case of atopic dermatitis, your doctor may suggest applying a moisturizer to the affected areas of skin several times per day. You may also benefit from applying a topical corticosteroid or taking an antihistamine if they’re experiencing a lot of itching.

With most cases of heat rash, once you start cooling off, the rash will likely start to improve. But if it doesn’t, you may want to contact your healthcare professional, especially if the rash is accompanied by other symptoms such as:

With eczema, let your doctor or healthcare professional know if you think you’re developing an infection. If you scratch an itchy patch and it starts bleeding, there’s a chance that the open wound could get infected. If you notice pus oozing from a lesion, be sure to get it checked out by a doctor.

If your eczema develops in adulthood, consider making an appointment with a healthcare professional to get it checked out. They will examine the rash carefully and may do some tests to rule out other possible causes.

If you’re a new parent, it’s helpful to know that newborns often develop a variety of different types of rashes. Seborrheic dermatitis is very common in babies, and heat rash can be, too. Most kinds of rashes can be easily dealt with at home. But if you’re concerned and aren’t sure what to do, go ahead and contact your child’s doctor to get some guidance.

Although heat rash and eczema aren’t always preventable, there are some steps you can take to lower your risk of these skin rashes.

How to prevent heat rash

The best way to prevent heat rash is to avoid sweating. This may be easier said than done, especially if you live in a hot, humid climate. After all, sweating is your body’s natural way of keeping you cool in warm conditions.

But there are some ways to reduce sweating and reduce the chances of a rash developing.

  • Wear loose, lightweight clothing and avoid clothing that that’s too tight or that rubs up against your skin.
  • Remove sweaty clothes that are close to your skin.
  • Limit the use of ointments or heavy moisturizers that can block your pores.
  • Try to spend most of your time in the shade or inside an air-conditioned space on hot days.
  • Take cool baths or showers on a regular basis.

How to prevent eczema

Although you can’t prevent eczema, you can reduce the likelihood that you (or your child) will experience an eczema flare-up or exacerbation.

First, try to figure out what your specific triggers are, and then do your best to avoid them. Other steps you can take to try and prevent an eczema flare-up include the following:

  • Avoid strongly scented soaps and detergents, which can irritate your skin.
  • Try to keep your home free of allergens like dust, pollen, mold, and pet dander.
  • Try to keep your stress levels in check.
  • Opt for lukewarm baths or showers instead of hot ones.
  • Don’t scrub your skin in the tub or shower.
  • Find a spot in the shade to stay cool on a hot day.
  • Wear sunscreen and protective clothing outdoors.

With babies, children, and even adults, it can be challenging to determine if you’re dealing with a heat rash or eczema.

If you’re not sure, a good rule of thumb is to get yourself or your child out of the heat into a cooler environment and to watch how the skin reacts. If the rash starts to improve in a day or two, it’s more likely heat rash.

If the rash persists or you notice other symptoms, contact your healthcare provider to get the right diagnosis and treatment.

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What Causes Rosy Cheeks and How Is It Managed?

 Is this cause for concern?

Rosy cheeks have long been perceived as a sign of good health and vigor. Years ago, a rosy glow was a much-coveted physical trait. In Jane Eyre, the title character lamented, “I sometimes regret that I was not handsomer; I sometimes wished to have rosy cheeks, a straight nose, and small cherry mouth.”

The rosiness Charlotte Brontë was referring to is a result of blood vessels widening to allow more blood to flow into the face. This can happen when you’re outside in the cold, as your body attempts to warm your skin. Overheating, after you exercise or drink a hot beverage, can also cause flushing. Nervousness or embarrassment, in which case it’s called blushing, can also turn your cheeks red. Some people blush or flush more easily than others.

Although a ruddy complexion isn’t necessarily a sign that you’re healthy, it’s generally nothing to worry about, either. That said, sometimes red cheeks can be a warning sign of an underlying medical condition.

Keep reading to learn more about why your cheeks are rosy, other symptoms to watch for, and when to see your doctor.

Rosacea affects more than 16 million Americans. Many of them don’t realize they have this skin condition because its symptoms look like blushing or flushing.

In rosacea, blood vessels in your face enlarge, allowing more blood to flow into your cheeks.

In addition to redness, you may also have:

  • visible blood vessels
  • red, pus-filled bumps that look like acne
  • warm skin
  • swollen, red eyelids
  • a bulbous nose

What you can do

You may be able to control rosacea redness at home by following these tips:

  • Avoid triggers like extreme temperatures, alcohol, or spicy foods.
  • Before you go outside, apply a broad-spectrum 30 SPF or higher sunscreen and wear a wide-brimmed hat.
  • Wash your face with a mild cleanser daily, rinse with lukewarm water, and gently pat your skin dry.

If the redness bothers you, you may consider applying a green-tinted foundation to cancel out the redness.

Brimonidine gel (Mirvaso) and oxymetazoline cream (Rhofade) have both been approved to treat rosacea. They work for about 12 hours, but you’ll have to apply them daily to get lasting results.

The only way to get more permanent clearing is with laser treatment. However, laser therapy can be expensive, and your insurance may not cover the cost.

Acne is the most common skin affliction. Just about everyone has to deal with at least an occasional pimple, especially during teenage years.

Acne starts with clogged pores. Dead skin, oil, and dirt become trapped inside these tiny openings in your skin. The trapped detritus provides the perfect home for bacteria, which multiply rapidly and make the pores swell up. If you have enough pimples, the redness can extend across your cheeks.

