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Ask the Doctor

By Vision Reporter

Added 10th January 2006 03:00 AM

I need a solution to allergy!
Dear Doctor,
I get allergic reactions to fish, pork, mutton, chicken, eggs and goat’s meat. Once, I was only allergic to mutton and nile perch. Now, the list is growing longer.

I need a solution to allergy!
Dear Doctor,
I get allergic reactions to fish, pork, mutton, chicken, eggs and goat’s meat. Once, I was only allergic to mutton and nile perch. Now, the list is growing longer.

I need a solution to allergy!
Dear Doctor,
I get allergic reactions to fish, pork, mutton, chicken, eggs and goat’s meat. Once, I was only allergic to mutton and nile perch. Now, the list is growing longer.
I am tired of being told to avoid the trigger substances. Sometimes I eat them and suffer itching and swelling! Where can I get de-sensitisation treatment in Uganda or East Africa?
Merab

Dear Merab,
I understand your frustration with the restrictions allergies put you to. It is tough to avoid so many good things.

Allergy is an irritating problem that may be life-long. Nevertheless, it is important to keep on avoiding those foods because the allergic reaction can kill.

When the reaction occurs, it is an emergency that needs quick treatment. You get moderately severe reactions. It is not predictable that they will be limited to itching and swelling. But they can become worse. So you should work out a plan of emergency with your doctor.

Hypo-sensitisation treatment aims at introducing into your body very small quantities of the trigger substance over a long period of time (one to two years). The aim is to have your body accustomed to the substance, so that it no longer reacts. It would be a ‘cure’ for the allergy.

The first thing that is done is identifying the exact substance causing the allergic reaction. This can be done at Mulago Hospital. Facilities are also available in Nairobi.

The treatment may not be successful if you react to a wide-range of substances. It is also a potentially dangerous procedure, which needs to be done under a specialist’s care.

The pimples are scaring me
Dear Doctor,
I had never had a pimple on my face but last month, I got one on my nose. It was very painful with swelling. After two weeks I got another inside my ear. Could I be having HIV/AIDS? How can I get this disease out of my blood?
Chris

Dear Chris,
A pimple is an infection of a hair pit. Bacteria on our skin get into the hair pit and multiply, causing inflammation, collection of pus and pain.

We usually have lots of harmless bacteria on our skin. They protect us from harmful bacteria, which may displace good bacteria and infect hair pits.

Once the infection has occurred, it is advisable not to squeeze until the abscess is ready to release pus.

If you squeeze them before they are ready, the infection spreads further, and you get swelling and pain.

When they are ready, the pus will come out and it will heal without problems. For pimples around the nose, doctors recommend never to squeeze them at all.

An antibiotic is necessary, because it is an infection. It will decrease the spread of infection in surrounding skin. It will also help faster healing. Painkillers are also necessary.

Using an antiseptic soap like Dettol® for a week will remove the harmful bacteria from the skin so that you do not get more pimples.
Pimples do not mean that you have HIV. There is no single symptom or disease that means that one has HIV. Only an HIV test can show this.

Visit your doctor for the antibiotics and more advice.

Dr. Paul Semugoma
semugoma@hotmail.com
Write to Ask The Doctor,
Box 9815, Kampala
or health@newvision.co.ug

Ask the Doctor

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