DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Peanut allergy. Close-up of the swollen upper lip of a six year-old boy caused by an allergic reaction to peanuts. Eating peanuts has triggered an immune response from the boy's body. Specific antibodies have been released causing the release of the chemical histamine. Histamine causes blood vessels to widen, fluids to leak into tissues and muscles to go into spasm. Symptoms include rashes, itchy swelling, inflamed eyes or vomiting & diarrhoea. Treatment involves avoiding the allergen and prescribing anti-histamines and corticosteroid drugs (anti-inflammatory agents).
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