Allergic Reactions to Bell Peppers

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Are you allergic to Bell Peppers? Maybe you are and not aware of it. An allergic reaction to bell peppers can present itself in many different forms. It can affect the skin, the respiratory tract, and the gastrointestinal tract. Each system affected, displays different reactions to the allergen.

Skin Reactions

Allergies affecting the skin will usually present themselves in the form of eczema, rash, or hives.

Rashes can appear on the skin as tiny spots or patches of red. In some cases, there is no pain or itching accompanied with the rash. The rash may possibly be an early warning sign of an allergic reaction to the bell pepper. When the intake of this food is stopped, the rash will often go away. Treatment can include ointments containing corticosteroids.

Eczema is quite different; it can come on strong and cause skin to be red, itchy and painful. Occasionally, eczema will develop into small fluid-filled bumps. Early warning signs of eczema can be displayed by the skin becoming hot and inflamed. Treatment will usually involve corticosteroid ointment or antihistamine pills.

Hives are usually extremely itchy and form welts on the skin. These welts are filled with fluid, which causes the skin to become raised. Some welts can become rather large and cover large areas of the body. Whether the welts are large or small, they are usually painful and itchy.

In many cases, if the hives are mild, they will go away on their own. Measures can be taken to ease discomfort, such as eliminating hot water on the skin, avoid tight clothing and applying calamine lotion or taking antihistamines. However, if the reaction is severe or affects the throat, an emergency shot of epinephrine may be necessary.

Gastrointestinal Reactions

An allergic reaction involving the gastrointestinal tract can include nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. If the allergic reaction involves more than one system, such as, the skin and the gastrointestinal system, serious conditions can occur. Anaphylactic shock can occur and emergency treatment should be sought immediately.

Respiratory Reactions

Respiratory conditions related to allergies are usually linked with anaphylactic shock. However, conditions involving the nose, eyes, and coughing can be treated without emergency assistance. Frequent nasal congestion, drainage, and sneezing can be a sign of an allergic reaction to food, including bell peppers. Inflammation and drainage from the eyes can also occur as a reaction to a food allergy.

Treatments for respiratory conditions, not related to anaphylactic shock, involve treating the symptoms. Antihistamines and decongestants can relieve most symptoms affecting the nose and eyes, as well as the coughing. In addition, nasal sprays can be given aid in the treatment of nasal congestion and sneezing.

In cases where the antihistamines and decongestants do not work, Immunotherapy is considered. Immunotherapy involves allergy shots, which can last up to three or more years. This type of therapy does not work for every patient, and is a personal decision of the patient to make that choice.

As with any food allergy, symptoms and severity can differ among patients. Treating and relieving the discomfort is the main concern with an allergic reaction. The most important step to remember, whether the reaction is to bell peppers or another food, emergency treatment is necessary when dealing with anaphylactic shock.

More about this author: Wendy Pettit

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