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Childhood food, skin allergies on the rise
May 2nd, 2013
02:39 PM ET

Childhood food, skin allergies on the rise

Food and skin allergies are becoming more common in American children, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Both have been steadily increasing for more than a decade.

Food allergy prevalence increased from 3.4% to 5.1% between 1997 and 2011, while skin allergy prevalence more than doubled in the same time period. That means 1 in every 20 children will develop a food allergy and 1 in every 8 children will have a skin allergy.  According to the CDC, respiratory allergies are still the most common for children younger than 18.

The new report, which looked at data from the National Health Interview Survey, found that skin allergies decreased with age, while respiratory allergies increased as children got older.

Both food and respiratory allergies also increased with income level, meaning richer families had higher rates of childhood allergies. Hispanic children had lower rates than non-Hispanic white and black children in the survey. The report did not look into the potential reasons for this.

Scientists are still trying to figure out where allergies come from, and why they’re on the rise in the United States. Internal bacteria, genetics and environment may all play a role, says Dr. Edward Zoratti, head of the allergy and immunology division at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.

Why are food allergies on the rise?

When particles of pollen or certain types of food enter our bodies, they're called antigens. If your body has a sensitivity to that particle, it mistakes the harmless element for a dangerous invader, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. The particle then becomes what we call an allergen.

Allergens cause your body to produce Immunoglobulin E, or IgE, antibodies. Antibodies are used to identify and destroy dangerous invaders. Unfortunately, IgE antibodies also release histamine and other chemicals that can create an allergic reaction.

That means anything that impacts our immune system could change our susceptibility to allergies, Zoratti says. For instance, our diet has changed over time – “and not for the better” – with more processed food and fewer natural nutrients. We’re also outdoors less and exercise less, all of which may be changing how our immune system reacts to these antigens.

Studies have been done in Europe, he says, that show children who are raised on farms are less likely to have allergies. Researchers believe exposure to animals and various microbes at a young age strengthens the immune system. It’s called the “hygiene hypothesis,” meaning our body’s ability to fight back has been weakened by too clean of an environment.

A lack of vitamin D may also be contributing to the rise in allergies. Many people in the United States have a vitamin D deficiency, Zoratti says. While scientists aren’t sure how Vitamin D works, they do know it plays a crucial role in the immune system. There’s also a growing concern that the antibiotics we take as children are killing off good bacteria in our gut, making it difficult for the good to fight off the bad.

“There’s been a lot of changes in the (microbes) that we’re exposed to, or that grow in and on our body,” Zoratti says.

Bottom line, scientists are still working to figure out why allergies are on the rise. If your child has an allergy or allergy symptoms, talk to their pediatrician and visit AAAI.org or AAFA.org for more information.


soundoff (63 Responses)
  1. BigAl

    where were all these allergies 20, 30, 40 years ago?

    May 3, 2013 at 08:03 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Kathleen

      Those allergies were right here. I'm 54 and am peanut-allergic for all of it.
      Back then, it was hard to avoid secondary contamination. I missed enormous amounts of elementary school from allergy reactions to pb&j the kid next to me was eating.
      Nowadays, the trouble is that peanuts or tree nuts are in so many products you would never expect them in–from salad dressings to corn dogs. It's a minefield out there!

      May 3, 2013 at 10:08 | Report abuse |
    • SixDegrees

      Read the article.

      May 4, 2013 at 05:56 | Report abuse |
    • Firefly6

      This is what Genetically Modified Organisms aka GMO foods due to us sadly...80% of what we consume is modified

      May 4, 2013 at 09:20 | Report abuse |
    • Dawn

      The allergies were still in all the 'shelved' antibiotics and growth hormones that have been pumped into out foood sources and drinks since then. Why do you think we have 2 yr olds with budding breast and 8 year olds menstruating? Why do you think we have prepubescent boys with armpit and genital hair. Food producers need to produce millions of pounds of chicken so everyone can have their nuggets and milk producers need cows to feed the millions of city dweller who think their milk comes from a truck. Not to mention the over indulgence of sugar in this age. Our ignornance of food origins, lack of movement and over indulgence of 'couchism' may well be our problem. Take the kids outside, eat locally and those who are predisposed to allergies, teach your children avoidance of the allergen and what to do if exposed.

