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Systemic Reaction


Updated May 12, 2014

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.


When an inflammation spreads from a limited area of one organ (like the skin) to other organ systems in the body, it's known as a systemic reaction. The inflammation can be from toxins, allergies or infections.



Anaphylactic shock is a life-threatening, systemic allergic reaction. Anaphylaxis often affects the respiratory system (shortness of breath) or the circulatory system (low blood pressure/shock) in addition to the integumentary system (itching, redness and hives).


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