American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, Nov. 5-9

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The 2015 Annual Meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology

The annual meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology was held from Nov. 5 to 9 in San Antonio and attracted approximately 3,500 participants from around the world, including allergy and immunology specialists and other health care professionals. The conference featured presentations focusing on the latest advances in the prevention and treatment of asthma, food and medication allergies, immune dysfunction, and sleep apnea.

During one presentation, Ali Saad, D.O., of the Mount Clemens Regional Medical Center in Michigan, discussed a case of a woman who presented with chapped, dry, itchy, and swollen lips for a duration of two weeks. The woman revealed that her significant other had passed away recently and that she had kissed his lips during the funeral, after which time she developed the symptoms.

Patch testing revealed that the woman was allergic to both formaldehyde and her lip balm. The rash and swelling completely resolved with avoidance of those items.

"Formaldehyde is an important cause, as are formaldehyde releasing agents. Many products used to help with symptoms (lip balm) contain many important haptens (e.g., propolis). Multiple allergens act synergistically and they can worsen the symptoms," Saad said. "When any allergist is evaluating a patient with a new rash, consideration should be given to detailed history taking, focusing on new abnormal/unusual contacts or exposures."

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In another presentation, Gary Soffer, M.D., of the Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, N.Y., discussed a case of a woman who presented with itching and rashes on her scalp, face, and neck, which had been occurring for several years. A discussion with the patient revealed that her symptoms began when she started using blue hair dye.

"The essence of this case comes down to the fact that even common daily items we take for granted can cause an allergic reaction. What makes this case special is that oftentimes patients who present with hair dye contact dermatitis will be para-phenylenediamine (PPD) positive on patch testing. Patch testing is an increasingly common way to test for contact dermatitis," Soffer said. "Our patient was not only negative for PPD but she was found to be positive for a fabric dye called disperse blue 106. This is the first time a patient has been described as being both PPD negative and disperse blue 106 positive following a reaction to hair dye. The key conclusion is that sensitivity to disperse blue 106, which is associated with contact dermatitis to fabrics, also needs to be considered with hair dyes (and potentially other products). More importantly, getting a detailed history from patients is one of the most important steps in finding a correct diagnosis."

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Jill Hanson, M.D., of Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo., and colleagues found that the number of historical asthma-related acute care visits (i.e., urgent care, emergency department, and inpatient admissions) was predictive of future asthma-related acute care visits.

"A significant increase in probability of a future visit was observed with each additional historical visit, supporting our model's ability to effectively risk-stratify patients based solely upon past health care utilization," Hanson said. "This will provide clinicians with a simple and practical tool for quickly identifying patients at high risk for future asthma-related acute care visits."

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ACAAI: Penicillin Feasible Even for Those With Prior Allergy

FRIDAY, Nov. 6, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Many people who've been told they're allergic to penicillin may be able to safely take the drug, a small study suggests. The research was scheduled to be presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, held from Nov. 5 to 9 in San Antonio.

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