If you are suffering from allergy symptoms, Washington University allergists and immunologists are here to help you manage and find solutions to control your allergies and provide relief. To learn more about what treatment and services we can provide, visit our Patient Care page.

Allergies affect an estimated 40 million to 50 million people in the United States, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. There are many types of allergies that can lead to a person’s discomfort, which our expert physicians can help you manage. These can include:

Drug allergy
Pill box

If you have an adverse reaction to a particular drug, you may be experiencing a drug allergy. Medications that can lead to a drug reaction include antibiotics, such as penicillin; aspirin; chemotherapy drugs; anesthesia drugs; and anticonvulsants. Symptoms may include skin rash or hives, itching, breathing problems like wheezing, swelling and anaphylaxis (shock).

Food allergy

Food allergies are a reaction to something we have eaten, often associated with nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, skin rashes and, for some, the more severe anaphylaxis (shock), which can require an injection of epinephrine. While many food allergies occur in infants and children, adults can also develop them later in life. Common food allergens are the proteins in cow’s milk, eggs, peanuts, wheat, soy, fish, shellfish and tree nuts. There are also more uncommon food allergies such as a reaction to red meat, known as Alpha-gal syndrome perhaps associated with a tick bite.

Skin allergy

When your skin becomes red, bumpy and/or itchy, you could be experiencing a number of different skin conditions that an allergist/immunologist can manage. This can include a contact sensitivity, such as a reaction to poison ivy or nickel jewelry; a food allergy reaction; a reaction to a viral illness; or eczema. Eczema symptoms include dry, red, and irritated itchy skin.

Environmental or seasonal allergies

Dust mites

Dust mites are tiny organisms that can barely be seen and are often found in house dust and moisture in the air.

Trees, grasses and weeds

Trees, grasses and weeds pollinate seasonally, which may cause seasonal symptoms such as during the spring blooming season.

Insect allergy

The reaction to an insect sting from a bee, hornet or wasp can include pain, redness, swelling, itching, hives, or the less common but more life-threatening anaphylaxis, when a person’s body goes into shock. These allergies can be diagnosed by one of our specialists and a treatment plan to reduce this sensitivity can be developed.

Mold allergy

Mold can be found in a number of areas both inside and outside your home. When mold spores become airborne, some individuals may experience reactions itching, nasal congestion or wheezing.

Pet allergy

When you interact with a pet — cat, dog, rabbit, hamster — you may start to experience watery eyes or sneezing and are probably allergic to that animal. While limiting your exposure to an animal that is triggering your symptoms may be the best treatment, there are other options that might also help such as allergy shots, nasal sprays, antihistamines and/or bronchodilators.

Common symptoms for these environmental and seasonal allergies can include runny nose; itchy eyes, mouth or skin; sneezing; stuffy nose due to congestion; and, for some, fatigue. Some of these allergens can also trigger asthma and eczema flare-ups.


Recurrent infections can be a sign that your immune system is not working properly. Our specialists can run tests to evaluate your immune function and prescribe therapy to augment this function if needed.

Hereditary Angioedema

A rare disorder in one of the inflammation cascades in our body can lead to recurrent episodes of swelling. This can involve the eyes, lips, or tongue, the hands or feet, and in severe cases the throat, leading to difficulty breathing. Our specialists can diagnose this condition and prescribe treatment to manage the symptoms.