There are several types of acne, each with a different appearance:

  • small dark bumps (blackheads)
  • white-topped bumps (whiteheads)
  • red bumps (papules)
  • red bumps with white spots at the top (pustules or pimples)
  • large painful lumps (nodules)

What you can do

To treat mild acne, you can start by trying home remedies like these:

  • Wash your face daily with warm water and a gentle soap. Don’t scrub, you’ll irritate your skin and make the acne worse.
  • Avoid using irritating skin products such as exfoliants, astringents, and toners.
  • Don’t touch your face, or pick, pop, or squeeze your acne. You could create scars.
  • Wash your hair every day if you have oily skin.
  • Sun exposure can make acne worse. Wear sunscreen when you go outside. Choose a sunscreen brand that isn’t oily. Look for the word “noncomedogenic” on the label.
  • Try an over-the-counter acne medicine containing ingredients like benzoyl peroxide, alpha hydroxy acids, or salicylic acid.

If these treatments don’t work, see your healthcare provider. Prescription acne medicines work by reducing oil production, killing bacteria, or bringing down inflammation in your skin. These medicines include:

  • topical medicines such as retinoids, antibiotics, or salicylic acid
  • oral drugs such as antibiotics, oral contraceptives, antiandrogen drugs, and isotretinoin (Accutane)

For more stubborn or widespread acne, healthcare providers may offer these procedures:

Menopause occurs when a woman’s menstrual cycle ends and her estrogen production declines. About 80 percent of women who are in menopause experience hot flashes. Hot flashes are a sudden sensation of intense heat in the face and body that lasts for one to five minutes. During a hot flash, your face may flush red.

Doctors don’t know exactly what causes hot flashes. They believe that a drop in estrogen may affect the hypothalamus, the body’s internal thermostat.

Your hypothalamus misreads your body temperature as being too hot, and it sends out a signal to dilate blood vessels and release sweat to cool you down. The flush is due to those widened blood vessels.

Other symptoms of a hot flash include:

  • a sudden feeling of warmth in your face and body
  • fast heartbeat
  • sweating
  • a chill as the hot flash ends

What you can do

One way to prevent hot flashes is to avoid anything that you know triggers them.

Common triggers include:

  • hot weather
  • hot baths or showers
  • smoking
  • spicy or hot food
  • alcohol
  • caffeine
  • smoking

Eating a plant-based diet and exercising regularly can also provide some relief. And some women find that stress-relieving techniques like deep breathingyoga, and massage ease their hot flashes.

If your hot flashes don’t let up, see your doctor. Hormone therapy with estrogen, or an estrogen-progesterone combo, is an effective treatment. Antidepressants like paroxetine (Brisdelle) and venlafaxine (Effexor XR) are also used to treat hot flashes.

Eating a super-spicy dish filled with hot peppers can turn your face bright red. Spicy and sour foods act on the nervous system, which widens your blood vessels and creates the redness.

Ingredients that have this effect include:

  • red pepper
  • other spices
  • hot (heat-wise) foods

Sweating is another physical effect of eating spicy foods.

What you can do

If a food makes you flush and the symptom bothers you, avoid that food. Cook with spices that aren’t as “hot,” such as rosemary or garlic. And let your meals cool before you eat them.

More than a third of people from eastern Asian countries like Japan, China, and Korea become flushed when they drink even small amounts of alcohol.

They may also experience the following symptoms:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • rapid breathing
  • fast heartbeat
  • low blood pressure

This condition is called alcohol intolerance. It’s caused by an inherited deficiency of the aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2) enzyme. This enzyme is needed to break down alcohol. People with ALDH2 deficiency are also at greater risk for esophageal cancer.

People with certain types of cancer, including medullary thyroid carcinoma and carcinoid tumors, also get red faced when they drink alcohol.

What you can do

If you have an ALDH2 deficiency, you’ll need to avoid alcohol or limit the amount you drink. Also, ask your doctor about getting screened for esophageal cancer.

Some medicines cause flushing as a side effect, including:

  • amyl nitrite and butyl nitrite
  • bromocriptine (Parlodel)
  • cholinergic drugs
  • cyclosporine (Neoral)
  • cyproterone acetate (Androcur)
  • doxorubicin (Adriamycin)
  • morphine and other opiates
  • oral triamcinolone (Aristocort)
  • rifampin (Rifadin)
  • sildenafil citrate (Viagra)
  • tamoxifen (Soltamox)
  • niacin (Vitamin B-3)
  • glucocorticoids
  • nitroglycerin (Nitrostat)
  • prostaglandins
  • calcium channel blockers

The flushing can be on your face, neck, and upper body. In some cases, the redness may be due to histamine. Histamine is a chemical released as an immune system reaction to the drug.

Other symptoms may include:

  • skin rash
  • itching
  • wheezing
  • hives
  • dizziness

What you can do

If the flushing bothers you, or you also have other symptoms of a drug reaction, see your healthcare provider. You may need to avoid the drug in the future.

Sometimes an allergist can desensitize you to a particular drug by gradually exposing you to increasing amounts of the medication.

To control redness, follow these skin care tips:

Tips

  • Wash your face daily with a gentle cleanser and pat dry, never scrub.
  • Try a calming face mask that’s designed to treat rosacea.
  • Stay out of the sun when possible. Sun exposure can aggravate reddened skin. If you do have to go outside, wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least 30 SPF.
  • Avoid foods, drinks, or medications that cause this symptom.
  • Use foundation or green-tinted makeup to cover up the redness.

Many skin conditions are treatable at home. However, you should see your doctor if:

  • your skin doesn’t clear up after a few weeks
  • the redness bothers you
  • you have a lot of acne
  • you have other symptoms, such as sweating or nausea

You should seek immediate medical attention if you have symptoms of an allergic reaction. This includes:

  • hives
  • wheezing
  • swelling of your mouth
  • dizziness
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