Do-It-Yourself Procedures for the Allergies – Allergen Removal
IN THE TREATMENT of allergic symptoms, many procedures are employed. They are aids, for the most part, in removing allergens from the environment and the diet. We believe we have stressed sufficiently the need for a full study of the allergic, physical and psychosomatic factors and the need for specific treatment directed at overcoming the abnormal ones.
The following pages are devoted to implementing and assisting in the removal of allergens, and are stated, for the most part, in outline form. It is to be remembered that, although one allergen, such as milk, dust or egg, may have initiated the allergy, the absence of study and care in the early stages has permitted the condition to become complicated. Additional allergens and factors of body and mind have added to the distress. The avoidance of the original allergen will not control the allergy at this stage. All physical and emotional factors must be corrected, and the secondary contributing allergens must be eliminated. It can, therefore, be seen that the earlier an allergy is treated the better.
Allergic management is essential to accomplish relief of distress and prevention of complications, which may be very serious. Elimination of the most common allergens in major foods is outlined. Recipes and substitute foods are prescribed to assist the allergic individual and to enable him to maintain a normal existence.
Recommended Prophylactic Measures for Expectant Mothers in Allergic Families*
Every effort should be made to breast-feed the baby as completely as possible. We know that the completely breast fed infant has seven times as many chances of escaping eczema as the bottle-fed baby.
The mother should eat no eggs during her pregnancy. This does not mean that she should be on an egg-free diet, but eggs as such and foods consisting largely of eggs, such as angel cakes or custard, should be avoided.
She should not drink an excessive amount of cow’s milk. A pint a day should be given, preferably boiled 10 minutes, but, in addition to this, calcium and phosphorus should be supplied in adequate quantities from other sources, as, for example, two or three Parke-Davis Nutritive Capsules three times a day. Cheese, except in minimal amounts, is also to be avoided. The mother who is herself allergic should avoid those foods and other allergens which, she knows, cause her trouble. She should eat a rather wide variety of food and not concentrate, as pregnant women occasionally do, on just a few articles of diet. The above directions should be followed as long as the baby is nursed. When the mother stops nursing the baby, she may return to the diet she was on before pregnancy.
Prevention of Allergic Diseases in Your New Baby*
Most people know that the tendency to suffer from allergic diseases runs in families, i.e., is inherited. Doctors regard the prevention of disease, which is called prophylaxis, as the most important way to treat a disease. Studies in Rochester, carried out by us for a period of more than 20 years, indicate that, if you or your husband or any of your children suffer from an allergic disease, the chances are that the new baby in your family, whom we call “a potentially allergic infant,” will, in 60 per cent of cases (six out of every 10), develop a major allergic disease, such as eczema, hay fever, asthma or allergic rhinitis (also called “chronic catarrh,” chronic “sinus” or “one cold after another”), before the age of six years.
* From the office of Jerome Glaser, M.D., Rochester, N. Y., and with his permission.
Our studies indicate that proper management of the mother during pregnancy, and, particularly, of the newborn baby will reduce the infant’s chances of acquiring a major allergic disease before the age of six years from 60 per cent to 15 per cent. In other words, your child will have almost as good a chance of escaping allergic disease as if there were no allergy in your family. Since the procedures advocated are simple and harmless in the hands of well-trained physicians, it is very much worthwhile to make the attempt.
During pregnancy, the mother is given a special diet, because there is some evidence that the unborn child may be sensitized by foods ingested by the mother. These foods are particularly milk and egg, so the diet is low in milk and omits egg. The proteins of the diet are made up by meats and the minerals by special preparations. Because almost anything the mother eats or drinks during nursing may pass through to the child in the breast milk, the mother should remain on this diet throughout the period she nurses the baby.
It is highly important for the mother to nurse the baby because, as we have said, the breast-fed infant has seven times as many chances of escaping eczema as does the bottle-fed baby, and over 80 per cent of the infants with eczema go on to develop the other important allergic diseases listed earlier.
If the mother cannot or will not nurse the baby or, for some reason, the breast-feeding must be stopped, then the infant should be fed soybean milk immediately, with no cow’s milk feedings whatsoever from birth, or at any other time, until the age of six to nine months, when the infant may, in the great majority of cases, be changed to cow’s milk without difficulty. It is somewhat more difficult to get a baby started on soybean milk than on cow’s milk, but this can be done successfully in over 85 per cent of cases.
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO FOLLOW THIS METHOD OF ATTEMPTING TO PREVENT YOUR CHILD FROM DEVELOPING AN ALLERGIC DISEASE, PLEASE BE SURE TO OBTAIN THE APPROVAL OF BOTH YOUR OBSTETRICIAN AND THE PHYSICIAN WHO IS TO TAKE CARE OF THE BABY AFTERWARD.
Prevention of Allergy—General Instructions
Keep away from dust. Do not sweep, but, if you must, protect yourself by covering your mouth and nose with several layers of damp gauze.
Avoid the use of insect powders in your home; this includes fly sprays, roach and ant powders, dog flea powders and mothproofing preparations. Avoid contact with irritating odors from stoves, lamps, paints, tobacco smoke, camphor and tar.
Do not keep pets unless tested specifically for them. Dust precautions are to be followed explicitly.
Do not overeat. Avoid late evening meals. Avoid carbonated waters such as ginger ale, which forms gas in the stomach.
Drink eight glasses of water daily.
Exercise moderately by walking. Walk slowly; do not get short of breath by rushing and stopping occasionally.
Protect yourself against overexposure to inclement weather so that you do not catch cold.
Do not use mustard plasters or flaxseed poultices.
Do not take medication unless you have first consulted your doctor about it.
Avoid perfumes, face powders, sachets and scented talcum powders, shampoos, toilet water and scented soaps. Many of these contain ingredients which are irritating and cause symptoms.
