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CDC: Skin and food allergies on the rise among U.S. children

A new study from the CDC reveals that food and skin allergies are on the rise among children in the United States.

A recent study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that skin and food allergies are on the rise among children in the United States. The data reveals that the rate of skin allergies in individuals under the age of 18 increased from 7.4 percent in 1997 to 12.5 percent in 2011. As for food allergies, the rate jumped from 3.4 percent to 5.1 percent in that same time period. 

"Allergies are not a joke, it is very frightening for families impacted by it – they do not want it to control their lives, but it does," said Dr. Sakina Bajowala, an allergy specialist in Chicago, according to NBC News. 

The source reports that doctors are concerned by the rise in allergies, as these afflictions can lead to more severe health complications such as fatal respiratory diseases and disfiguring skin conditions. However, says Bajowala, by figuring out which allergen is affecting an individual, doctors can use specific treatments to reduce its effect. 

"Immunotherapy has a more than 80 percent success rate," Bajowala said. "I like to explain to my patients that their immune system is overreacting (to an allergen) and we are retraining it to tolerate something it did not tolerate before."

In addition to seeing an allergy specialist, there are steps allergy sufferers can take around the house to ensure that they are comfortable. You may want to consider investing in a whole house air purifier that can remove common irritants such as pet dander, pollen and dust mites directly from the air.

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