      May 6, 2013 at 03:47 | Report abuse |
    • Steve Frank

      My son has NUT allergy, I think this is a continuation of human evolution. I know lactose intollerance is considered part of human evolution.

      May 6, 2013 at 12:01 | Report abuse |
  2. Caroline

    It seems to me that this article is posted year after year. No news in the last 10 years I have been reading about food allergies since my kid was born. The same theory, no cure, same research with nothing to show.

    May 3, 2013 at 10:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. JT

    I think a rise in respiratory allergies or other problems like hayfever that are caused by pollen could be contributed to the indoor lifestyle but I don't think there's a good link between living in a hyperhygienic or otherwised sterile evironment and the increase in allergies related to food and just general respiratory distress.

    Exposure to bacteria and viruses found naturally in the environment would only train your immune system to respond to those substances as they make their way into the body. I don't think that a lack of experience in fighting or identifying these invaders would translate to food allergies. Likewise I don't really think the same mechanism works for food allergies – you wouldn't suggest that someone who grew up without eating a strawberry or peanut would be more likely to be allergic to them, especially if the allergy is so severe that it could kill the person the first time they are exposed to it.

    On the otherside of the spectrum, there are a lot more unnatural chemicals that we expose our children to than ever before. Chemicals that were never meant to be ingested or inhaled might confuse the body's response system and hamper it's ability to learn how to ignore other allergens.

    I do wonder how people become allergic to things like peanuts. I guess it's the same as being allergic to ragweed, only a lot more extreme, but how does it get so extreme?

    May 3, 2013 at 10:34 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ST

      Everything the body encounters have "antigens" aka pieces of that item your immune system responds to. Peanuts have tons of antigens on their surface as opposed to spinach which has basically none.

      Allergies are caused by IgE, types of antibodies that typically respond to parasites. People in cleaner environments rarely encounter parasites. Our bodies for some reason start to recognize pollen and other objects which can't hurt us as an invader and release tons of nasty compounds to kill of the "parasite". The problem is that no one really understands why our bodies still try to make IgE when it isn't needed or why it starts to recognize certain antigen.

      May 3, 2013 at 14:25 | Report abuse |
    • anaguilar2012

      GMOs?

      May 3, 2013 at 23:53 | Report abuse |
    • micheleodea

      What >> said is absolutely correct. The immune system seems to "need" to be exercised, and if it is not, it attacks otherwise benign intruders. That is why it is absolutely no surprise the increase is by and large coming from middle class white people. They're the hyper obsessed super cleaners who run around with Wet Ones on the ready lest Janie or Johnnie touch something. Gasp!

      May 4, 2013 at 13:08 | Report abuse |
  4. Ammar

    I am afraid of these allergies for my kids. I try to avoid all type of processed food weather it is snack or a vegetable in a canned. We cook food at home and use fresh vegetable, beans, rice, grains and meat.

    May 3, 2013 at 10:40 | Report abuse | Reply
    • JacksJohns

      Good job buddy!

      May 3, 2013 at 23:42 | Report abuse |
    • Chef Sun

      It's "whether" not "weather" .

      May 6, 2013 at 01:11 | Report abuse |
  5. Jan

    Scientists are wondering where allergies are coming from? I am not a scientist and it doesn't take one to know that all our gemetically modified foods are to blame! Look back when I was growing up in the 60s no one had allergies back then. It's exploded in the last 2-3 decades. We need to all go back to our local farmers and get our foods from them. We really do not know what goes into the foods that we eat from the big box chains. I would rather pay more and get fresh and no hormoned pumped up beef or chicken! We need to stand up and say enough, we are done with it all! But no one utters a word. We tried to get people involved here in Canada and again we are too polite we don't want to rock the boat but something needs to be done and it's up to the citizens to get involved and speak up and tell them we have had enough or just leave the grocery chains that we are heavily dependent on and go out to the country and get our foods from the local farmers who could use our support.

