Allergic reactions occur when a person’s immune system produces antibodies called IgE against the allergen. The next time the person encounters the substance, IgE tells the white blood cells to produce histamine, which rapidly produces allergic symptoms such as itching, rash, wheezing and edema. In other cases, an allergic response doesn’t appear for hours to days. This reaction, called a delayed hypersensitivity allergic reaction, is caused by the interaction between the substance and T cells, another type of white blood cell. Many substances cause delayed hypersensitivity allergic reactions.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Poison ivy and similar plants cause some of the best-known delayed hypersensitivity reactions. When a person first touches the plant, no reaction occurs for the first 24 to 48 hours. Once the itching, rash and blisters appear, an allergic reaction to poison ivy can take up to eight weeks to resolve 3. Other common sources of delayed hypersensitivity reactions are metals such as nickel and cobalt; neomycin, an antibiotic found in many topical ointments; formaldehyde; and potassium dichromate, a tanning agent used in leather shoes and clothing. Latex allergy, which is becoming increasingly common in medical personnel, can also cause delayed hypersensitivity allergic reactions. Around 20 percent of Americans have at least one common contact allergy, Aetna InteliHealth states 1.
Tart Cherry Juice Allergies
Drug reactions can occur immediately or as a delayed hypersensitivity allergic reaction 5. Penicillin and similar antibiotics are the most common cause of allergic reaction, according to MedlinePlus, and can occur as a delayed reaction. Some allergic reactions cause:
- serum sickness
- which include fever
- joint pain
- lymph node swelling
Rashes, itching and swelling, especially on the face, often accompany delayed drug reactions.
Food reactions are common causes of delayed hypersensitivity allergic reactions, which occur eight hours or more after ingestion. The most common allergenic foods include:
- tree nuts
- notes Simmone
Nausea, vomiting, rashes and asthma-like reactions and vomiting can occur as delayed sensitivity reactions. Food additives such as sulfites, monosodium glutamate, aspartame and FD&C yellow #5 can also cause delayed hypersensitivity allergic reactions.
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- Aetna InteliHealth: Contact Dermatitis
- University of Florida; Food Allergies 101; Amy Simmone, Ph.D.; February 2002
- Mayo Clinic: Poison Ivy Rash
- MedlinePlus: Drugs Allergies
- "Annals of Internal Medicine"; Delayed Drug Hypersensitivity; Werner J. Pichler; October 2003
- Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care. Allergies: Overview. Updated July 13, 2017.
- Galli SJ, Tsai M, Piliponsky AM. The development of allergic inflammation. Nature. 2008;454(7203):445–454. doi:10.1038/nature07204
- Meltzer EO, Blaiss MS, Derebery MJ, et al. Burden of allergic rhinitis: results from the Pediatric Allergies in America survey. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2009;124(3 Suppl):S43-70. doi:10.1016/j.jaci.2009.05.013
- Boye JI. Food allergies in developing and emerging economies: need for comprehensive data on prevalence rates. Clin Transl Allergy. 2012;2(1):25. doi:10.1186/2045-7022-2-25
- Klotz JH, Pinnas JL, Klotz SA, Schmidt JO. Anaphylactic Reactions to Arthropod Bites and Stings. American Entomologist. 2009:55(3).
- Goldenberg A, Herro EM, Jacob SE. Contact Dermatitis Allergens. American Academy of Dermatology. Updated 2017.
- Ortiz RA, Barnes KC. Genetics of allergic diseases. Immunol Allergy Clin North Am. 2015;35(1):19-44. doi:10.1016/j.iac.2014.09.014
- Meng JF, Rosenwasser LJ. Unraveling the genetic basis of asthma and allergic diseases. Allergy Asthma Immunol Res. 2010;2(4):215–227. doi:10.4168/aair.2010.2.4.215
- Contact Dermatitis. National Eczema Association.
- Prevention of Allergies and Asthma in Children. American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology.
- Meng JF, Rosenwasser LJ. Unraveling the Genetic Basis of Asthma and Allergic Diseases. Allergy Asthma Immunol Res. 2010;2(4):215–227. doi:10.4168/aair.2010.2.4.215
- Ortiz RA, Barnes KC. Genetics of Allergic Diseases. Immunol Allergy Clin North Am. 2014;35(1):19–44. doi:10.1016/j.iac.2014.09.014
A registered nurse with more than 25 years of experience in oncology, labor/delivery, neonatal intensive care, infertility and ophthalmology, Sharon Perkins has also coauthored and edited numerous health books for the Wiley "Dummies" series. Perkins also has extensive experience working in home health with medically fragile pediatric patients.