Lanolin, also called wool wax, wool grease or wool fat, is an oily substance which is made of extract from the wool of animals like sheep. This extract is refined and purified to form lanolin cream. It is an excellent emollient and is a common ingredient of skin creams, lotions and ointments. It is a good moisturizing agent, but there are instances of lanolin allergy in some people. This allergy is caused due to the application of certain creams whose main component is lanolin. It is believed that the main cause of the allergy are certain impurities which remain in the cream, even after refining of the extract. It is known that the most of the people who are allergic to this substance, already suffers from other skin conditions like eczema. Symptoms If you are allergic to wool then it’s most likely that you would be allergic to any cream, ointment, etc., made of lanolin. Many a time, it is found that the symptoms of this allergy appear very early in life or during the teenage years, but it remains undetected for a very long time. So, if you get rashes on your body which does not go away even after applying moisturizers, you may be allergic to this chemical. Appearance of rash on the skin is one of the most common symptoms of this allergy. Lips and other parts of the face may swell because of it. In some cases, people allergic to it may experience nasal congestion if they are exposed to wool fibers. In such individuals body parts where the creams containing this chemical is applied, would become itchy and rashes would appear. Rashes due to Lanolin Rashes are bumps on the skin and it changes the way the skin feels and looks. They may be localized to a single area or may spread throughout the body. You may also observe scaly patches and red itchy bumps. Since rashes would appear due to the use of lanolin creams, avoiding use of this cream is the best option available. Moreover, if you minimize exposure to this substance, the rashes would go away. Some of the medicines which are used for such allergies include topical steroids. Contact Dermatitis This allergy comes under the category of contact dermatitis, as it is caused due to contact with substances that give rashes. These may also look like the rashes caused by atopic dermatitis. However, there is a difference between the two; rashes due to lanolin allergy can be found only in the areas where it is applied, whereas atopic dermatitis can affect any area of the body. If you get a chronic rash which not only itches a lot, but also stings and burns, then it is recommended that you get a test done for this allergy. You must go for the test, if rash goes on to form small, clear fluid containing blisters which may swell or ooze. Another pointer is that the rashes caused due to lanolin are found mostly on the face and hands. Cosmetics like creams and lotions are mostly applied on the face and hands as such, these areas are most prone to the contents of the cosmetics, for instance lanolin. If you get rashes on your body that itches a lot, becomes red and does not go away after some time, be aware, it may be due to your skin reacting to lanolin. It’s always best to consult a dermatologist before starting any medication to treat this allergy. It is best to take care and read the contents of the cream or lotion before purchasing it.


Allergic Reaction to Mosquito Bites

Mosquito is a seemingly harmless insect, which feeds on almost anything. However, female mosquitoes need human blood to survive. Mosquitoes insert their long proboscis in human skin and release saliva. This saliva contains proteins that prevent human blood from clotting and also keep the blood flowing in the mouth of the mosquito. In fact, it is this protein that induces allergic reactions to mosquito bites in some people.
Reaction to Mosquito Bites
The symptoms of mosquito bite can differ from person to person. Also, the symptoms can appear immediately or they may be delayed. The peculiar reaction to mosquito bite is swelling around the bite that itches a lot. A red bump may erupt after some time, if the person scratches the bitten area. Excessive scratching may lead to infected mosquito bite, which may require a separate treatment. Mosquito bite reactions subside within hours or a day at the most. Getting mosquito bites over a period of time eventually decreases the severity of symptoms, as the body develops immunity against these proteins. Allergic reaction to mosquito bites in children is pretty common as they are yet to develop an immunity against mosquito bites.
Allergic Reaction to Mosquito Bites
People who suffer from allergic reactions are said to be suffering from ‘Skeeter syndrome’. The symptoms of Skeeter syndrome are large bumps, swelling that does not limit to the bite area, bruising, blisters, etc. In rare cases, it may develop into angioedema, anaphylaxis or it may worsen the symptoms of asthma. Skeeter syndrome is pretty rare and affects people who have a history of similar reactions.
Risk Group
Although mosquitoes can bite anyone, there are certain people who are more prone to mosquito bites and the allergic reactions originating from them. As per a research, 2 million Americans are at risk of developing allergic reactions from bees, wasps, mosquito stings. Given below is the risk group for allergic reactions to mosquito bites.

  • Workers working in swampy areas.
  • People staying near open drains or marshy areas.
  • Children and other people with weak immune system.
  • People suffering from immunodeficiency diseases like AIDS and cancer.

If you belong to this risk group, the only way you can prevent the allergic reactions is by preventing the mosquito bite itself. If it’s not possible to avoid the place where mosquitoes inhabit, at least make sure you cover yourself well.

Diagnosis and Treatment
The diagnosis is made depending upon the results of skin test which uses ‘mosquito whole body extract’. Radio Allergo Sorbent Test (RAST), is a very effective test which detects the presence of IgE against various allergens performed on blood taken from the patient. Treatment for allergic reaction involves use of corticosteroids or oral antihistamines. Anaphylaxis can be treated by taking insect bites shots. Taking Cetirizine hydrochloride on a daily basis during summers (when mosquito bites are very common) also helps a great deal to people with known mosquito allergies.
While allergic reactions to mosquito bites are indeed worthy of attention, the real trouble from mosquitoes comes in the form of malaria and dengue. These two diseases are pretty common in tropical countries. They could endanger the life of a person if proper treatment is not received.
As mentioned above, prevention is the best way to treat allergic reactions to mosquito bites. Use of insect repellent with diethyltoluamide (DEET) or netted masks are the best protections against mosquito bites. Also, it would be wise to carry your anti allergy medications while treading in mosquito inhabited area. Although, it is rare for a mosquito bite to develop into some serious medical condition, it is better to consult a physician, if you experience some unusual symptoms like breathing difficulty or excessive swelling of any body part.
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