Sunday, April 24, 2011

Pink fingers

Easter weekend was going to be challenging as we have had a great deal of family festivity. And we are enjoying an astonishing bout of late April sunshine - the air is awash with various kinds of seed, blossom and pollen. I don't get allergic hay fever, so I'm told - but I seem to get pseudo-hay fever caused by exposure to floating vegetable matter.

I've been taking montelukast daily for the last few days - and have also concentrated on eating fish - following the reappearance of the speckled rash on my belly as well as the odd symptom of sinusitis.

We went to a Thai restaurant, where I ordered prawn crackers, trout and egg fried rice. You never know for sure what other spices and herbs have been added - I was hoping not too many to these dishes.

When I pressed anything against my fingers during the meal, a bright pink rash appeared. At first I thought it was just my index finger, which I'd burnt on a light bulb the night before. I thought it was a kind of blistering - but it did not last long. However these rashes appeared on the fingers of both hands. They were a kind of bright pink - I tried to find the colour and consulted this site Spicy pink perhaps? Well it was a Thai restaurant.

Today there is no sign of this happening. Weird.

Using the ever-helpful Wikipedia I've found a benign condition called dermatographic urticaria. It seems the best explanation for the moment.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

National Allergy Week

I've just discovered it's supposed to be National Allergy Week in the UK. That's the week after World Allergy Week - now that's excellent timing. In fact it's so well co-ordinated that the nation's allergy specialists declared their backing for World Allergy Week last week, missing out their own National Allergy Week.

Is it too much to hope that a national week is truly national and involves all parties? Even better that the national week takes place at the same time as the world week? If you follow these things even a little, you will know there's a surplus of special weeks and days - sometimes they seem little more than a PR stunt. So to make an impact, a Week needs a lot going for it. Two weeks on the same topic one after the other are guaranteed to flop.

So far as I can tell National Allergy Week centres on Allergy UK. I checked their Facebook page but there's nothing there. However their web-site has a press release, which reflects what the British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology said last week.

In fact their entire PR strategy seems to centre on Weeks - three of them in the last year. This is the list of press releases on their site for the last 12 months. There's just five of them:
  • National Allergy Week: 11th - 17th April 2011
  • Food Allergy Intolerance Week: 24th - 28th January 2011
  • Indoor Allergy Week: 25th - 29th October 2010
  • Allergy Friendly Hotels
  • National Allergy Week: 10th - 14th May 2010
For the record here is a list of the proposed weeks for the coming year:

  • Indoor Allergy Week: 14th -20th November 2011
  • Food Allergy and Intolerance Week: 23rd - 29th January 2012
  • National Allergy Week: 23rd - 29th April 2012
  • Indoor Allergy Week: 12th -18th November 2012


Monday, April 04, 2011


I've been asked to support World Allergy Week by using the hashtag in the title. It doesn't seem to be getting going - and that's a shame.

Looking into this, I get the impression the week is driven by the World Allergy Organisation - which is mainly doctors. As these problems affect millions, especially at this time of year when hay fever gets going, isn't it about time the victims helped to get things going?

It's interesting when you look at the statement from the British Society for Allergy, reported here, that they are still at the stage of training GPs in diagnosis. Isn't that alarming? Most GPs probably do a little better by giving people prescriptions also. But I noted the World Allergy Organisation refers to "multiple organ" problems increasing. Now if you have salicylate hypersensitivity you know what that means .... everything from the eyes to the knees. That can mean a host of minor symptoms and, if you have to take them to the GP, you really need the doctor to understand the underlying issues.


Friday, April 01, 2011

World Allergy Week

Spring is stuttering into place in the UK. The trees and flowers are budding and blossoming while the weather alternates between hot and cold.

So, yes, it's a good time for World Allergy Week, which starts on Monday. To mark the occasion, I've remembered to get my repeat prescription, which I have managed without for several weeks.

Details here