The term "allergy" as used in these remarks refers particularly to the group of cases embracing asthma, hay-fever and urticaria. The principal lesion of this type of allergy is a localized edema. Thus, hay-fever and allergic rhinitis cause symptoms because of an edema localized in the nose and conjunctivae; in bronchial asthma, an edema of the bronchial mucous membrane occurs, and in food allergy, edema of the gastric mucosa has been proved. This lesion is exemplified by allergic urticaria wherein each wheal represents a local edema and is typical of the allergic edema found elsewhere. Spasm of smooth muscle likewise occurs as an allergic manifestation, particularly in bronchial asthma and in food allergy, but this will not be considered in the present discussion.
In considering the mechanism of allergic edema, it is apparent that it is caused when the allergen to which a patient is sensitive comes in contact with
ALEXANDER HL. THE ALLERGIC SKIN REACTION. Arch Derm Syphilol. 1931;24(4):543–545. doi:https://doi.org/10.1001/archderm.1931.01450010553002
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