Antibiotic allergy is usually due to penicillin and sulfa groups. It is characterized by the development of hives, swelling and rashes on skin, and dangerous reactions called anaphylaxis. The immune system of the body mistaking the antibiotic for a foreign substance and causing inflammation on the skin and restricting airways, shock which result to unconsciousness and eventually death.
Symptoms of antibiotic allergy
- Rashes and blisters
- Facial and tongue swelling
- Hives or swelling
- Sore throat and mouth with or without cough
- Pain in the skin
- Nausea and vomiting
- Difficulty breathing or tightness in the throat
- Abdominal pain
- Dizziness or fainting
- Abnormally hoarse voice
- Rapid heartbeat
- Fast heart beat
- Feelings of doom
- Take the prescribed oral antihistamines to increase white blood cells in the body and lessen the production of histamine which is released by the immune system as a reaction to an allergen. Avoid giving antihistamines to children below 4 years old.
- Apply calamine lotion to lessen hives or rashes and soothe the itchiness and lessen the pain. It contains a mixture of calamine and zinc oxide known as anti-itch topical medications. Avoid applying calamine near the eyes, mouth, nose, anal areas or genitals.
- Apply the prescribed hydrocortisone cream at .5 or 1% concentrations for at least 4 times every day for 7 days to lessen the itchiness, the irritation and the rashes. Avoid giving this medication to children below 2 years old and pregnant or breastfeeding to prevent further irritation and worsen the condition.
- Apply cool and wet compress to lessen the inflammation and soothe irritated skin. Soak a clean wash cloth in cold water wring out excess water and then place to the area for at least 10-15 minutes.
- Take a tepid bath or at room temperature bath to lessen the itchiness of the rashes. Another alternative is mixing uncooked oatmeal, baking soda or finely-grounded colloidal oatmeal to the bath to lessen the itchiness is good for the condition. Avoid using soap that cause further irritation on the rashes or hives to prevent making the condition worse.
- Avoid exposure to irritants such as cosmetics, hair coloring, latex, jewelries, zippers, kitchen utensils, household cleaning agents and nail care products such as nail polish and artificial nails.
- Avoid scratching the rashes or hives to prevent causing the skin to break and become a high risk of becoming infected and worsen the condition.
- Avoid exposure to heat and humidity to prevent further irritation on the hives and rashes.
- Wear comfortable clothing and use smooth textured material such as cotton to prevent further irritation on the skin. Avoid rough and scratchy material such as wool.