Updated 25 May 2017

First-aid kits and allergies

Pharmacist Irene Danckwerts suggests keeping these basics in your first-aid kit if you suffer from allergies.

1. Oral antihistamines
What they do: used to help itches and rashes in skin allergies, rhinitis and allergic conjunctivitis.
What to have: pharmaceutical products like Desloratadine (Deselex) and Telfast (fexofenadine) are non-sedating and can be taken once a day. If you prefer natural products, go for Sinulex capsules, Allergy Check or Cinnamon Formula, while a good homeopathic remedy is Pegasus Hayfever Complex.

Read: What’s making your skin itch?

2.  Topical preparations
What they do: useful for treating itchy and inflamed skin.
What to have: topical antihistamines, for example Anthisan cream and Phenergan cream; a mild topical corticosteroid cream, such as Mylocort or Skincalm; or natural products like Dermikelp cream.

3. Topical eye drops
What they do: help give relief of symptoms of seasonal allergic conjunctivitis.
What to have: pharmaceutical products such as Patanol, Relestat or natural products such as Similasan Allergy Eye Drops.

Read: Dry summer = dry eyes

4. Topical anti-allergy nasal sprays
What they do: great for relieving symptoms of hayfever and rhinitis.
What to have: Antihistamine nasal spray, such as Sinumax Allergy Spray; corticosteriodal nasal sprays used as maintenance therapy like Flonase or Flomist; natural products like colloidal silver; or homeopathic nasal sprays like Euphorbium Compositum Spray and Sinusan nasal spray.

Read: Saline spray helps to reduce nosebleeds

What to do if someone has an anaphylactic reaction

1. Remain calm.
2. Check to see if the person is wearing an allergy bracelet or ask them what they are allergic to. Is the person carrying any self-treatment like an EpiPen or an asthma pump to counter the effects? Help them find and use the treatment.
3. If the person is still conscious, help them into a sitting position (it will be easier for them to breathe) – encourage slow and deep breaths.
4. If you can, give them an antihistamine pill.
5. Call an ambulance or take them to the hospital.
6. If they become unconscious, put them on their side and loosen any tight clothing. Perform mouth-to-mouth breathing or CPR if necessary.

Read more:
SEE: Where are some of the most common allergens in SA?

Parents of kids with allergies mostly allergy-free themselves

Why do we develop allergies in adulthood?


Ask the Expert

Allergy expert

Dr Morris is the Principal Allergist at the Cape Town and Johannesburg Allergy Clinics with postgraduate diplomas in Allergology, Dermatology, Paediatrics and Family Medicine dealing with both adult and childhood allergies.

Still have a question?

Get free advice from our panel of experts

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

* You must accept our condition

Forum Rules