    May 3, 2013 at 11:26 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Susan

      So you think no one had allergies when you were growing up in the 60s? Guess you didn't live near my house. My brother was allergic to milk, nuts, and shellfish and spent a good amount of his childhood in the emergency room in the sixties just trying to breathe. He died at the age of 32 in the early nineties. (in case you can't count, he was born in 1959).

      That same shellfish allergy lives on in me, while the milk allergy lives on in my nephew and my son. So I have lived with and watched food allergies for over five decades now, they are nothing new. They are however, a lot more widespread. This may also be the result of people with severe allergies living long enough to have kids and passing the genetics on when back in the 'good ole days' they didn't survive childhood.

      May 3, 2013 at 12:31 | Report abuse |
    • Amy

      I totally agree with Jan. The operative word in this story is "on the rise". Yes, we've always had allergies, but it was on a much smaller scale 30+years ago than it is now. It is not coincidence that the first GMO's were created a little over 30 years ago and now people are increasingly unable to digest wheat properly, getting eczema at much larger rates, etc. I'm surprised this article doesn't address GMO's. Europe, for example, is watching our children over the course of a few decades to see the affects on them before they even consider lifting the US food importation ban. More allergies, more autism, more behavioral disorders, more cancer.....etc. GMO's may not be 100% to blame, but they are a large portion of the growing problem.

      May 3, 2013 at 14:01 | Report abuse |
    • JacksJohns

      Guess you missed the comment above about the 54 year old woman who had peanut allergies here whole life. But yes, they have magically appeared with GMOs which according to you have only been around for 30 years. Unfortunately in fact, they've been around for far longer and have ironically done plenty good. Look to the 'man who saved a billion lives' Norman Borlaug. I think demonizing GMOs, which have clearly been very useful (which isn't to say there isn't anything bad to say about GMOs or some companies involved in the business) in some nations including our own, is wrong and is in away demonizing science which is extremely hurtful to a nations well being. And it typically tends to come to people who don't have all the facts or in some cases nearly none at all. And you've clearly demonstrated you don't much of the history of GMOs, or probably genetics, by simply stating allergies are booming in the past 2-3 decades as a result of GMO use, which has been around for twice that length. If you want people to fear science, and scientific advancements, by all means go ahead, but don't start crying and whining when nations like China and India end up soaring past us.

      May 3, 2013 at 23:51 | Report abuse |
    • JacksJohns

      Amy 'It is not coincidence that the first GMO's were created a little over 30 years ago...' I hope people see exactly what i am talking about. Research 'Genetics' 'Genetic Engineering' 'Genetically Modified Organism' 'Norman Borlaug'. Go beyond Wikipedia. Get educated in the subjects before making such bold uneducated statements.

      May 3, 2013 at 23:55 | Report abuse |
    • fyre

      Food is hardly the only thing that has changed in the past 30 years. Plastics and the chemicals they leach are in everything. People use more scented products than ever. The chemicals we coat our roads and car interiors with, the dyes in our clothes, the chemicals that are in the water supply . . . a lot has changed over the past few decades.

      May 4, 2013 at 00:04 | Report abuse |
    • JustSarah

      While GMOs are a possible culprit and they certainly don't add anything to our modern diets, the situation is a lot more complicated than that. My parents and grandparents both have allergies to a number of different things. Allergies have always been present, albeit not quite as common. 20 years ago when I was in elementary school I remember many kids having allergies. It's not like they appeared out of nowhere. I am a scientist and I think that the lack of exposure to a variety of natural antigens (ie playing outside, with animals, etc) at a young age, decrease in exercise, and an obsession with hyper cleanliness (wipe everything down with disinfecting wipes) likely play a very large role in the increase in allergies. If we are not exposed to the antigens, our immune system doesn't know how to react and it can go haywire. Additionally, exercise and sunlight (vitamin D) have a positive effect on the immune system. To say that it is only GMOs that have caused the increase is grossly naive.

