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Skin Creams and Lotions
For allergic skin reactions, keep small tubes of moisturizer and hydrocortisone cream in your allergy kit. Moisturizers can soothe the dry, itchy feeling, and hydrocortisone cream reduces inflammation. Having this and other items handy will help you tame allergy flares wherever they happen. For serious skin reactions or eczema, your doctor may recommend or prescribe other medications.
Ever had a severe allergic reaction? If you are at risk for a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction (anaphylaxis), your kit should contain injectable epinephrine, such as EpiPen or Twinject. It can stop or curb the dangerous reaction some people have to allergens such as certain foods, medications, or insect stings. A severe reaction may include swelling of the airways, difficulty breathing, and a significant drop in blood pressure. Severe reactions can be life-threatening if not treated immediately.
When your allergies leave you red-eyed and itchy, it may be helpful to have eye drops handy. They can reduce inflammation and symptoms of itching, tearing, and swelling. Ask your doctor which kind of eye drop is right for you.
If stuffiness and congestion are your main concerns, include decongestants. Nasal tissues tend to swell during an allergic reaction, and decongestants counter it. They’re available over the counter as pills and may come combined with an antihistamine. People with certain conditions including high blood pressure, glaucoma, or thyroid disease should talk with their doctor before taking decongestants.
Decongestants also come as nasal sprays. But these should not be used for more than a few days straight because they may make symptoms worse. Other nasal sprays may also help allergy symptoms. If allergies have your nose feeling dry, pack a nasal saline spray. Your doctor may also recommend a prescription nasal spray to help control nasal allergy symptoms.
Frequent travelers with dust mite allergies, take note: those dust mite-proof, zippered pillow covers from home can fold up small. Keep one in your allergy kit, and you’ll have a way to fend off this allergy and asthma trigger wherever you spend the night.
Where to Keep an Allergy Relief Kit
Once your allergy kit is complete, go over the contents with your doctor. Make sure you haven’t left out anything critical. Then carry your kit with you at all times in a purse or briefcase. Another option is to make multiple kits one for home, one for your car, and one for work. Make sure to check periodically for items that may have expired or need replacing. When you travel, be sure to store a kit in your carry-on.