Get an Allergic Reaction: Don’t Panic! Here’s What to Do.

When people are particularly susceptible, allergic reactions can be triggered by a number of factors such as:

  • Animal dander
  • Dust
  • Nuts
  • Pollen
  • Shellfish

Symptoms vary from being annoying and slightly uncomfortable to hazardous to the point of posing a risk to human health. It's necessary to have a good idea of the best steps to take when you have an allergic reaction (or if it happens to someone you're with)! There's usually not much time to think in those moments.

Allergic Reactions: What Goes On In Those Moments?

Coming into contact with an allergen can happen through breathing, consumption (eating or drinking) or touch. When that happens to you, your immune system goes into overdrive: it releases plenty of histamines. This is so that the allergen can be addressed.

Unfortunately, that immune response can trigger symptoms such as:

  • A rash
  • Hives (large, pink bumps or swollen areas)
  • Itching
  • Rapid or difficult breathing
  • Sneezing and watery eyes
  • Swelling in the mouth or throat

The Proper Response To Difficulty Breathing and Throat Swelling

There's no time to lose: call 911 immediately. When allergic reactions are severe to the point of leaving someone struggling for breath, there's usually a negative impact on their mental health. Another red flag that needs to be watched out for is when someone suffering from an allergic reaction just stares into space, not talking.

The Proper Response To Hives

Hives tend to go away on their own, but it takes awhile. You should take measures to reduce the discomfort:

  • Apply cool compresses
  • Sleep in a cool room
  • Stay away from hot bath water
  • Stay away from hot showers
  • Wear loose clothing

The Proper Response To Itching, Rashes and/or Redness

  1. Use mild soap and lukewarm water to wash the area.
  2. Apply lotion or hydrocortisone cream.
  3. Consider cool compresses or calamine lotion for relief.

Stop using any products or wearing anything that is causing the rash or exacerbating it. Remove makeup and earrings if these are the source of your problem.

If you have an allergy to poison ivy, sumac, or oak and have come into contact with any of these plants, wash all clothing or other items that may have come into contact with urushiol, an oily sap that causes rashes in people who are sensitive to it.

If your itching is severe or does not go away, contact your doctor.

The Proper Response To Itching, Watery Eyes and Sneezing

An over-the-counter antihistamine is great for dealing with combined allergic symptoms. Take note that sedative effects will be counterproductive, so Benadryl definitely doesn't count here.

What If the Allergen Is Unidentified?

Reach out to your doctor and inquire about allergy testing. Getting a test will better determine what causes certain reactions. It's a good failsafe for future reference also.


Allergic reactions can happen at any time, given the amount of allergens out there. This can be triggered by something consumed (eating or drinking), touched or even breathed in. A good rule of thumb is to call 911 especially when breathing is compromised and have antihistamines on hand.

Need a holistic pharmacist to help you address your allergies? Check out Unichem Greenhithe Pharmacy today! We have a range of treatments and options that afford our customers nothing less than the best when it comes to health solutions.