Avoid all dusty and musty places, such as storerooms, closets and so forth.
Avoid the foods in the manner recommended on the skin test record obtained by your physician.
Avoid swimming unless specifically recommended.
Use no condiments, spices, peppers, sauces, mustards, pickles or any other highly seasoned foods like chili.
Report for treatments as directed. A condition which has been present for years cannot be eradicated without some patience, effort and cooperation. Do not allow an improvement in this persistent allergic condition to lessen in any way your attention to the above important facts.
Prevention Treatment of Nasal and Bronchial Allergy*
The most important treatment of any disease is prevention. As you know from the study made to determine the cause of the allergy, treatment for the cause is carried on for the purpose of ultimate possible cure. Before this can be obtained, however, it is important to prevent acute attacks while the prolonged treatment is going on.
One of the most common causes of the acute attacks of nasal and bronchial allergy at any age is an acute upper respiratory infection. Because of this fact, some believe that infection is the principal cause of this allergy. Because the sufferer from upper or lower respiratory allergy has chronic swelling of the lining membranes and, thus, has poor circulation, he is more subject to allergic attacks when these membranes become infected. The prevention and treatment of these infections is important, but should not relieve one of the necessity for avoiding the basic causes. In some cases, what appears to be the onset of an acute upper respiratory infection may be the expression of an allergic reaction and in no way be related to an infectious agent.
* From the office of Jerome Glaser, M.D., Rochester, N. Y., and with his permission.
If the upper respiratory infection or “cold” can be prevented, the nasal or asthmatic attack may be prevented. The following suggestions are, therefore, recommended, with the consent of the family physician.
At the earliest sign of a “cold,” immediately begin taking antihistamines. The familiar feeling of general aching, accompanied by a. scratchy sensation in the throat and a running nose, is well known.
If symptoms continue after 48 hours, administer an antibiotic or anti-infective and follow the instructions on the prescription.
If, in spite of the above measures, the upper respiratory infection progresses and an attack is beginning, the following approach in treatment is recommended.
Bed rest is now advised, as it protects from aggravating factors, such as exercise and changes in temperature and humidity. Now begin taking an expectorant cough mixture every three or four hours. This will help loosen the phlegm and enable it to come tip more easily; thus attacks will be prevented. Start taking nose drops. Nasal sprays are superior. No oily drops should be used. The drops are best instilled just before meals and during the night, as necessary, to permit nasal breathing. Fluids should be given as much as will be tolerated, and the bowels must be kept freely moving. Steam inhalations may be used when they have been found beneficial in the past. Special allergy tablets (ephedrine, aminophyllin or cortisone) may be taken, if it is believed necessary at this time.
Insert an aminophyllin suppository or inject liquid. This should be done nightly until danger of attacks are past.
10. Inhalations or injections of adrenalin will be recommended by your doctor, if indicated as necessary.
Instructions for Physical Exercises to Combat Asthma
Place: In front of open window.
Time: 1. In the morning before breakfast, when you are feeling fresh and are least likely to be asthmatic.
At night, before getting into bed, to clear the lungs before sleep.
When asthma is coming on; many patients are able to shorten their attacks entirely by doing these simple exercises gently.
Before commencing the exercise, you should blow on a handkerchief to ensure a clear airway. As the object of the exercise is to empty the lungs, each exercise should begin with a short sniff through the nose, followed by a long breath out through the mouth. A whistling noise should be made with the lips while breathing out.
When breathing in, you must learn to keep the upper part of the chest still, so that the breathing is performed mainly by the abdominal muscles and diaphragm. When breathing out, the abdominal wall should contract and sink in toward the spine; by allowing the abdominal wall to relax, or sag out, the next breath is drawn into the lungs automatically. All exercises should finish by breathing out with the abdomen contracted.
Breathe out sufficiently to hear the wheezing noises in the bases of the lungs. This may cause coughing and increased wheezing, but it should be persevered with gently. Rest for a minute or two before each exercise. To begin with, the exercise should be done very gently, with plenty of rest. When there is “tightness in the chest,” do it in the reclining position, that is, lie back on the pillows with your knees bent comfortably. It is a good thing to time with a watch how long you can keep up this blowing out, but on no account must you take a deep breath first. To begin with, a few seconds is all you can do, but, later on, you may be able to sustain the whistle for 40 to 60 seconds.
House Dust Precautions
House dust is not ordinary dirt. It is a substance which forms on the inside of mattresses, pillows, upholstered furniture and other stuffed articles that cannot be washed.
The prevention and control of allergy demands strict attention to the following:
The bedroom should contain only one bed and no upholstered furniture. Mattresses and pillows must be encased in allergen-proof covers. No mattress pad may be used. Washable blankets only are to be used for covers. All upholstered furniture in the house must be vacuum-cleaned daily. Keep the bedroom door closed off from the rest of the house. When you get allergen-proof covers, and not before, houseclean the bedroom, take the mattress and pillows outside and do not bring them back into the clean room until they are covered. It is desirable to render the patient’s room dust-free. It should be entered seldom by others. All cleaning should be done when the patient is not in the room. Remove all hangings, carpets and extra furnishings from the sleeping room, as these catch dust. There should be no stuffed furniture in the room. Clean the walls and ceiling. Scrub the woodwork, floors and closets. Wax the floors. Scrub the bedsprings. Cover the mattress, pillows and box springs with dust-proof covers. Use washable blankets and washable bedspreads.
A scrubbed chair may be used. Use rag rugs and plain, light curtains. Wash them weekly.
When possible, the ventilation should be obtained from a hallway or another room. If there is sensitivity to wool, ordinary blankets may be put into sheets before being brought into the room. These sheets should be changed only outside the room.
