Allergic children

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Exercise

Use the points about allergic face to write a description of what you would look for to find out whether a child is allergic or not.


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How to spot an allergic child

One can often spot allergic or potentially allergic children and young adults merely by observing their physical build, skin and facial features – without even doing any allergy tests.



Allergy sufferers tend to have an unhealthy-looking pale complexion called White Dermatographism and are often small for their age.

Allergic Face

The most impressive features of 'allergy sufferers' are their facial appearances.

* Allergic Shiners

Allergic children and adults have typical darkening around the eyes called 'Allergic Shiners'. This blue discoloration is caused by congested veins and has the appearance of smudged mascara around the eyes.

* Dennie-Morgan Lines

Young children with nasal and chest allergies have characteristic Dennie-Morgan lines. These are crease-like wrinkles that form under the lower eyelid folds.

* Long Face Syndrome

Asthma and nasal allergy sufferers have the so-called Long Face Syndrome, which consists of nasal obstruction, a high arched palate and dental malocclusion with protrusion of the upper teeth. This develops after years of constant nasal blockage and resultant mouth breathing. The nasal mucous membranes (called turbinates) develop a pale bluish appearance with swelling from aeroallergen irritation, so much so that the nasal passages become completely occluded. As a result, these people are forced to permanently breathe through their mouths and the deformity of their teeth slowly develops.

* Nasal Salute

Intense nasal itching leads to the Nasal Salute, characterised by the tendency to rub the nose with the palm of the hand, usually in an upward direction. This constant rubbing will lead to the development of a transverse nasal crease or wrinkle across the bridge of the nose.

* Facial Tics

Children with nasal allergies also tend to grimace or pull funny faces, as their noses are always itching. They may then go on to develop uncontrollable Facial Tics or mannerisms. Teachers often complain that they are being naughty and fooling around, when the real cause of the mannerism is their chronic nasal allergy.

* Keratosis Pilaris

Allergy and potential eczema sufferers have characteristic dryness and roughness of the skin particularly the skin of the cheeks, upper arms and chest. This dryness of the skin is called Xerosis and usually has a sandpaper-like texture called Keratosis Pilaris. It is a poor barrier to environmental irritants and infection.

* Atopic Eczema

Atopic Eczema may develop as a consequence of this dry skin, and is most notable in the inner creases of the elbow and knee joints of children. Eczema sufferers constantly fidget and scratch their skin, leading to a misdiagnosis of being Hyperactive, when in fact it is their itchy skin that is distracting them.

* Conjunctivitis

With chronic eye allergies, the inner aspects of the eyelids (called tarsal conjunctiva) develop a swollen cobblestone-like appearance from Allergic Conjunctivitis. Sufferers also tend to rub away the outer third of their eyebrows.

* Glue Ear

Those with nasal allergies may develop chronic secretory otitis media or Glue Ear with mucous being trapped in the middle ear cavity behind the eardrum. This results in temporary deafness, ear discomfort and a poor attention span.

* Post Nasal Drip

There may be a perpetual postnasal drip and repeated sore throats from allergic mucous building up and being discharged into the throat, from the facial sinuses. Chronic nasal allergies also lead to a reduction in the sense of taste and smell.