Kansas City,
15:29 PM

The Worst Advice Allergy Docs Have Ever Heard

Nearly half of Americans have some type of allergy — how many of these allergy myths have you fallen for?

"I swell up like a blimp when I get a mosquito bite, I must be allergic."

"While allergic reactions can occur with stinging insects like yellow jackets, hornets, honey bees, wasps, and fire ants, they do not occur with biting insects such as mosquitoes or chiggers. Mosquito bites cause local swellings (hives) that are itchy but they are not allergic reactions. Use topical calamine or hydrocortisone ointment for itchiness and use mosquito nets and insect repellents to prevent bites." —Chitra Dinakar, MD, director of FARE Center of Excellence at Children's Mercy, Kansas City

"Allergy tests don't work on kids younger than two or on elderly people”

"Allergy tests are valid at any age. Younger kids are less likely to have allergies, so the tests are more often negative, but they are valid." Jay Portnoy, MD, Division Director, Allergy/Asthma/Immunology at Children’s Mercy Kansas City

Read more allergy myths and tips via Reader's Digest.

Learn more about Children's Mercy's Division of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.