Do not store much outer clothing, such as shoes and overcoats, or other household objects, in the clothes closets. If furnace heat outlets exist, a dust filter must be obtained, installed and changed frequently.
Remember that the carrying out of these precautions is your own responsibility. The doctor’s treatment and medicines will be effective only if you cooperate.
Further important Directions for the Avoidance of House Dust*
House dust is a special substance to which many people become allergic, and is known to be due to the deterioration of various objects, materials and fabrics. Light greyish, usually fuzzy, house dust is to be distinguished from heavier street dust, and is not the same thing. It may be present in abundance in an apparently clean house. Allergy to house dust may cause symptoms at any time of the year and is known to be the main cause of asthma in the winter. The concentration of house dust in the winter is greater because of heavy clothes, rugs, drapes, blankets, closed windows and so forth. A flare-up of symptoms often occurs during the changeable weather of fall and spring.
Treatment or “hyposensitization” (immunization) with an effective extract is extremely important, and will usually give a considerable amount of help. However, it is also necessary for the patient to avoid overexposure, as symptoms may appear at times when he is well under treatment. The treatment gets off to a better start when the person avoids getting too much house dust into his system. THEREFORE, BOTH TREATMENT AND AVOIDANCE ARE TWO IMPORTANT REQUIREMENTS THAT HAVE TO BE TAKEN CARE OF IN ORDER TO OBTAIN THE BEST RESULTS. The following suggestions are helpful, and are not as difficult as they seem at first glance.
* Henry D. Ogden, M.D., New Orleans, Louisiana.
A PERSON ALLERGIC TO HOUSE DUST OBVIOUSLY SHOULD AVOID DUSTY OBJECTS AND ROOMS, SUCH AS ATTICS, CELLARS AND STOREROOMS, AND SHOULD AVOID RUMMAGING IN BOXES, DRAWERS AND SO FORTH. It is particularly necessary to cut down the amount of dust in the bedroom, because here most people spend eight to 10 hours of the 24. It should be thoroughly cleaned at least every week by another person, and a Light cleaning should be given every day. To a lesser degree, the same precautions should be followed for the rest of the house. A bedroom in the middle of a long, one-story house is really only one section of a longer room. In this type of home, the whole dwelling must receive particular attention. If possible, the dust-allergic person should have a room which is well ventilated and connected by a door with the rest of the house.
The walls, floor and ceiling of the bedroom must be carefully cleaned, and particular attention must be paid to the windows, Venetian blinds, molding, backs and tops of pictures, drawers in dressers, tops of doors, backs and undersides of furniture and so forth. It is really better to remove each object from the room and return it only after it has been thoroughly cleaned. The bedsprings must be washed. Hard surfaces, furniture, copings, springs, Venetian blinds and so forth should be waxed or gone over with an oiled cloth. Linoleum rugs or floors may be waxed, or at least kept scrupulously clean. Throw rugs may be used if they are washed frequently.
There should be no storage in the room of the patient. Such things as sweaters, shoes, books, pictures, magazines and knickknacks must be kept in another part of the house. The room should contain only those objects which are needed and which are, more or less, in frequent use. If there is a closet, it must be kept absolutely clean and the door must be kept shut. All cracks or holes in the walls, floor or ceiling should be sealed.
AS DUST WILL FORM IN MATTRESSES AND PILLOWS, IT IS NECESSARY FOR THE PATIENT TO SECURE SPECIAL DUSTPROOF COVERS FOR ALL MATTRESSES, PILLOWS AND BOX SPRINGS IN THE ROOM. Your allergist can tell you where such covers may be obtained. It is better to put on these covers outside the bedroom. Covers made of ordinary cloth material are not satisfactory, and plastic covers with zippers are not particularly recommended.
The bed should not have a mattress pad unless it is washed frequently, and comforters should not be used. Chenille spreads or any fuzzy material may form or collect dust. It is good to use a sheet on both sides of the blankets, which should be washed at frequent intervals. Soft, upholstered furniture must be removed or covered and sealed with a dustproof material. Plastic or leather furniture, which may be easily cleaned, is definitely preferable. It is a good idea to avoid sitting on uncovered, overstuffed furniture or on uncovered pillows. Foam rubber mattresses, pillows or furniture are satisfactory; these may also be covered if desired. If there is more than one bed in the patient’s bedroom, the others should also be dustproofed. Incidentally, if foam rubber mattresses are used, the box springs must be properly covered.
Curtains, rugs and blankets must be washable, and must be washed at frequent intervals. Also, all clothing used must be either washed or dry-cleaned frequently. Such cleaning is especially necessary for clothes that have been stored for a time, even though the clothes have been wrapped up or protected. This is particularly true in the fall of the year. Unused clothing is best kept in another part of the house. It is, therefore, better to dress and undress in another room.
The use of a vacuum cleaner is helpful for general house-cleaning. It is especially helpful to clean wallpaper. The patient must always be out of the house when any cleaning is going on, and the bedroom may be aired for several hours after cleaning. Housewives who are allergic to house dust must arrange for someone else to do the actual housecleaning. If it is necessary to do cleaning, a mask should be worn. If the patient is a child, stuffed or “dust-catching” toys should not be used. Pets should not be allowed in the house.
A temporary flare-up of symptoms may occur at times after visiting certain dusty places, such as some theaters, hotels, offices and warehouses. Temperature or weather changes often affect an allergic person, and an otherwise comfortable patient may occasionally have trouble during cooler or wet weather or during weather changes. Therefore, marked changes in temperature should be guarded against. The sleeping room should be well aired, but must be kept warm in cool weather. The patient should, if possible, not have his bed next to the window if it is used for ventilation.
