Ask Women's Health

Dry indoor air can exacerbate congestion, inflammation of the nasal and sinus passages, and coughing. Adding moisture with a humidifier will keep your respiratory tract lubricated, thus improving and preventing those yucky symptoms, says Neeta Ogden, M.D., fellow of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.


Go to

A 24-Hour Guide to Fighting Allergies

"If you have allergies, one of the best things you can do is start medications early,

even before your symptoms kick in," says Neeta Ogden, MD, an allergist in New York City.


Dr. Ogden on allergy to cosmetics and patch testing

7 Beauty Habits That Can Backfire

Beauty shouldn't be painful, but sometimes it is. Here are some makeup habits that can actually make you look and feel worse. 


Parabens and fragrance are the two biggest culprits in allergic reactions to perfumes and lotions, Dr. Ogden says. If a new lotion or perfume gives you a rash, Ogden recommends seeing an allergist. Bring the product with you, if you still have it, so the allergist can help you avoid products with whatever ingredient caused the reaction. Some sunscreens — ones with octyl salicylate, for example — can also trigger allergic reactions, she says.


Dr. Ogden on Food Allergy T-Shirts


Don’t Feed Me’ T-shirts for kids with allergies 

Ogden, a fellow of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, points out that parents who have kids with allergies already have a system in place to keep them safe.“If your child has multiple food allergies, you’ve taken many more steps before that T-shirt to inform caregivers,” said Ogden, who has offices in New Jersey and New York. “Teaching about how to use the EpiPen, preparing exact snacks.


Dr. Ogden discusses contact dermatitis from fashion


Irritating Fabrics and Allergic Reactions

Certain kinds of fabrics are more likely to cause irritation and allergic reactions, says Neeta Ogden, MD, an adult and pediatric allergist in private practice in New York City. "Interestingly wool fabrics in particular can cause allergic reactions in people, typically called contact dermatitis," she says. "It's an itchy rash that can sometimes even have bumps on it and seems chronic." People who have sensitive skin or a history of eczema are at a higher risk of irritation from these fabrics, Dr. Ogden says, as are people who have allergies in general.