      May 6, 2013 at 15:26 | Report abuse |
  6. Tricia

    My 8 year old son has a peanut allergy and a soybean allergy. Both require us to carry an epipen. Avoiding peanuts is hard but avoiding soybeans is a lot harder.

    May 3, 2013 at 13:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. artfulgang

    Much of the problem is due to additives in foods, particularly food dyes and preservatives. European kids are healthier because they have laws against these additives. To learn more about the damage allowed by U.S. laws and lack of FDA guts to do anything about it, visit http://www.feingold.org on avoiding foods that accelerate problems for children with ADHD, autism and allergic reactions.

    May 3, 2013 at 13:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Diane W Farr

    That means anything that impacts our immune system could change our susceptibility to allergies, Zoratti says. What about vaccines, too? They impact the immune system.

    May 3, 2013 at 13:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Elizabeth

    I have a 2 1/2 year old daughter with a life threatening peanut allergy. She was diagnosed with the allergy after a severe allergic reaction at 9 months old. I get very defensive when people say that it's because of parents being over sterile, or because we don't let our kids play out side, or because we feed them too much junk food, give them too many anti-biotics... My daughter was a baby when we learned she had this allergy... She had never been on an anti-biotic, had played outside in the grass and dirt and sand etc. 100 times or more, was still eating baby food, which I made home made with all fresh ingredients, she was in daycare, surrounded by other kids, and germs all day, and she was breast fed for the first 6 months of her life. So don't tell me that these allergies are a cause of something parents are doing or not doing. At 9 months there is no way you can tell me that this is a man-made allergy.
    We rarely if EVER, go out to eat. I make the majority of our meals at home to ensure that they are safe from allergens. So we don't indulge in processed foods, or foods full f dyes and preservatives.
    She was born with this allergy. That's the just the way it is. You can't blame parents for everything.

    May 3, 2013 at 14:23 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Kathleen

      Elizabeth, that's tough. My sympathies to both you and your daughter.
      Now, as someone who's had the peanut allergy for 54 years, here's some things I've learned: Going out to eat–fast food is actually best, because very few places have nut stuff. I have never had any trouble at Taco Bell, Dairy Queen, or Burger King (our local McD's has gotten careless lately with the peanuts on the parfaits), as long as I avoid milkshakes. (Every little kid likes a fast food meal occasionally. And they should be able to have one.) Also Pizza Hut.
      Hershey's has never let me down in over half a century. The "Sunkist" brand candies are peanut & tree nut free. Go easy with soy, as it can cause problems in peanut-allergy folk. Watch out pesto, because of the pine nuts. (I just had my first reaction to those!)

      May 3, 2013 at 14:34 | Report abuse |
    • allergic

      I've been allergic to peanuts and tree nuts my whole life. I was raised in a clean house and ate all natural home made food too. Sometimes there is no reason for things. It just happens.

      Kathleen. Fast food is the worst for an allergy. I don't know where you are but in California dairy queen is the worst for allergens and taco bell gave me a reaction too

      May 3, 2013 at 19:50 | Report abuse |
    • Suzanne

      I find this article interesting because it points out a link between peanut allergy and vaccines:

      http://www.thedoctorwithin.com/allergies/vaccines-and-the-peanut-allergy-epidemic/

      December 18, 2014 at 01:58 | Report abuse |
  10. Alla Soiko

    Allergies are coming from SAD – Standard American Diet. Most Americans eat processed food contaminated with 5000+ chemicals.

    May 3, 2013 at 14:33 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Nadeirice

      I agree with you on the SAD part, but I'm interested in learning more about this part of the article:
      "Both food and respiratory allergies also increased with income level, meaning richer families had higher rates of childhood allergies. Hispanic children had lower rates than non-Hispanic white and black children in the survey. The report did not look into the potential reasons for this."
      I feel like the lower income would be feeding their children more of this SAD versus the richer families, so it would be interesting to find out more about this statement. With all the comments about processed food, dyes, antibiotics in food etc. You would then think that the lower income would have a higher rate of allergies versus the higher income familes who are Making their own fresh baby food and eating cleaner... IJS.... There has to be more to it, such as you are just born allergic no matter if you are eating processed foods or not....

