A skin allergy occurs when the skin faces some irritation and reacts to it by displaying symptoms of itching, redness, swelling, etc. An allergic reaction typically occurs when the immune system is triggered and responds to some external stimuli. Skin allergies can be troublesome and cause many inconveniences.
Different allergens can trigger a skin allergy. Identifying the cause of the skin allergy is essential to starting the proper skin allergy treatment. Doctors specialized in treating skin allergies should be consulted to help you find the cure.
This article will explain the various types, symptoms, triggers, and skin allergy treatment options to guide you.
Skin Allergy- Types
- Eczema or Atopic dermatitis: This is one of the most common skin allergy conditions and is also prevalent in young children. Eczema can be caused due to genetic or environmental factors. It can manifest as asthma, food allergies, and seasonal allergies.
- Hives or Urticaria are small bumps on the skin, also called welts or wheals. Hives occur when the body releases histamine as a response to the allergen. This can happen after consuming food that one is allergic to.
- Contact dermatitis is a condition when the skin reacts to some allergen it comes in contact with. Symptoms can show as rashes, blisters, itching, and burning. Laundry detergents, metals such as nickel, latex, soaps, creams, etc., can all cause contact dermatitis.
Diagnosis and Tests
The standard diagnosis methods include
- Physical evaluation
- Skin Prick Test
- Intradermal (under the skin) skin test
- Blood tests (specific IgE)
- Challenge test
- Patch test
Self-Care of Skin Allergies
With allergies, you can face bad itching. However, it is important to avoid scratching! Scratching your rash or hives can lead to infections. It is suggested to keep the area clean and moisturized by using calamine lotion and hydrocortisone creams. It’s helpful to build yourself up to be mentally strong and distract your hands to keep them from itching. It is best to focus on prevention and reduce your exposure to the allergen.
Natural practitioners also suggest treating skin allergies by using some safe plants for topical application. These include
- Aloe vera
- Stinging nettle
Allergies and Impact on health
Since there is no one definite cause or symptom of allergies, it becomes a burden for the affected individual. A US-based survey conducted by SingleCare’s to assess the quality of life and Impact on health for people with allergies reported that
- 82% of respondents with allergies mentioned that their allergies affected their quality of life.
- 69% reported comorbidities
- 41% reported not being able to get a good night’s sleep.
- 41% said that allergies affected their mood and overall happiness.
- 34% said that not being able to go outdoors to avoid external allergens
- 14% had to undergo hospitalizations due to an allergic reaction.
- 14% have experienced anaphylaxis.
When to see a doctor for Skin Allergy Treatment?
If your allergy is really bad or has lasted beyond a few weeks, it is advisable to seek medical advice. Although rare, severe skin allergies might lead to anaphylaxis. This is characterized by wheezing, chest tightness, or trouble breathing, and you should seek immediate medical care.
See a doctor if:
- Eczema symptoms are uncontrollable
- Your rash is bleeding or filled with a yellow pus-like substance
- Delayed skin rashes
Skin Allergy Treatment Options
The first step is preventive. If you are aware of any known skin allergies, avoid the triggers. Skin allergies do not usually signify medical emergencies but, if left untreated, can become problematic. Prescription medications include topical drugs such as corticosteroids to reduce inflammation and relieve itching. Hydrocortisone ointments are readily available. For severe skin allergy treatments, it is best to seek the suggestion of a healthcare provider who can analyze and diagnose the cause and prescribe medicines accordingly.
Also read: Dermatologist skin treatment
A Word from Chaudhary Hospital:
We understand that skin allergy can be very inconvenient and cause trouble with our day-to-day life. It is, however, essential to understand the underlying cause so that an effective skin allergy treatment plan can be built. We have an excellent and caring team of doctors at Chaudhary Hospital who will help you throughout and suggest the best ways to minimize and prevent any further attacks of skin allergies.