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Persistent skin allergy, prescribed Omnicorte, worried about its side effect since it contains steroid, taking neem regularly. Advice?

Hi Doctor.. I am a 28 year old female and weight 65 kg. I have had a skin allergy for over 20-25 days..i had some medication earlier but didnt get relief and have now been advised Omnicortel 60 mg dose for 5 days and then 40 mg for 4 days and 30 mg for 3 days.. along with Alaspran for all 15 days in the morning and Atarax 25 mg at night. I am a bit worried that since Omnicortel is a steroid will it have a side effect on this short term use... plus will leaving it have the allergy come back since it suppresses the immune system . I am also trying to take neem daily so as to cure it naturally too.. looking forwad to your reply. Many thanks in advance
Thu, 14 Jun 2012
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Allergist and Immunologist 's  Response
Dear Arti,
Your question is not very clear when you mention 'skin allergy' over 20-25 years. If what you are referring is itchy red weals all over the body with or without swelling of lips/tongue for so many years, it is quite a common condition called urticaria. If there no obvious triggers, like commonly used pain killers (ibuprofen, codeine-based analgesics) or allergy to pollens etc then the condition is idiopathic (meaning all known causes excluded) and responds to long-term high-dose non-sedating antihistamines.

Occasionally thyroid or hormone abnormalities or stress can prolong the symptoms, but infection triggers are also common. So infections need to treated and high-dose antihistamines must be used at the same time. Your doctor has rightly given you a short course of steroids which is sometimes the last option. Cetirizine 10mg twice daily or allegra 180mg (morning) and 90mg (at night) plus or minus atarax 25-50mg at night are the usual treatment options. Must be used for 3 months at least without any attacks.
Also rarely, patch skin tests are done to exclude chemical triggers.
I hope this will be useful.
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