      May 8, 2013 at 08:01 | Report abuse |
  11. drinker75

    Is it possible that these kids with allergies used to die more often and now live to pass on their genetics?

    May 3, 2013 at 14:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. sasboarden

    Let's investigate all of the Genetically Modified food this generation of kids is eating on a daily basis. Previous generations never ate genetically modified foods. Is it possible that the corn & soy that are genetically engineered to kill bugs are damaging the good bugs in our stomachs so the kids can't digest the food as well and it's being introduced into the blood stream partially-digested and so the body doesn't recognize it and calls out all its defenses... hence an allergy? Instead of making our kids the lab rats for this food, let's do some controlled studies.

    May 3, 2013 at 16:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Jinxi

    Food allergies are completely unnatural. They were almost non-existant just a generation or two ago. Pesticides are the most likely culprit. When you eat foods which have pesticide residue (almost all foods) it damages you in the same way it damages insects. It causes rips in the intestine, which allows particles of food to enter the blood stream prematurely, triggering an immune response. That eventually becomes a learned response whenever you consume the food product which triggers it, hence the allergy. We need to start eliminating pesticides from our crops and find a way to farm without these chemicals.

    May 3, 2013 at 17:28 | Report abuse | Reply
    • anaguilar2012

      Sounds like GMOs and pesticides...

      May 3, 2013 at 23:52 | Report abuse |
    • fyre

      That's an interesting hypothesis if that mechanism can be proven.

      May 3, 2013 at 23:59 | Report abuse |
    • squeeky

      Rips in the intestines? If food could actually exit the intestines without being digested fully, you'd have a whole lot of problems, allergies being the least of it. I'm not saying pesticides are fine, but the mechanism you propose is not the one.

      May 4, 2013 at 13:27 | Report abuse |
    • Sara

      Yes, Squeeky that is a real condition. Look it up, it's called Leaky Gut Syndrome, and I was diagnosed last summer. Two years ago I could eat anything and everything I wanted. Now, due to my overuse of antibiotics and hormones (birth control), I can no longer have gluten, dairy, some soy, and a lot of other foods. When my condition was at its worst, it wasn't just a food allergy. It was causing migraines, joint pain, depression, and terrible digestive issues. So, I agree with those on here who have mentioned hormones and antibiotics in our foods as well as GMO as the root of this. It damages the gut, which causes food to leak into the blood stream triggering an autoimmune reaction. As far as babies being born with allergies, I would guess fertility treatments as well as the food the mothers are consuming (with hormones and antibiotics in it) are affecting the development of the baby's digestive system.

      May 4, 2013 at 21:06 | Report abuse |
  14. anaguilar2012

    food with GMOs could be the cause? just something to think about...

    May 3, 2013 at 23:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Rockney

    One simple reason – people have lived in the cities too long. Living in rural America inherently exposes kids to all kinds of things. And their bodies become accustom to those things. Not nearly as many people from "the country" have allergies as bad as a lot of city folks. Basic common sense.

    May 4, 2013 at 02:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. USA

    OH-CHOO (snot running down nose) :-)

    May 4, 2013 at 06:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Drmarucci

    Thank Monsanto and GMO foods.

    May 4, 2013 at 07:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. SixDegrees

    It would be interesting to see such studies normalized for reporting incidence. Right now, food allergies are "trendy" among parents – I've heard parents actually brag to one another about how many allergies their child has, as though it somehow boosts their social status. And, of course, that along with heightened awareness as a result of such behavior is going to inevitably lead to far more trips to the doctor. When I was growing up, I had one or two occasions when my chest broke out in hives; my mom smeared them with calamine lotion to ease the itching, kept an eye on it for a day – by which time it was already subsiding – and called it good, without bothering about a trip to the doctor.

