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About Atopy

By Jerry Knight

Atopy is hereditary and most often is a gene passed down by the mother rather than the father. However, children who have both a mother and father with Atopy are more than 50% likely to show symptoms. Atopy is characterized by a hypersensitivity to allergens in the environment, which include dust, pollen, mold and food substances.

Often accompanied with itchiness, atopy is an irritation of the skin. It may look like a rash or eczema with small red bumps or scaly skin. Scratching the infection may spread it and lead to an increase in symptoms.

There are three types of atopic diseases. The first type is allergic asthma, which may cause a narrowing of airways that leads to a difficulty in breathing. The second type is atopic dermatitis. This is a form of eczema with inflamed, irritated skin. The third is allergic rhino-conjunctivitis, which results in a stuffy nose, sneezing, and a postnasal drip.

Some factors that lead to outbreaks of Atopy are chemicals found in soaps, shampoos and laundry detergents. Smoking can increase irritation. Certain food allergies can also cause an outbreak, such as fish, eggs, milk, peanuts and soy. Dry skin irritated by long hot baths or showers, or lack of moisturizers can also cause problems.

How is it treated? Dry skin should be moisturized with lotions or oils, and showers or baths should be taken for short periods of time with luke-warm water. If an outbreak happens, then creams or corticosteroids may be purchased or prescribed.

Treat reactions with nasal sprays, antihistamines, or/and decongestants. Oral prescriptions will be given for a short period of time, rather than long term. Nasal sprays will be prescribed to reduce asthma symptoms and aid in breathing.If other treatments have not worked, a doctor may prescribe a immunomodulator. This is a last resort and should be used with caution for short periods of time. It is dangerous due to its possible side effects. Another trigger to a breakout is stress, which can be reduced with breathing exercises and meditation activities. Physical activity is a stress reducer. If itchiness is a factor, this can be reduced with lotions that include oatmeal or baking soda.

Brief Summary of Atopy: This condition is a hypersensitive response to allergens in the environment, such as foods, dust, mold, pollen, and smoking. There are three types of atopic diseases. They are allergic asthma (difficult breathing due to narrow nasal passageways), allergic rhino-conjunctivitis (drippy, stuffy nose with postnasal drip, sneezing and coughing), and atopic dermatitis (affects the skin).

Rhino-conjunctivitis affects the mucous lining and will lead to a drippy nose, sneezing, and oftentimes, coughing. Nasal sprays or allergy meds will be prescribed. Atopic dermatitis, itchy skin, can be prevented with creams and moisturizers.

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Topics: Allergies/Asthma | Comments Off

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Knight, Jerry "About Atopy." About Atopy. 12 Jul. 2010. 30 Sep 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Knight, J (2010, July 12). About Atopy. Retrieved September 30, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Knight, Jerry "About Atopy"

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