A floor furnace is good, but, if this is not practical, an ordinary gas stove or electric heater may be used. The temperature should not be allowed to go below 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Some hot air systems are bad. A filtered warm air heating system is good. Such a system may be arranged to furnish heat in the winter and air in the summer. If there is an unfìltered central heating unit, outlets should be covered with coarse muslin.
True respiratory infections or “colds” may also cause a flare-up of symptoms. On the other hand, many so-called “colds” are pure and simple flare-ups of the allergic condition itself. This is one reason why “colds” are so often helped by tablets for allergy (antihistamines). Occasionally, low-grade fever may accompany such a flare-up. In a true infection, the patient: may be quite toxic, have considerable fever and so forth, or both allergy and infection may be active at the same time in the same individual.
What is mildew? Molds grow on anything that causes mildew from which they get enough food—cellulose products like cotton, linen, wood and paper, and protein substances like silk and wool.
Where does mildew come from? The molds are always present in the air, but need moisture and certain temperatures in order to grow. Molds commonly develop in muggy summer weather, especially if the house has been closed. They flourish wherever it is damp, warm, poorly aired and poorly lighted—in closets, on shower doors, in damp clothes rolled up for ironing. Also, molds are likely to grow in a newly-built house because of moisture in the building materials.
Is mildew harmful? Yes, it will discolor fabrics and leather, leave a musty odor, decay wood and sometimes so severely eat into cloth that it rots and falls to pieces. It may cause severe allergy.
How can you prevent mildew? Keep things clean. Dust that settles on articles can supply sufficient food for mildew to start. Keep things aired and dry. In rainy weather, keep things as dry as possible. Close doors and windows if it is warm and damp outside. Warm, moist air coming in condenses on colder surfaces of the house, and creates a cool, dry atmosphere inside. As the cool air is warmed inside, the musty air will absorb the moisture. Poorly ventilated closets become damp and musty during continued wet weather, and clothing hung in them is likely to mildew. To dry the air, burn a small electric light continuously in the closet. The heat is enough to stop mildew if the space is not too large. Leave closet doors and dresser drawers open occasionally to keep moisture from gathering and to stir up the enclosed air. Take special care to ventilate linen closets. Run an electric fan in places that cannot be exposed to air. Never let damp or wet clothing lie around. Dry soiled clothes before throwing them into the hamper, stretch out shower curtains to dry. Clean or wash clothing items before storing. Do not leave sizing or laundry starch in fabrics to be stored, because molds feed on these finishes. From time to time, sun and air garments stored in closets. Put away woolen clothing in garment bags.
To protect leather against mildew, sponge with a 1 per cent solution of paranitrophenol (available at drugstores) in alcohol. To be sure it does not change the color of the leather, test a small area where it will not show. Paranitrophenol protects against mildew for two or three months. Thymol is another chemical that can be used in the same way (one per cent solution in alcohol). Protect leather shoes with a good wax dressing. And don’t forget the soles.
For painted surfaces, you can make a mildew-resistant paint by replacing 20 per cent or more of the regular pigment with zinc oxide, for a mildew-resistant finish for outdoor wood surfaces, and spar varnish to exterior oil paint, but only with dark colors.
To keep books in closed bookcases from mildewing, dust them at times with paraformaldehyde. Use this chemical sparingly, for it may be irritating. Another way is to burn a small electric light continuously in the bookcase. To remove mildew from textiles, remove textiles as soon as mildew is discovered, before the growth has a chance to weaken or rot material. Brush off the growth outdoors to prevent scattering the spores in the house.
To remove mildew from fresh stains, wash at once with soap and water, rinse and dry in the sun. If stains remain, moisten with lemon juice and salt, and put in the sun to bleach. To remove mildew from old stains, dip them in Javelle water or other chlorine bleach for no longer than one minute. Then dip into a weak vinegar solution (two tablespoons to each cup of water) to stop action of chlorine. Finally, rinse well. Never use a chlorine bleach on silk or wool. On leather, wipe with a cloth wrung out of diluted alcohol (one cup of denatured alcohol to one cup of water). Dry in a current of air. To remove mildew from floors and woodwork, wipe with a cloth dipped in water to which a little kerosene has been added. Remove mildew stains from painted surfaces with commercial paint remover.
Feather and Kapok Avoidance*
Feathers and kapok are equally common irritants. A person sensitive to either must avoid every possible contact with both.
Canaries, pigeons, parrots or fowl may be the source of feather irritation. It is best to dispose of them. However, the greatest source of feather and kapok contact is bedding—pillows, mattresses, box springs, comforters, quilts, cushions, upholstered furniture and so forth.
* Granted for use by Allergy-Free Products for the Home.
Elimination of feathers and kapok can be accomplished in two ways: by ridding your home of the articles in which they are present, or by rendering those articles dustproof. (Some kinds of kapok break into minute particles of dust and should be replaced.)
Ordinary feather and kapok pillows may be dustproofed by covering them with individually sized Protecto-Dust casings. These casings remain dustproof and comfortable after wear and washings. Since no zippers are airtight, there are deep, wide flaps extending well beyond the ends of the lifetime zippers to prevent dust seepage. Feather and down cushions and mattresses should be replaced with smooth-surface latex foam plus Protecto-Dust casings.
The reason a feather or down cushion needs to be replaced is because it bears the whole weight of the body—the compression is too great. A feather pillow holds only the weight of the head and can be encased.
Comforters and quilts should be discarded in favor of no-fuzz 100 per cent cotton blankets and no-fuzz 100 per cent wool blankets that have been washed and treated. If this is not possible, get a nylon-coated or 200 count (not less) percale blanket cover. Coated nylon tends to slip—it needs to be tucked in or used with blanket clips. A washable electric sheet (not blanket) may be used.
Now a word of caution. The plastic bedding covers that are sold in stores are not sufficiently dustproof. Latex foam, dacron and acrilan pillows should have Protecto-Dust casings.
