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Allergen

Definition

An allergen is a substance that can cause an allergic reaction. Allergens are substances that, in some people, the immune system recognizes as "foreign" or "dangerous" but cause no response for most people.

Information

Common allergens include:

  • Bacteria, viruses, and animal parasites
  • Chemicals
  • Dust
  • Drugs (such as antibiotics or medications you put on your skin)
  • Foods (such as milk, chocolate, strawberries, wheat)
  • Perfumes
  • Plants
  • Pollen
  • Smoke

See also:


Review Date: 2/19/2009
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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