“Infants with atopic disease [asthma/eczema/hayfever] who are exposed to early consumption of peanut products show lower rates of developing peanut allergy, compared with babies who had early avoidance of peanuts” according to a study presented at the 2015 Annual Meeting of the American Allergy Asthma and Immunology in the USA.
It is now confirmed that serious type I allergies are less common in people exposed to the allergen in early life and indeed type I hypersensitivity reactions can resolve over years.
However this is NOT a suggestions that people attempt to self-treat their allergies with desensitisation exposure as this could be very dangerous.
Chronic Urticaria – a mimic of drug allergy?
The condition of urticaria (or hives) is due to histamine release into the skin causing the classical appearance of red, swollen and itchy welts. The condition can occur on the face causing swelling of the lips and eyelids (angio-oedema). As this condition is so common, it has been suggested that many patients who self-report a ‘penicillin’ allergy are in fact confusing chronic urticarial with a true allergy. A recent study confirmed increased rates of chronic urticaria in these patients compared with rates observed in the general population, suggesting that the urticaria may be the true condition behind the perceived allergy.
If you are worried you have a penicillin allergy, get reviewed by a dermatologist who can assess your history and reaction.