By following these simple instructions, the home will not only be free of feather and kapok sources, but all future cleanings will be much easier and faster.
However, it is necessary to be mindful of possible contacts while visiting, shopping or in business.
Animal Hairs and Danders
Many varieties of animal hair, dander or fur are responsible for inhalant allergy. Occasionally, the etiologic relationship is hard to trace. The following animal danders are most commonly found in the home: cat, dog, horse, cow, goat, rabbit, camel and muskrat.
Horse Dander: Not many allergic people react to horse dander.
Horse dander, however, is one of the most common manifestations of allergy to animal hairs. Horse dander sensitive patients should not be treated with sera of equine origin, unless they are carefully desensitized. Horsehair is contained in mattresses, pillows, upholstery, felts and fabric blankets, and is used especially in the padding of coats, the lining of shoes, gloves, brushes, sacks, bags, rope, wigs and pony hair coats. It is often used to stuff and cover furniture of the mid-Victorian period. Dander and airborne emanations arise from hair mattresses and cloth as they age in wear. The dust that accumulates in furniture stuffed with horsehair will often produce severe reactions. Workers in shops which use uncleaned hair, hostlers, horsemen, horse fanciers and farmers are especially apt to develop severe allergy. Emanations of mules, donkeys and, to a less extent, of other mammalian animals are also apt to affect horse dander sensitive patients. The effect of manure on lawns or streets, especially in countries where horses or mules are still used, is to be recognized. Proximity to barns, fields or tracks where there are horses affects sensitive patients. People who are violently sensitive to horse dander should not visit buildings where horses are used and where they are shown.
Cats and Dogs: These animals are especially apt to produce sensitizations. It is not sufficient for a cat or dog asthmatic or allergic person to avoid contact with these animals. The animals should be kept out of the house at all times. Accumulated evidences indicates that desensitization to one species will not produce satisfactory protection to all. Allergy to these animals often requires the most careful elimination of their emanations from rooms, furniture, carpets and over the basements and yards of the patient’s home. Sometimes, families will object to removing their pet dogs or cats. A trial period of six to eight weeks away from the dogs or cats usually convinces most patients that it is better to be asthma- or rhinitis-free than to retain the pet and continue to suffer. The use of the pelts of these animals in cheap furs must be remembered. One patient was sensitive to cat hair and had a violent conjunctival reaction when one hair from a cheap fur, worn by a woman in front of her in a theatre, lodged in her eye. Cat hair is put into some bedding and furniture, according to Thoma. Its skin may be used to line coats, gloves, caps or shoes, or may be used in robes. The close relation of fox, coyote and wolf to dog and cat indicates the consideration of allergy from rugs, robes and coats from such animals in dog-and cat-sensitive patients. Dog hair is used at times with wool in Chinese rugs. The saliva, or the scratch or the hair contact of these animals may produce urticaria or dermatitis in patients sensitive to the emanations.
Cattle Hair: Tests with cattle or cow hair should be routine. It, and other animal hair, enters the composition of pads under carpets, especially of Ozite, and it is incorporated in cheap blankets, robes, carpets, upholstery, felt, brushes, certain Chinese rugs and cheap building felt; it is also mixed with horsehair in blankets and mattresses. Calf skin is used in coats and as covering for furniture. The extensive use of leather, and allergies arising among workers of this product, is interesting. Farmers, cattlemen, butchers and so forth are especially apt to develop cattle hair allergies.
Rabbit Hair: Rabbit hair is the origin of several allergic reactions in certain patients. Reactions from rabbit hair used as fur are not uncommon. Breeders and men handling the animals may be sensitized. Rabbit hair is often found in mattresses, quilts, pillows, cushions, linings of gloves and shoes, cuffs, collars, cheap furs and toys. It is the main ingredient in felt used in hats. The great use of Angora rabbit fur in the fur industry is noteworthy. As a yarn, it is used often with silk to make infants’ wear, underwear, hosiery, trimmings and other wearing apparel.
Camel Hair: Camel hair is a source of definite allergy in keepers of such animals. It produces allergy in the public occasionally because of its use in coats, sweaters, shawls, rugs, felt, blankets, brushes, certain fabrics, linings and boltings. It is used in Oriental rugs and to make Jaeger cloth and under garments.
Hog Hair: Hog hair allergy may develop in men handling the animals or their hides. The hair is sometimes used in furniture, cushions and, especially, in mattresses and brushes.
Guinea Pig: Guinea pig emanation frequently sensitizes animal workers. A case of this was first reported in 1868. One patient was known later to be so sensitive that an exposure of a few minutes produced asthma, which gradually disappeared in five days.
Goat Hair Allergy: Goat hair is being used more extensively, and becomes a definite cause of allergy. Mohair from Angora goats is utilized in plushes, coat linings, summer suits, rugs, curtains, cloth, horse blankets, muffs, brushes, robes, curtain braids and trimmings, wigs, doll hair and, especially, in upholstery of furniture and automobiles. Italians also use it in bedding. The wool of Cashmere goats is made into shawls and alpaca, and that of Peruvian goats into alpaca and yarns used in certain fabrics. Skins with the hair are used for coats, muffs, capes and automobile robes. The fine wool is woven into Oriental rugs. Goat herders and those who merchandise the crude hair and make it into the commercial articles indicated above are apt to be sensitized.
Sheep Wool Allergy: Sheep wool is used more extensively in carpets, clothes and furnishings than is any other animal hair. It frequently is responsible for allergy, but, fortunately, rarely produces severe manifestations that can compare to those arising from horse dander. Wool clothing, however, frequently produces skin allergy, and is responsible for some generalized pruritus. When well brushed and made of fine fibers, wool is not especially productive of bronchial allergy, as reported by Korn and many others. Wool in clothing, however, should not be brushed in the patient’s room. Patients moderately sensitive to wool usually can tolerate well-washed, nonfuzzy woolen blankets, especially as desensitization progresses. Some very sensitive patients, however, cannot inhale any wool allergen without exaggeration of symptoms. This demands elimination of all wool from the environment until desensitization is effective.
