Allergy Treatments May Spark Aluminum Allergy

Is it possible that allergy immunotherapy-a treatment that helps your body build up a tolerance to your worst allergy triggers-can simultaneously put you at risk for developing a new allergy?

The Growing Concern over Aluminum Allergy Cases

According to research conducted through the Occupational and Environmental Dermatology Unit in Malmo, Sweden that was released in early 2011, allergy injections can not only prevent your allergies, but in some cases, cause a new one, particularly an allergy to aluminum

A scientist there discovered that those who received allergy injections ended up becoming allergic to the aluminum that served as an intensifier in the treatment serum. This poses a real dilemma for some allergy sufferers, since it means trading in one set of allergy symptoms for another.

The Allergy Vaccine and Aluminum Allergy Connection

You probably wonder why allergy treatments could actually spark such a reaction. The problem seems to lie in the type of aluminum compound that's used as an intensifier in the vaccine serum itself.  Scientists believe that changes to the formulation over the years could be to blame for the growing number of aluminum allergy cases seen today. In addition, many vaccines, including those given before international travel, also contain aluminum, further increasing exposure to this metal and leading to an increased sensitivity in some cases.

Signs of an Aluminum Allergy

In many people, the development of small itchy lumps under the skin often precedes an aluminum allergy. Later, the aluminum allergy itself develops and can cause allergic contact dermatitis symptoms including itchiness, red scaling of the skin, and blisters. While sometimes the symptoms present shortly after exposure to the allergen, at other times, the reaction may be delayed for a few days or even a week, making it more difficult to pinpoint the cause.

Treatment Matters

If you've been getting allergy immunotherapy and have a skin rash and itchiness, these two reactions could certainly be connected to an aluminum allergy. Therefore, it's important to talk to your allergist and find out if he believes you could be reacting to the aluminum in the injection serum. To confirm this fact, he may want to perform some testing. He can also work with you to determine how best to address the discomfort you're experiencing. Applying moisturizers, using a steroid cream, or taking antihistamines may offer some relief.

In addition, you may need to start paying attention to the labels on common cosmetics and other beauty products since many can contain aluminum, which can trigger this allergy.



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"Science News: Allergy Treatments Containing Aluminum May Cause New Allergy, Study Suggests." Science Daily. Science Daily, 15 Dec., 2010. Web. 30 Jan. 2011.

"Tips to Remember: Allergic Skin Conditions." American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. AAAAI, n.d. Web. 30 Jan. 2011.