Does Your Baby Have Allergies?
Allergies have been on the increase in developed countries for many decades now, and especially for childhood allergies. The exact reason for this is unclear, however, it is speculated that increased hygiene and antibacterial products have lead to babies who lack exposure to germs, and an immune development that is prone to allergies. It is also true, however, that like, asthma and eczema, allergies have a hereditary component, and definitely have a tendency to run in families.
When your baby is showing symptoms of an allergy such as swelling skin, runny nose, itchy eyes, sneezing, or skin rashes, the baby´s immune system is interpreting contact with a particular protein--pollen, food substance, or air pollution--as foreign and dangerous. The body produces antibodies which cause the reactions such as inflamed skin, and teary eyes. Hives or welts are also signs of an inflammatory reaction.
If you suspect that your baby has an allergy, remember to document the events leading up to the reaction. Remember that there are many possible substances that one can be allergic to. Documenting the circumstances can help your allergist narrow down likely candidates. Remember that while most allergic reactions are merely discomforting, there is always a possibility for a potentially life-threatening reaction such as anaphylaxis, so it is best to be safe, particularly if the reaction appears to be severe.