    So it may simply be an increase in reporting, rather than any increase in incidence. Although the 'hygiene hypothesis' mentioned in the article bears looking in to, it seems just as likely that there's actually nothing to see in the first place.

    May 4, 2013 at 13:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • squeeky

      YES. Especially the middle class yuppies where most of the increase is occurring. It's either some way to try to prove they are good mommies, an attention-getter, or just the obsessive behaviors they otherwise demonstrate by running around with Wet Ones and alcohol based hand sanitizers, where their kids can't even look at dirt never mind play in it.

      May 4, 2013 at 13:29 | Report abuse |
    • Pam

      I agree with this somewhat... here is a PERFECT example: I worked at a kids' summer camp after college and there was one particular boy who had "severe peanut allergy", "very allergic to peanuts" written in red ink all over his health form. Upon camp check in, I asked his mom if he had his epi-pen with him and mom reported he did not have an epi-pen. Hmmm. OK. Red flag #1. So later in the week I see this kiddo eating a PB and J for lunch, so I went over and reminded him of his peanut allergy (he was 9 or 10 years old and in my book old enough to be responsible for what he eats). To which he replied "oh, I'm not really allergic to them, I eat PB all the time at school and at friend's houses and it's fine. My mom is crazy and thinks I am allergic to peanuts for some reason"

      In all seriousness, I know there are REAL legitimate allergies out there. But situations like this really puzzle me. I too sometimes get looked at like I have 4 heads when asked "what are your kids allergic to?", and I reply "nothing". Like they are supposed to be allergic to something?

      May 26, 2013 at 03:01 | Report abuse |
  19. Portland tony

    I grew up back in the day, where we were exposed to all sorts of substances and pathogens that are now virtually illuminated today. Granted we didn't take baths in DDT and other now banned chemicals, but we were exposed to unsanitized surfaces etc and naturally built up immunities to certain pathogens over the years. So let your kids play in the dirt, just give them a good bath after! :)

    May 4, 2013 at 22:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. simplemobilepayment

    Simple mobile payment Simple Mobile | Net10 Wireless | h2O Wireless Online Payments , Payment Center Prepaid pay by phone, Spot Mobile, Red Pocket, Ultra Mobile. Payment Center.

    May 4, 2013 at 23:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Whiney H.

    The diagnoses are on the rise, but I'm sure actual allergies are not. This is about justifying jobs and new buildings – not children's health.

    May 5, 2013 at 13:57 | Report abuse | Reply
    • christine

      I think you maybe right. Parents now these days take their kid to the doctor for any runny nose or any little thing. At least part of it.
      I think our sanitized world has allot to do with it also.

      May 7, 2013 at 01:05 | Report abuse |
  22. the Bell Pepper - bain of my existance

    I moved across state lines to live with my military father; my divorced mother died when I was 8 years old. That's when I started getting weekly bouts of painful diarrhea. I was told that the stress of the death / moving away from friends and family could be the cause and I would get over it. My "nervous guts" never got over it.

    I find out at age 42 that I have an intolerance to green, red, and yellow bell peppers and that I have been suffering from malnutrition for most of my life due to having regularly irritated/damaged intestines. This is why I have a thin body that is not aging gracefully.

    Adults... be aware if you or your child stinks up the bathroom after certain meals. Bell peppers can be found mixed with yellow corn, on supreme pizzas, many Olive Garden entrees, spaghetti sauces, restaurant style Hun-an Chicken, chilli, beef stuffed bell peppers (school lunch meal and military chow hall entree), and the list is endless. You can end the suffering!

    May 5, 2013 at 15:54 | Report abuse | Reply
    • SixDegrees

      Have you ever considered visiting a real doctor?

      May 6, 2013 at 03:27 | Report abuse |
  23. MrsFudd

    My daughter was allergic to wheat, corn, yeast, beef, turkey, peanuts, chocolate, and a host of other foods – diagnosed at 18 months because she was sick 2 weeks of every month for 6 months. Wheat made her hyperactive. Many friends said I should have her checked for ADD or ADHD, but I said it was food allergies. Most looked at me like I was stupid or in denial.

