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Itching when sleeping on certain beds, allergic to rayon and cat hair. Is this a permanent allergy?

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ENT Specialist
Practicing since : 2001
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I have developed a skin allergy. Sometimes when I sleep in certain beds I get very itchy and can't sleep. I think it is rayon that I am allergic too. I have cats at my parents house. I used to be able to sleep fine there but now anywhere there is cat hair I can't sleep because I am so itchy. Is there something I can do to fix this or is this a permanent allergy?
Posted Wed, 23 May 2012 in Asthma and Allergy
Answered by Dr. Naveen Kumar 14 hours later


Thanks for the query

The skin allergy you are suffering from is called allergic contact dermatitis. This happens when certain allergens (any substance which induces allergy) comes in contact with the skin of the body.

The commonest allergens which humans are susceptible to are fur of the pets, dust, certain ointments, ornaments, soaps and detergents, etc.

There is no permanent cure for this problem as it is the reaction of the immune system for the allergens and it is difficult to modulate the latter. Certain drugs prescribed for allergy gives only a temporary relief, but cannot cure the condition completely.

The best way to get rid of allergy is to prevent allergens.

Skin allergies are usually diagnosed by a thorough history and clinical examination, checking for skin rashes and the appearance of skin infection. Apart from this, there are various investigative procedures such as:
1. Radioallergosorbent test (RAST) - In this test, a small quantity of blood taken for testing from your body is mixed with the suspected allergen if any antibodies are developed in the blood then it is a sign of skin allergy.

2. Prick test or scratch test - In this test the skin is pricked with a needle or pin containing a small amount of the allergen and looked for any signs of allergic reaction.

3. The Patch test - A patch containing the allergen is applied to the skin and looked for the signs of allergic reaction.

The second and third tests are not very reliable compared to that of the first.

Finally, you will require antihistaminic (such as cetrizine or fexofenadine) for the control of allergy and oral steroids if necessary. But, the best treatment is to avoid the contact of pets and change of the bed sheet every night before going to bed.

Hope I have answered your query; I will be available for the follow-up queries.

Dr. Naveen Kumar N.
ENT and Head & Neck Surgeon
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