Allergies are quite common, especially in areas with plentiful pollen. The most common allergic reactions include pollen, nut allergies, gluten, and dust allergy. Though they have a similar pathway, all of them exhibit themselves in a specific way. That is why their time for clearing up is also different.
Allergic reactions may last for varying lengths of time. Some may last for a few hours, while some may take days to vanish. It also depends if the exposure to the allergen is one-time or continuous.
If you treat the allergic reaction in time, it typically stays for less time than untreated hypersensitivity (allergic) reactions.
What is an Allergic Reaction?
Allergic reactions are exaggerated responses to foreign particles by the body. Some of the antigens may be allergy-causing for some people and totally fine for others. They typically do not harm the body but might stimulate a hypersensitivity reaction. Antigens causing an allergic reaction are called allergens that trigger antibodies. Allergens come in contact with the body through the nose, mouth, or skin.
Most allergic reactions are mild, yet some can be life-threatening. The symptoms usually go away on their own. However, sometimes you need an immediate response to save the person. Fatal allergic reactions are mostly systematic while local is short-lived. If you have an allergic reaction worsening, do not wait for long. Take immediate help when needed.
How Long Does an Allergic Reaction Last?
Allergic reactions typically begin 2 to 6 hours after exposure to the antigen. Sometimes, it may take more than 8 hours for the reaction to occur. Once the allergen exhibits symptoms, they may last for hours up to a few days. It also depends on the type of allergen and exposure. If the exposure is continuous, it may also take weeks for the reaction to go away.
How to Manage an Allergic Reaction?
There’s no better hypersensitivity management than preventing the allergic reaction itself. But, what to do when you get an allergy?
- Try to avoid contact with irritable clothes in the region of symptoms. Any material or fabric might aggravate the symptoms. For example, if you experience redness and skin burning, it is better to keep it open.
- Wear breathable clothes is inevitable. Use soft materials like cotton to avoid rashes.
- Take a shower or use a cold compress to soothe a skin rash.
- Do not dry by rubbing with a towel. Instead, pat dries softly.
- Use calamine lotion to soothe rashes and burning sensations if you do not like a cold compress.
- Consult your doctor if the signs or symptoms worsen. Most likely, they will prescribe you an anti-allergy medication like antihistamines or medicated lotions, or steroid medication.
- Some people may need an EpiPen (epinephrine autoinjector) to manage their allergies.
How to Avoid an Allergic Reaction?
The best way is to prevent contact with substances that trigger an allergic reaction. In case of a pollen or dust allergy, wear a mask outside. Similarly, avoid the food ingredients that cause a food allergy. If you have a nut allergy, read the label of processed foods to avoid the risk.
The Bottom Line
Hypersensitivity reactions occur as an exaggerated reaction by the body. Harmful substances might not always cause them, but those your body thinks to be. Hypersensitivity reactions present symptoms in 2 to 8 hours. The symptoms may stay for a few hours to days as well as weeks. They do not typically last for weeks, only when the allergen exposure is continuous. It is better to avoid them. Yet, you can manage allergic reactions by using a soothing lotion, wearing loose clothes, wearing a mask, or using OTC medication.
Anna has completed her degree in Pharmacy from the University of Hawaii. She is serving as a research assistant in a pharmaceutical company. She had a great interest in writing blogs, traveling to different parts of the US, and trying delicious recipes in her spare time.