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 What is an Allergy?

An allergy is an acquired sensitivity of the immune system. This implies that the body’s immune system has become sensitive to one or possibly more substances in our environment. These substances can be pollen, dust, molds or even food.

This sensitivity causes an immune response, which results in symptoms that can range from mild (runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing and itching) or severe (hives, trouble breathing, or anaphylactic shock). Symptoms usually occur with each exposure to the allergen.

What is an Allergen?

An allergen is a general term used to describe something that causes an allergic reaction. Allergens are actually tiny proteins found on certain substances. Some examples are airborne allergens are pollen and mold, whilst examples of food allergens are shellfish, peanuts and milk. Venom from an insect sting contains allergens as do plants, like poison ivy. Allergens also exist in households, like dust mites. Only those who are prone to acquired sensitivity are regularly affected by these allergens.


Take the example of a rash (allergic reaction). The person will likely to feel warm and itchy on the skin. What happens next? Scratching. The start of a "scratching" is the start of a negative cycle. The skin breaks, and contact is made with bacteria. If this is not managed and treated, it will get worst. Scratching will continue, skin will get worse and the negative cycle continues.

We need to turn the negative cycle into a positive cycle to promote healing of the skin. However, if the root cause of the allergen is not identified, the chances of promoting the positive cycle shall be slimmed. This is where Beacon Pharmacy can help. Come over and we will share our life experience with you.


Anaphylaxis: An Allergic Emergency