our skin is a good barometer of how healthy the body is. A frequent
recurrent infection of the skin may indicate that the immunity system is
weak. Skin has its own interference with lifestyle in colour and texture.
our skin controls and regulates the water content of the body. It protects
body as a covering and works as defence force against infection. It is
helpful in activating vitamin D when it is exposed to sunlight. if skin is
damaged water content will be lost. Infection will spread resulting in renal
shut down and collapse.
There are several types of allergic skin conditions. They are often itchy
and red and may appear scaly, bumpy or swollen. To treat allergic disease,
the most qualified physician is an allergist. Allergist can determine which
condition you have and can help you feel better through treatment.
Allergic skin condition can take several forms and are due to various
causes. They are:
HIves Hives (or urticaria) are red, itchy, raised areas of the skin that can range
in size and appear anywhere on your body. Most common are acute cases, where
food or drug allergies are triggers. these hives usually go away within a
few days. In cases of chronic hives, people may suffer for months to years. The urticaria may be as:
*Heat urticaria-allergy caused due to heat
*Papular urticaria-allergy caused due to encounter of flies or mites
*Solar urticaria- a rare form of hive due to exposure to UV radiation
*Cold urticaria-allergy caused due to cold
* Pressure urticaria- allergy caused due to tight dresses or any tight
Angioedema Angioedema is a swelling of the deeper layers of the skin that sometimes
occurs with hives. Angioedema is usually not red or itchy. The areas often
involved are the eyelids, lips, tongue, hands and feet. Food or drug reactions are a common cause of acute hives and/or angioedema.
Viral or bacterial infection can also trigger hives in both adults and
children. Physical urticaria are hives resulting from a non-allergic source:
rubbing of the skin, cold, heat, physical exertion or exercise, pressure and
direct exposure to sunlight. if the cause of your hives can be identified, you should avoid that trigger.
With acute hives, some drugs or foods may take days to leave the body, so
your allergist may prescribe antihistamines to relieve your symptoms until
rash called contact dermatitis. Irritant contact dermatitis is often more
painful than itchy, and is caused by a substance damaging the part of your
skin it comes into contact with. The longer your skin is in contact with the
substance, or the stronger the substance is, the more severe your reaction
will be. these reactions appear most often on the hands and are frequently
Allergic contact dermatitis is best known by the itchy, red, blistered
reaction experienced after you touch poison ivy. this allergic reaction is
caused by a chemical in the plant called urushiol. you can have a reaction
from touching other items the plant has come into contact with. However,
once your skin has been washed, you cannot get another reaction from
touching the rash or blisters. Allergic contact dermatitis reactions can
happen 24 to 48 hours after contact. Once a reaction starts, it takes 14 to
28 days to go away, even with treatment.
Nickel, perfumes, dyes, rubber (latex) products and cosmetics also
frequently cause allergic contact dermatitis. Some ingredients in
medications applied to the skin can cause a reaction, most commonly
neomycin, an ingredient in antibiotic creams. For irritant contact
dermatitis, you should avoid the substance causing the reaction. you should
also avoid spilling chemicals on your skin. Gloves can sometimes be helpful.
since these reactions are non-allergic, avoiding the substance will relieve
your symptoms and prevent lasting damage to your skin.
Treatment for allergic contact dermatitis depends on how severe the symptoms
are. cold soaks and compresses can offer relief for the acute, early, itchy
blistered stage of your rash. you may also be prescribed topical
corticosteroid creams. To prevent the reaction from returning, avoid contact
with the offending substance. if you and your allergist cannot determine the
substance that caused the reaction, your allergist may conduct a series of
patch tests to help identify it.
Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema) A common allergic reaction often affecting the face, elbows and knees is
atopic dermatitis or eczema. this red, scaly, itchy rash is more common in
young infants and those who have a personal or family history of allergy.
Common triggers include aeroallergens like cat dander or house dust,
overheating or sweating, and contact with irritants like wool or soaps. In
older individuals, emotional stress can cause a flare-up. For some patients,
usually children, certain foods can also trigger eczema. Skin staph
infections can cause a flare-up in children as well. Eczema patients usually
have very dry skin and allergic shiners (an extra crease, called a
Dennies line, across their lower eyelids). They are also more at risk for
other skin infections.
Preventing the eczema itch is the main goal of treatment. do not scratch or
rub your rash. Applying cold compresses and creams or ointments is helpful.
Also remove all irritants that aggravate your condition from your
environment. if a food is identified as the cause, it must be eliminated
from your diet.
Topical corticosteroid cream medications and topical calcineurin inhibitors
are most effective in treating the rash. Antihistamines are often
recommended to help relieve the itchiness. In severe cases, oral
corticosteroids are also prescribed. if a skin staph infection is suspected
to be a trigger for your eczema flare-up, antibiotics are often recommended.
Treatment includes avoidance of stimulus, desensitization and stress
reduction. just beware and approach immediately an expert if you have these
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