In addition, sheep wool is used as a filling for quilts and mattresses and in paddings, clothes, tapestry, furniture and robes. Sheepskin coats and gloves and other articles made from the hides, many of which have the wool on their inner surfaces, cause some disturbances. The methods of environmental control and therapy are the same as already described. The following commercial materials contain wool: albatross, astrakhan, chinchilla, broadcloth, carpets, cheviot, cravenette, doeskin, felt, flannel, wool gabardine, homespun jersey, mackinaw, melton, poplin, rugs, serge, suede cloth, tapestry, mohair (imitation), tweed, velour, whipcord, worsted, padding for robes and mattresses, quilts and wool for medical purposes. Cloaks of varying types, felts and many other materials are made from wool and used in hundreds of ways in industry. The use of wool grease as lanolin in soap, ointments and creams is not to be forgotten.
Pyrethrum is contained in most insecticides, either in the form of powders or sprays. Patients, sensitized to this allergen, often have asthma or nasal symptoms in public places, such as theaters or hotels, because of the use of pyrethrum in insecticides and moth exterminators in the carpets, furniture and curtains.
Pyrethrum is the most common constituent of insect powders and sprays. It is derived from the dried, powdered flower of the pyrethrum plant. Botanically, pyrethrum is a member of the chrysanthemum family.
Individuals who react to pyrethrum extract will usually react to chrysanthemum extract.
Pyrethrum is a common sensitizer, and it is often responsible for symptoms in those who are sensitive to it. Pyrethrum is found in the following nationally advertised insecticides: Flit, Black Flag, Gulf Spray and many types of aerosol bombs.
It is often found in combination with DDT. Pyrethrum, on occasions, is also incorporated in medicines, as ointments and solutions, and is used to treat parasitic infections of the human skin. Occasionally, it has also been used in medicines administered internally for the treatment of intestinal parasites.
It is mostly used to mothproof new and old carpets, draperies and upholsteries, and to prevent the growth of various other insects in these materials. It is also used in theatres, churches and other public places for the elimination of insects.
One can usually avoid pyrethrum easily at home. It is more difficult to avoid it away from home. Pyrethrum allergy usually occurs during those months when insects are most prevalent. It will be necessary for you to take hyposensitization treatment with an extract prepared from pyrethrum, if you are sensitive to pyrethrum and work in a public building where pyrethrum-containing insecticides are constantly being used.
As a substitute for pyrethrum for killing insects, you may use the following preparations:
Kilit (Lancaster Allergy Supply Company, Lancaster, Pennsylvania)
Cederene (Allergy Free Products, 226 Livingston Street, Brooklyn, New York)
If you use DDT, be sure that the preparation you buy is not mixed with pyrethrum.
Orris root consists of the pulverized root of several varieties of iris grown in southern Europe. The oil and fine starch granules hold the perfume. Because of this and its faint violet odor, it is often used in cosmetic powders and toilet articles.
Tincture of orris is used in cosmetics; hence, some products contain orris when they do not have any powdered orris root in them.
The most common is through the use of the products listed above. Other contacts are at parties, churches and theaters. If others in the household use orris, you cannot avoid it.
Discard your old powder puff. Eliminate from your home every product containing orris root. Do not allow the barber to use any powder on you. Desensitization to orris is necessary, and should be continued at least a year or longer.
Cosmetics are never truly “nonallergic,” but these are free of orris root* and may be used:
Botay Mary Dunhill
Max Factor’s Pancake
It is best to use the nonscented forms of the brand you select!
Directions for the Avoidance of Orris Root
If you are sensitive to orris root, you should use no scented soaps, scented tooth powders or mouth washes, bath salts, perfumes, cleansing creams or cosmetics concerning which you are uncertain as to orris root content. Of course everything that is perfumed does not necessarily contain orris root. But one who is allergic to orris root must know positively that any particular substance does not. Most perfumes and cosmetics are made with secret formulas, and the manufacturers of cosmetics are sometimes unwilling to list the ingredients. Fortunately, however, several manufacturers of cosmetics have been willing to cooperate with allergists in the manufacture of high-grade cosmetics which are free from orris root.
Unscented body talcs, such as Squibb or Colgate Unscented, usually do not contain orris root.
Orris root is sometimes used in shampoos in beauty parlors.
One may be exposed to orris root, even though one does not wear cosmetics. A child may be exposed to those worn by his mother or his nurse. Such persons also should wear cosmetics which do not contain orris root. A man using talc after shaving may have symptoms from orris root, or after the reasonably close exposure that exists at a dance or in a movie or church social. Occasionally, especially if there are several women in a family, orris root becomes pretty well distributed through the dust of a house. Bridge parties and the like may result in contact with this substance, even though the patient does not expose himself intentionally. Therefore, for best results, desensitization, as well as avoidance, is sometimes required.
* This report does not necessarily mean other products may not be free of orris root, but assurance should be obtained before using.
You should bear in mind that cosmetics which do not contain orris root contain other substances, such as rice powder or oatmeal powder, to which you might be sensitive. If, therefore, your symptoms continue in spite of treatment, it will be necessary to test you with the orris root-free cosmetics which you will be using.
Orris root powder or oil is commonly found in face powders, sachets, perfumes, bath salts, facial cream, scented soaps, toothpaste and powders and hair tonics. Control requires the thorough eradication of orris-containing products from the patient’s environment. Thus, the closets, medicine cabinets, bureau and wardrobe drawers, suitcases and trunks which have contained such materials or clothes, or fabrics which might hold even slight traces of orris root products, should be thoroughly cleaned or renovated. It must be emphasized that the patient’s clothes, furs, collars, pillows, mattresses and bedding may also hold enough orris allergen to produce symptoms in a very sensitive individual.
