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Study: Skin patches effective in treating allergy symptoms

Friday - 3/16/2012, 5:44am  ET

WASHINGTON - Those who suffer from seasonal allergies may one day be able to alleviate their symptoms without popping pills.

Researchers in Switzerland are testing what they believe may be a more effective allergy treatment -- patches coated with grass allergens.

Patients say they experienced an improvement in hay fever symptoms from patches with medium to high doses, according to a report in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

Researchers say that patch therapy appears to be a safe, convenient and effective treatment for hay fever sufferers. Only 8 percent of study participants said they had allergic reactions or minor side effects that caused them to drop out of the study.

In the study, 132 patients were divided into four groups that wore placebo patches, low-dose, medium-dose or high-dose patches. For the study, which was conducted in 2008 before pollen season, patients in each group wore weekly patches for six weeks and nearly all participants reported improvements.

Here's more on the study in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

WTOP's Bob Kur contributed to this report. Follow WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)