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Is Shea Nut Butter Safe With a Tree-Nut Allergy?

Q: My 5-year-old is allergic to tree nuts, and I’d like to know more about shea (nut) butter, as it’s in so many products. Is it safe to use on her skin as a lotion? Are candies with it safe for her to eat?  Dr. Sicherer: Shea nut butter or oil is derived from the seed of […]

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Asthma and Swimming: How to Keep Chlorine in Check

Q: We’re amazed that our young daughter with asthma loves swimming (indoors as well as out). We thought the water and chlorine would bother her lungs, but they don’t. Is swimming OK for, or even good for, asthma? Dr. Bassett:  Generally speaking, swimming is among the best exercise choices for a child, adolescent or young […]

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Is There a Connection Between Dry Roasting Peanuts and Allergies?

Q: Does the dry roasting cooking process used to make peanut butter and many peanut snacks have anything to do with how allergenic peanuts have become for so many?  Dr. Sicherer: There is a theory that the process of roasting  makes changes in peanut proteins that result in a more allergenic form. It’s important to realize […]

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Why Does Asthma Put a Food-Allergic Child at a Higher Risk of Anaphylaxis?

Q: Why does asthma put a child with food allergies at higher risk of anaphylaxis than other children with food allergies?  Dr. Sicherer: Asthma is a condition in which the airways narrow, become inflamed and make extra mucus. There are many triggers of asthma including airborne allergens, exercise, infections, smoke, cold air, and others. Foods that are otherwise tolerated are […]

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Food Challenges When Outgrowing Milk and Egg Allergies

Q: My severely allergic child passed a baked egg and milk challenge in the allergist’s office. We are starting to introduce foods with baked allergens, like muffins and bread. I’m optimistic but nervous. Do you find many children in our son’s situation returning with reports of reactions or even anaphylaxis? And, if he continues to […]

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Are Lupine Beans Related to Peanuts?

Q: While traveling in France, I had a brioche from a bakery. I’d been assured there were no peanuts in use (I’m an allergic 24-year-old). But after eating it, my throat began to tighten, breathing got difficult and I was sick to my stomach. I used my auto-injector and quickly felt better. I followed up with […]

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Visiting and Asthma: When Relatives Own a Cat

Q: It took a long time to get our 10-year-old daughter’s asthma under control with medication. One of her triggers is cat dander, and over the holidays we’re visiting the in-laws who have a cat. Is it safe to stay with them? (My mother-in-law promises to board the cat, and vacuum like crazy.) Or would […]

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Dr. Sharma

What to Do If You Have a Reaction When Home Alone

Q: I’m a single mom and my teenager with multiple food allergies is alone in our apartment before I get home from work (about 6 p.m.). Any suggestions for what she should do if she finds herself having a reaction while on her own? Dr. Sharma:  Putting a plan in place for managing anaphylaxis is critical in all settings, and is especially important […]

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My Child is Afraid of Using The Auto-Injector, What Can I do?

Q: My child is afraid of the auto-injector. What can I do? Dr. Pistiner: I’ve met kids whose eyes widen and  tears well up at the mere mention of an auto-injector. This is a very real issue that comes up for some children. We should all keep in mind that sometimes the unknown can be scarier […]

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Can You Be Allergic to Just One Type of Tree Nut?

Q: My child tested highly positive to tree nut allergy, but I know she has eaten foods with almonds and hazelnuts without a problem. Does this mean, though, that she might go on to develop a nut allergy? Dr. Sharma: It would first be important to confirm which specific tree nuts tested positive for your […]

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