The Latin word “linum,” from which our word “linen” is derived, means “flax.” Flaxseed is the seed of the flax plant. Skin reactions to flaxseed are fairly common, and this substance should be avoided by individuals who have positive skin tests and by those who know that they have trouble from this substance. Flaxseed may be the cause of a reaction when taken as a food (ingestant) or inhaled as a dust (inhalant) or by direct contact with the skin (contactant). A person sensitive to flaxseed should avoid it in every form.
* Granted for use by Hollister-Stìer Laboratories (Flaxseed, karaya gum, orris root and cottonseed avoidance).
Cereals: Roman meal and Uncle
Milk of cows fed flaxseed
Sam’s Breakfast Food (causes reactions in very
Flaxseed tea sensitive persons) Flaxolyn—a laxative Flaxseed extracts used occasionally in cough remedies
Inhalants and Contactants
Flaxseed meal as a food for Linoleum (Latin meaning cattle and poultry flax oil)—dust from linoleum may
Flaxseed used in poultry tonics cause symptoms
Wavesets, shampoos and hair Carron oil tonics which contain flaxseed
Furniture polish (Kremel)
Paints and varnishes
Printers’ and lithographic ink
(rarely cause trouble, except when very coarse or in cases of extreme sensitivity)
Bird’s eye (linen)
Collars and cuffs
Flaxlinum Paper (high-grade wax used in refrigerator
paper as stuffing material for furniture upholstery, chair seats, cushions and so forth
Bi-flax, a base used for insulating plaster
Rugs (Klear flax)
Flaxseed may produce dermatitis, cutaneous edema and gastrointestinal symptoms, in addition to asthma. Flaxseed allergen may be found in all food meals for stock and in chicken food; shampoos and, especially, wavesets; paints which contain linseed oil; varnishes; polishes; soap; carron oil; linoleum and oilcloth. The rare patient may be so sensitive as to make it essential to eliminate fabrics containing flax, such as art linen, bird’s eye linen, cambric, damask, linen huckaback, sheeting, toweling, collars and cuffs. This flaxseed allergen may also be found in poultices, flaxseed tea, wadding, Roman meal and linen cloth. Linseed oil, which is contained in furniture polish and paints, is made from flax-seed. This may be an explanation of the violent bronchial reactions some patients have to the smell of such material.
Patients have been noted to have asthma from hair spray. The ingestion of Roman meal has been known to cause asthma. When such sensitivity exists, the removal of all flaxseed from medicine closets should be insisted upon.
Silk allergy is not uncommon. Dust from silk curtains, garments, upholstery and covers is present in many homes and public places, and incorporates itself in house dust.
Allergy to silk usually occurs from contact with silk, as most often seen in the skin either as an urticaria or atopic dermatitis, and less often as a contact dermatitis. At times, silk is responsible for inhalant symptoms, and may cause asthma and allergic coryza.
Investigations by other workers in the field of allergy have revealed that the major portion of contact dermatitis attributed to silk is usually due to some other constituent of the cloth, such as the plastic coating used to enhance the sheen, or to the dye in the cloth.
Vaughan found that silk caused atopic dermatitis more frequently than contact dermatitis, presumably due to the inhalation of the excitant.
Silk-sensitive patients suffering from atopic dermatitis would have exacerbations of their dermatitis if they wore silk. Persons allergic to silk usually react severely to extremely high dilutions. Silk is found in the following: broadcloth, silk brocade, Canton crepe, silk casement cloths, chiffon, China silk, crepe de Chine, duchess satin, foulard, faille, georgette, taffeta, jersey, plush, pongee, rugs, silk poplin, radium silk, ribbons, wash satin, tub silk, tulle, thread, upholstery and tapestries, velvets, silk floss for lining, knit goods, hosiery, mufflers, cheap silk neckties, pillows and so forth. Many fabrics with trade names and different yarns and threads also contain varying amounts of silk.
Karaya Gum Allergy
Karaya gum is used as a substitute for tragacanth and acacia gum. It is obtained from several East Indian trees of the genus Stericula·. Karaya gum is also known under the name gum arabic.
Karaya gum is found in the following:
Denture Adhesive Powders
Dr. Wemet’s Powder
Nyko Adherent PowderDenture Powder
Karabim (G. A. Brown Company)
Diabetic foods, including soybean and almond wafers
Fillers for lemon, custard and other factory-made pies
Some brands of ice cream and ice cream liquid mix
Certain brands of gelatin and Junket
Commercially prepared ices, ice creams, flavors, emulsions and some salad dressings
Gum drops and similar candies
Prepared ice cream powders
Many emulsified mineral oils
Inks, wall-fixing solutions, laxatives and adhesives
Many hand lotions (Saraka)
Gum arabic has also been used for intravenous infusion
Karaya gum is also used as an offset material in printing
Knox gelatin has no gum in it
Allergy to glue, when it occurs, is very severe. Desensitization should begin with very dilute extracts.
Feinberg lists the following uses of glue: by cabinet workers and carpenters, on envelope flaps, in the making of pads and books, on sandpaper and matches, labels, gummed paper, court plasters, in sizing cloth and paper, in the preparation of gelatin, jellies and isinglass and in combs and buttons. It is also used in mucilages and pastes. Dust from glue used in furniture and books is often encountered in homes and, especially, in libraries. Reactions have been reported in glue-sensitive patients wearing shoes with inner-soles glued therein. Children may be affected from the use of glue in stamp-collecting or kite- or airplane-making.
