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Allergic vs Non-Allergic Rhinitis

Did you know that there is more than one type of rhinitis?

There are several types of rhinitis, with the 2 main types being allergic and non-allergic rhinitis. To the everyday individual these 2 conditions may seem exactly the same, when in fact they have distinct differences upon thorough examination.

In order to distinguish between the 2 conditions, your health care practitioner will take a thorough history, perform a physical examination and request further diagnostic testing where necessary (such as skin testing or in-vitro IgE testing). The table below demonstrates the main differences between the conditions.

allergic vs non allergic coloured

  1. http://www.worldallergy.org/professional/allergic_diseases_center/rhinitis/rhinitis_indepth.php
  2. http://www.entnet.org/content/allergic-rhinitis-sinusitis-and-rhinosinusitis
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What is allergic rhinitis?

Allergic rhinitis, also known as hay fever, is characterised as inflammation of the nose due to an overreaction of the immune system to allergens (substances that enter the body through the nose to trigger a reaction)1. Common examples of allergens include as pollen, dust or animal fur.

Evidence suggests that allergic reactions are caused by a combination of both genetic and environmental factors, with a genetic predisposition in individuals with a family history of atopic diseases like asthma and eczema2,4. The condition can develop begin at any age, although most people first develop symptoms in childhood or young adulthood2.

Types of allergic rhinitis:

There are two types of allergic rhinitis; seasonal allergic rhinitis (SAR) and perennial allergic rhinitis (PAR)3.21687668_1738801456416549_1208022269325681718_n

Seasonal allergic rhinitis (SAR)

Symptoms develop during specific seasons such as spring, summer and early Autumn. Allergens that cause this type of rhinitis include pollens from trees, grasses, and weeds3,4.

Perennial allergic rhinitis (PAR)

Symptoms persist throughout the year and is difficult to diagnose as the symptoms can mimic sinusitis or respiratory infections2. Allergens that cause this type of allergic rhinitis include dust mites, cockroaches, animal dander, and fungi or mould3,4.

How does allergic rhinitis develop?

During allergic rhinitis, an allergen enters the nose and penetrates your nasal mucosa (the lining of your inner nasal cavity), where it binds to the IgE antibodies on the surface of immune cells (mast cells). In a normal person, this process is minimal but in a person suffering from allergic rhinitis the process is excessive, resulting in the release of histamine1,4.

Histamine causes inflammation and swelling of the nasal mucosa, excessive mucus production and blood vessel dilation. Excessive mucus production results in rhinorrhoea (runny nose) and blockage the nasal lacrimal duct (tear duct) resulting in water eyes and blockage of the eustachian tubes resulting in the sensation of blocked ears. Finally, the nerves in the nasal cavity may become irritated resulting in sneezing1.

In summary allergic rhinitis may result in 5 main symptoms1:

  • Nasal swelling and congestion
  • Water eyes
  • Blocked ears
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing


  1. http://www.worldallergy.org/professional/allergic_diseases_center/rhinitis/rhinitis_indepth.php
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11449200
  3. http://acaai.org/allergies/types/hay-fever-rhinitis
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1661616/

Cortisone treatment for child eczema

As mothers we want to protect our children from anything that could hurt them.

Atopic Eczema

We unfortunately cannot protect them from the genetic conditions we pass onto them. 

Many children inherit Atopic Dermatitis or eczema from their parents. It affects 1 in 5 children and up to 10% of adults. Although eczema is genetically inherited it is important to understand that your children may also develop it as a result of exposure to certain allergens.


Cortisone treatments

Eczema can be quite devastating and can cause extreme discomfort in children. There are many treatments available today but the most common is topical corticosteroids. These medications are solely used to reduce inflammation, itching or scaling. They need to be used with a barrier repair cream in order to restore the skin and effectively treat the condition.  


Corticosteroids come in various strengths depending on the severity of the eczema. You can buy hydrocortisone over the counter or obtain a prescription for stronger, more potent medications. It is vital that you use these medications as prescribed as they are known to cause severe side effects.  These effects can be devastating in babies and children as their skin is still developing and can be sensitive. Corticosteroids are prescribed for short term use only as cause skin thinning and in rare cases stretch marks.


Many individuals dilute corticosteroids with emollients so that they can be it over the long term. This is not safe and can do damage to your child’s skin over the long term. It is important that you always consult a doctor before trying any treatment for eczema.

 Dermalex Eczema Children box & tube

There is another option……

As a mother you need to look for a long term treatment option for your children. This option should reduce the itch and redness without the time limitations and side effects.


Dermalex Repair is an effective self-treatment without cortisone and without side effects.  It is the perfect compromise between the two treatment methods. Dermalex effectively targets the damaged skin barrier and reduces symptoms.