    Her pediatric allergist did a double blind study that focused on food allergies in children. It was a 10 year study, and as many as 55% of kids are misdiagnosed with ADD or ADHD when it's really food allergies. We were blessed to catch it early in our daughter.

    She out grew all of those allergies as she matured. She is now 24, healthy, happy and no food allergies at all. Just hayfever :(

    May 5, 2013 at 19:09 | Report abuse | Reply
    • SixDegrees

      I hear an entire flock of ducks quacking in the background.

      May 6, 2013 at 03:28 | Report abuse |
  24. Dafish

    In yet another study. 99 out of a 100 allopathic doctors in the U.S. were found to be nothing more than pathetic con-men and snake-oil salesmen. It appears as though our pharmaceutical industry was started by the Rockefellers. They mixed addictive drugs with oil based products... Go figure on lawyers supporting them...

    May 5, 2013 at 21:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Katie

    I am blessed with children who did not have allergies. No one in my family had allergies. No one in my husband's family had allergies and I didn't even think about it until as an adult, I have acquired several allergies. My siblings have too – mainly irritants like seasonal pollens and dust, but food allergies and skin allergies are starting to sneak in as well. My sister worked as a nurse for years until her hands started blistering. She can't tolerate most skin creams or soaps and blames it on the harsh surgical soaps she used for years. I found I have allergies to certain animals now where none ever existed before – we lived on a farm and always had animals around. Now I can't be near a dog. I also found out that most chocolate and lots of generic flours contains dust mites and that ibuprofen and vitamin E both can aggravate a sinus-related allergy. I feel for parents now who realize their children have a host of allergies. I do think the environment plays a huge factor. I also think the tendency for allergies is genetic, so it's only going to get worse. What's the answer? Don't know. Just wish I did and I wish everyone luck.

    May 5, 2013 at 21:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Bridget

    Look no further than GMOs and the mass amount of Round Up pesticides sprayed on our food. Hopefully someday our American society will wake up and realize what we are eating and fight tooth and nail to protect our precious land, water, FOOD SUPPLY. 61 countries including China, Russia and even Kazakhstan label GMO foods. We need to pay attention to how our food is sourced before it's too late.

    May 6, 2013 at 16:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Odalice Feliz

    A LACK OF VITAMIN D, IS PROVABLY THE CAUSE

    May 14, 2013 at 01:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. hender1123

    Prepared and processed foods today are a chemical nightmare. How can you figure out what's happening when you eat food that's full of pesticides, preservatives, additives, drugs and antibiotics, miscellaneous chemicals, GMO's and who knows what else? And what if your allergy is many allergies and presents as something else? Your doctor only has about 15 minutes and a list of drugs and some lab test and then you're on your way out the door and off to the pharmacy. And the solution. Drugs. Or you can think of it as more chemicals to go with all the ones you're already getting in your food. Sometimes life becomes a do-it-yourself project.

    May 29, 2013 at 02:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Shelton Doucet

    Shots might seem like an unusual way to treat allergies, but they're effective at decreasing sensitivity to triggers. The substances in the shots are chosen according to the allergens identified from a person's medical history and by the allergist during the initial testing. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversees the standards used in preparing the materials for allergy shots given in the United States.

    June 7, 2013 at 05:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. db

    Oh to be a strawberry.

    July 31, 2013 at 21:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. syeda

    Rosacea— Frequent redness (flushing) of the face; small red lines under the skin; inflamed eyes/eyelids, a swollen nose, and thicker skin. Your physician can usually diagnose rosacea with a thorough medical history and physical exam. There is no cure for rosacea, but it can be treated and controlled. Rosacea

    September 29, 2013 at 14:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Ron Looker

    The best thing to do is buy natural soap Enucia.com offers soaps without detergents and dyes.

    January 11, 2014 at 00:13 | Report abuse | Reply

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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.