Cottonseed may be contacted in any of these forms:
Linters; Linters is the name given to the short fibers that cling to the cottonseeds after the long fibers have been removed. These linters contain fragments of the seeds. They are used in spinning or in making cotton wadding or batting. Wadding or batting is used to make pads and cushions, comforters, some mattresses and upholstery; these things made of batting or wadding should not be used by cottonseed-allergic people. Methods for avoiding contacts with mattresses and upholstery are given in the house dust instructions.
Varnishes, particularly those used for coating metals, artificial leather and waterproofing, are often made from linters; hence, wet varnishes should be avoided.
Cottonseed Meal Products; Cottonseed cake and meal are used as fertilizer, feed for cattle, poultry, horses, hogs and sheep. The flour is used for human food. It is used sometimes to make gin. It is also used to make xylose or wood sugar. Xylose has a sweet taste and may be used in soft drinks, but, to our knowledge, it is not used in the common soft drinks. Be sure to watch for and avoid all these contacts 1
Cottonseed Oil**: The finest cottonseed oil is used for food. Most salad oils contain this oil, as do most oleomargarines. Mayonnaises and salad dressings are almost always made with cottonseed oil. Lard compounds and lard substitutes are made with cottonseed oil. You should avoid all these products.
Sardines may be packed in cottonseed oil. Most commercial frying and baking of cakes, breads, fish, popcorn, potato chips and doughnuts is also done with cottonseed oil. This oil is used almost universally in restaurants. Thus, you must eat at home or at places that do not use cottonseed. Pure lard and com oil may be used in your cooking.
*· Granted for use by Hollister-Stier Laboratories.
** The incidence of allergenic substance in cottonseed oil and its products is debatable. This listing is given to show the many uses it has and the many things to be considered when it is recommended that all contact with cottonseed be avoided.
Candies, particularly chocolate, often contain cottonseed oil. Find out from your confectioner which candies are free of this oil. Olive oil is often adulterated with cottonseed oil. It is used as a base for liniments and salves. Camphorated oil and miners’ and altar lamps may contain cottonseed oil.
It is also used in the manufacture of paper, salt, machine tools and paint. You should avoid industrial shops where fumes of cottonseed may be inhaled.
Cottonseed is used in some cosmetics. Avoid using such brands.
Cottonseed oil is used to polish fruit at fruit stands. Check for this!
Both cottonseed and flaxseed are excreted in the milk of animals. Because these seeds are often fed to cattle, you will have to omit milk if you cannot get it from animals not fed cottonseed or flaxseed.
Cottonseed Oil Products*
These and many others are made with cottonseed oil: Good Luck, Hellmann’s, Best Foods and Durkee’s.
* This is a partial list of shortenings, oleomargarines and salad oils.
Sardines (packing oil)
Olives (setting solution)
Confectionery coating to hold chocolate firm
Wesson oil, a pure grade cottonseed oil
Crisco, hardened cottonseed oil or Spry
Cottolene, beef suet and Oleomargarines (most)
Olive oil substitute (used in the compounding of emulsions)
Stuffing in furniture
Greens and fairways in miniature golf courses
MATERIALS IN WAVESET LOTIONS:
Soybeans have been grown in Asia for centuries, especially in China. To the Orientals, they have been bread, meat and oil. Since 1804, American farmers have grown soybeans and fed them to livestock or plowed them under for fertilizer. In the last few years, the chemists have found many uses for this lowly bean, and soybeans are proving to be a treasure and a bonanza.
- Bakery Goods. Soybean flour containing only 1 per cent oil is now used by many bakers in their dough mixtures for
*Granted for use by Hollister-Stier Laboratories.
breads, rolls, cakes and pastries. This keeps them moist and salable several days longer. The roasted nuts are used in place of peanuts. K-biscuits and several crisp crackers have soybean flour in them.
Sauces: Oriental Show You Sauce, Lea & Perrins Sauce, La Choy Sauce, Heinz Worcestershire Sauce
Cereals: Sunlets (American Dietaids Company, Yonkers, New York). Cellu Soy Flakes (Chicago Dietetic Supply House, Chicago, Illinois)
Salad Dressing: E-P-K French Dressing (Price Flavoring & Extract Company, Chicago, Illinois)
Many of the salad dressings and mayonnaises contain soy oil but only state on the label that they contain vegetable oil. Present conditions have necessitated the use of soy oil in many brands of oil previously free of soybean.
Meats: Pork link sausage and lunch meats may contain soybeans.
Candies: Soy flour is used in hard candies, nut candies and caramels. Lecithin is invariably derived from soybean, and is used in candies to prevent drying out and to emulsify the fats.
Milk Substitutes: Sobee (Mead Johnson & Company), Mull-Soy (Borden Company). Some bakeries use soy milk instead of cow’s milk.
Joy Anna (A. Dietaids Company)
Vegetables (Fresh soy sprouts are served as a vegetable, especially in Chinese dishes.)
Nuts (Soys are roasted, salted and used instead of pea nuts.)
Soybean noodles, macaroni and spaghetti
Reezon seasoning (A. Dietaids Company)
Crisco, Spry and other shortenings
Oleomargarine and butter substitutes
Cheese Tufu, Natto and Miso, as well as some others
|Candles||Paper finishes||Textile dressing|
|Linoleum||Automobile parts||Lubricating oil|
|Soap||Illuminating oil||Massage creams|
|Coffee substitutes||Cloth||Gro-Pup dog food|
|Paints||Adhesives||French's fish food|
Many new contacts are to be expected. If you remember that soybeans are used as flour, oil, milk and nuts, it will be possible to anticipate most new contacts. Do-It-Yourself Procedures for the Allergies – Allergen Removal Written By: Jack A. Rudolph, M.D. & Burton M. Rudolph. M.D., Continue Reading: Diets, Aids and Recipes