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Allergen

Definition

An allergen is a substance that can cause an allergic reaction .  In some people, the immune system thinks allergens are foreign or dangerous. This is what leads to allergy symptoms.

Information

Common allergens include:

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

References

Wasserman SI. Approach to the patient with allergic or immunologic disease. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. . 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 257.

Encyclopedia content is provided as information only and not intended to replace the advice and instruction from your personal physician.