Diathesis and allergies: different diseases or two names for the same pathology

Diathesis is the tendency of the body to pathological reactions that do not correspond to the stimulus. These can be respiratory disorders, metabolic disorders, skin allergic reactions. There is the concept of “allergic dermatitis”, which is often equated with diathesis, because the mechanism of occurrence of the two conditions is very similar. But still, diathesis and allergies are not identical concepts.

How to distinguish diathesis from allergies

Diathesis on the skin is manifested by the following symptoms:

  • redness of the epithelium, bright red spots on the face, arms, neck, behind the ears;
  • diaper rash, weeping skin;
  • itching, peeling;
  • rash of different localization;
  • small bubbles filled with liquid.

Exactly the same signs can appear with allergies. Often, diathesis occurs only when an excessive amount of a reaction-provoking substance enters the body. For example, if a child eats one candy, everything will be fine with his skin, and if ten, diathesis spots will flare up brightly on his cheeks. Diet helps to control diathesis well. With true allergies, even microdoses of the allergen are enough to provoke a reaction.

The second difference lies in the fact that diathesis almost always disappears with age, it is only a tendency to pathological reactions, but not a disease. Allergy is a disease that does not go away on its own and requires treatment. To do this, sometimes you even have to administer microdoses of the allergen to a person so that he can live normally.

The third difference can be noticed if you take a blood test. With an allergy in the blood, an increased level of IgE in the blood will be observed – an indicator that the body reacts pathologically to the allergen. With allergic diathesis, only a third of patients will have this immunoglobulin elevated.

With diathesis, not only dermatological symptoms can additionally occur:

  • thirst;
  • dysbacteriosis;
  • in children – tearfulness, low mood;
  • photophobia, lacrimation;
  • general deterioration.

Sometimes diathesis can occur as one of the manifestations of stress, like neurodermatitis. That is, against the background of experiences, physiological symptoms appear in a person, often such a situation can be observed in impressionable, excitable children. Allergies never occur just like that, it requires contact with the allergen.

Allergies and diathesis are very similar to each other, some experts even consider allergies as a special case of diathesis. But still, there are differences between these two states, which we described above. In both cases, you should avoid meeting with a factor provoking a pathological reaction, and in case of exacerbations, use antihistamines, probiotics, and sometimes hormonal drugs.

event_note August 7, 2022

account_box Dr. Peter B Milburn

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