Alleviate symptoms and improve overall health,
Rachna Sinha, a 25-year-old marketing executive, had made about five trips to different doctors in 15 days to understand why the area around her navel was bruised, swollen and sore. She hadn’t fallen or hurt herself, but she was still in pain. A battery of tests were conducted, but none of the physicians could give her a solution. The sixth expert that she met was Dr Vinay Bhat, consultant on internal medicine at Columbia Asia Hospital, Ghaziabad, and he cleared up the mystery. Sinha was allergic to the nickel present in the button of her jeans. Nickel allergy is a common presentation of contact dermatitis— in other words, it’s an allergy that gets triggered when the skin comes in contact with an offending substance. Dr Bhat says, “Though rare, nickel allergies are commonly associated with metal buttons on jeans, coins, zippers and eyeglass frames. Prolonged exposure to items containing nickel can cause severe symptoms like Rachna’s.”
Many people suffer from allergic aversions though each person’s trigger may be different. Some may start their day sneezing, others have watery eyes during pollen season and still others break out in hives when they come in contact with seemingly harmless substances. According to the World Allergy Organization, 30 to 40 percent of the population suffers from some kind of allergy. In India, these reactions have been on a steep rise in recent years. Delhi-based dermatologist and allergy expert Dr Deepali Bhardwaj confirms this, “I did my training in Germany in the early 2000s and back then Indians had fewer allergies compared to Europeans. But in the past three years, instances of allergic reactions have increased in the country, thanks to pollution and other environmental hazards.” She says Indians generally tend to consider allergies as a non-serious condition. But that perception is changing.
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May - June 2018