Allergies and children, take immediate action to stop the “allergy march”

Children suffering from problems related to allergic forms are becoming more and more. A phenomenon that is related to the constant deterioration of environmental situations but also to the fact that allergies are “inherited” by parents, who themselves are increasingly exposed to disorders of this type. A situation that means that the numbers associated with this phenomenon are destined to increase gradually also in the near future.

When do we start talking about allergies? From what age? We asked the doctor Renato Sambugaroallergist and pediatrician performing his activity onHumanitas Medical Care in Bergamo.

Dr. Sambugaro, when can we start talking about allergies in children?

“The first signs can appear from the first months of life, in the form of atopic dermatitis, which must first develop into skin problems such as dermatitis and eczema and later in respiratory problems of various types, up to asthma. This is the so-called” allergic march “, for which those who suffer from allergies since childhood are destined to suffer them all their lives. The only exception is some food allergies, which are destined to disappear around the age of 8-10 years”.

How to find out that the toddler has atopic dermatitis?

“When this dermatitis develops, the skin becomes dry and red in some places, so much so that it causes an irritating itch that occurs especially at night. It is important to assess the intensity of the symptoms and follow the child based on it to prevent the allergic march from progressing rapidly towards an early worsening. Attention may also relate to the food sector to prevent the child from taking foods that may aggravate its allergic condition ».

The first step is therefore to send the child for a visit to the pediatrician …

“Yes, he will make sure to refer the parents to an allergy specialist. It has to be said that there are many pediatricians today who have experience or even a specialization in allergology, so sometimes the second step is not even necessary. “

How can we intervene against children in case of a known allergy?

“You can continue with two different types of therapy. The simplest, the most commonly used, is the pharmacological one. It is very successful because it has an almost immediate effect: if you give the child who has asthma problems the corticosteroid, his situation will improve immediately. The problem with this therapy is that it has a positive effect on the symptoms without changing the natural history of the disease, so as soon as the effect of the drug is over, the problem returns ».

The second therapy is the sublingual desensitizer, can it also be used for children?

“Of course, in fact for children sublingual desensitization, especially suitable for the treatment of respiratory allergies – mites, grasses, parietaria, ambrosia, dog, cat, etc. – it is perfect because taking the tablet that melts under the tongue naturally makes it much smaller” traumatic «compared to treatments requiring injections».

What are the benefits of sublingual desensitizing therapy in children?

“First and foremost, it is an easy therapy to follow because it can be managed at home by the child’s parents. However, its importance is mainly due to the fact that it can be used from an early age, in contrast to the old desensitizing therapies, of the injecting type, which were moved later in the time when the allergic situation had now reached a certain stage. Today, the approach is completely different because we try to stop the so-called “allergic march” as early as possible, that is, the degrading development of symptoms over the years. Let’s take the example of dust mite allergic asthma: with sublingual desensitization it is possible to intervene from the age of three, with enormous benefits ranging from reducing drug use to the immediate disappearance of symptoms and the fact that the therapy, completely painless, is well accepted by the little allergic ‘.

Should children undergo this therapy throughout their lives?

“Absolutely no, desensitization takes place over a period of 3-4 years. Once the small patient – but this also applies to adults – has achieved desensitization, he will for a number of years no longer have problems related to the treated allergy. In the event that in the future there should be a re-ignition of the allergic condition, there is no need to worry: the sublingual therapy is so simple to perform that it can be easily repeated without any problems “.

Allergology and clinical immunology

Dr. Renato Carlo Sambugaro

Locations

Humanitas Medical Care

Bergamo

Via G. Camozzi, 10, Bergamo, BG, Italy

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