Can Snakes Cause Allergies?

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It is not uncommon for people to be afraid of snakes and with good reason. These reptiles can be dangerous and their bites can cause serious injury. However there is another reason to be wary of snakes – they can cause allergies.

Yes snakes can cause allergies and in some cases these allergies can be severe. The good news is that snake allergies are relatively rare. The bad news is that if you are allergic to snakes you may not even know it until you have a reaction.

So what causes snake allergies and how can you avoid them? Read on to find out.

What Causes Snake Allergies?

There are a few things that can cause an allergy to snakes but the most common is contact with their skin. Snake skin is covered in scales and these scales can release proteins that can cause an allergic reaction.

In most cases the reaction is mild and it will go away on its own. However in some cases the reaction can be severe and it may even require medical attention.

What are the Symptoms of a Snake Allergy?

The symptoms of a snake allergy can vary from person to person but the most common symptoms include:

  • Itching
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Hives
  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Cramping
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue

If you experience any of these symptoms after coming into contact with a snake it is important to seek medical attention immediately.

How is a Snake Allergy Diagnosed?

If you suspect that you have a snake allergy the first step is to see an allergist. They will ask you about your symptoms and your history of contact with snakes. They may also perform a skin test.

During a skin test a small amount of snake venom is placed on your skin. If you are allergic you will develop a reaction within 15 minutes.

How is a Snake Allergy Treated?

If you have a snake allergy the best way to avoid a reaction is to avoid contact with snakes. However this is not always possible. If you must be around snakes there are a few things you can do to reduce your risk of a reaction including:

  • Wearing long sleeves and pants
  • Washing your hands after handling snakes
  • Avoiding touching your face
  • Not eating or drinking while around snakes
  • Wearing a dust mask

If you do have a reaction the first step is to remove yourself from the source of the allergy. If you are having trouble breathing call 911. Otherwise over-the-counter antihistamines can help to reduce your symptoms.

If you have a severe reaction you may need to go to the hospital for treatment. There you will likely be given a shot of epinephrine and other medications to help stabilize your condition.

Can Snakes Cause Allergies?

It is not uncommon for people to be afraid of snakes and with good reason. These reptiles can be dangerous and their bites can cause serious injury. However there is another reason to be wary of snakes – they can cause allergies.

Yes snakes can cause allergies and in some cases these allergies can be severe. The good news is that snake allergies are relatively rare. The bad news is that if you are allergic to snakes you may not even know it until you have a reaction.

So what causes snake allergies and how can you avoid them? Read on to find out.