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Question: What is an allergy?

DR.PAUL: An allergy develops when a person's body has a bad reaction to a particular substance or product that's normally harmless, such as pollen or a food such as milk. The substance that causes the allergic reaction is called an allergen. Allergens can enter the body when they're eaten, touched, inhaled or breathed in. When the body perceives the allergen as something harmful, it tries to protect itself by attacking the allergen. In the process, the person experiences various symptoms that can range from mild to severe.

Pediatrician DR.PAUL Roumeliotis is certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. The information provided above is designed to be an educational aid only. It is not intended to replace the advice and care of your child's physician, nor is it intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. If you suspect that your child has a medical condition always consult a physician.

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