UAE-based paediatric consultant, Dr David Cremonesini, busts ten allergy related myths.
While food allergies are on the rise – particularly in children and adults – and are fast-becoming a serious global health concern, there is plenty of uncertainty surrounding this immune-based disease.
Dr David Cremonesini, consultant paediatrician with a special interest in allergy at Mediclinic Parkview Hospital, provides some clarity on ten allergy-related beliefs.
- Ten percent of people think they are allergic to penicillin, but ninety percent of those people actually aren’t.
- There is no such thing as a hypoallergenic pet. TRUE.
- A positive allergy test means your child has an allergy. FALSE – we have to investigate whether the history matches the test result.
- Food panels tests are a bad idea. TRUE.
- Avoid all nuts during pregnancy and during weaning. FALSE – do not do this in either situation.
- An itchy rash means an allergy. FALSE – there are plenty of other possible causes.
- People are allergic to red dye. FALSE – that’s simply not possible.
- Eczema is always caused by an allergy. FALSE – there are lots of triggers. The key thing is too moisturise and use steroids for flare-ups.
- Steroid creams are safe to use on eczema – TRUE.
- I don’t need a spacer for my asthma when I use inhaler – FALSE, it’s always better to use spacer.
Living with allergies
Karen Everett’s seven-year-old daughter Olivia was diagnosed with a peanut allergy around five years ago.
“Witnessing my healthy, lively little girl go through a severe allergic reaction was absolutely horrendous,” she says.
“At first, we were all scared and excessively careful not to have any peanuts around us, she wasn’t often invited on playdates because parents we were worried about a potential reaction and EpiPen’s became an integral part of our lives.”
“We had to make sure that everyone who takes care of Olivia is taught how to use it, even my 11-year-old son knows how to administer it if he needs to.”
“We try to lead as normal a life as can be, but are vigilant when it comes to food. Labels are read thoroughly. Always ask… If in doubt, don’t get it’, that’s what I tell her. Olivia doesn’t live in a peanut free environment as I firmly believe that she needs to understand her condition and, with our guidance through childhood, know how to be safe.”
www.mediclinic.ae (800 1999).