I have had a reaction on my face numerous times throughout the past couple years. The first time was in 2003, I think. At first I thought that my lips were really chapped. They burned really bad, then I woke up the following morning and they were extremely swollen. I went to the emergency room and they gave me a shot for an allergic reaction. It's happened about 5 times since and it usually starts with the lips although they never swelled up as bad as the first time. My entire face swells, Sometimes hives or rash appears. It itches really bad. Sometimes I take benedryl even though I hate the way it makes me feel, but it doesn't always help. It usually takes a couple days to go away completely. I do drink quite often, but it also seems like everytime I have had a reaction, I drank an excessive amount the night before. Could I be allergic to alcohal even though it doesn't happen everytime I drink?
You could be allergic to one or more substances commonly found in beer. These include wheat and barley flour, hops & baker's yeast. Beer has recently been implicated as the causative agent of contact urticaria, commonly called hives and severe IgE-mediated anaphylaxis, which is a severe, life-threatening, allergic reaction. Until recent years, no allergen from beer had been isolated and characterized. Barley LTP1 and protein Z(4) have been identified as the main beer allergens. You may want to have allergy testing to these substances. Not all allergens are found in all beers. If you are allergic, you might be able to safely drink some beers without a reaction.
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