Corticosteroid Cream for Allergic Skin Conditions – Stella WalshThe presence of one or more skin conditions such as rash, hives, eczema or swelling is often a sign that a trigger is causing an immune system or allergic reaction.
Any inflammation of the skin can be irritating or down right painful. it is important to be informed and seek medical attention to determine a diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
How does Normal Skin Function?
Skin is the largest organ in the human body. it provides protection in the form of a barrier between the inside of the body and the outside world.
Normal skin has three layers:
- The epidermis – a thin outer layer.
- The dermis – the middle layer, containing nerves, blood vessels, sweat glands and hair roots.
- The inner layer – mostly fat cells.
Allergists are mostly concerned with the two outer layers because this is where the mast cells are located. These cells release histamine during an allergic reaction. The release of histamine causes the skin to become inflamed and show one or more of the conditions associated with an immune system reaction.
Skin Conditions associated with Allergies
There are several skin conditions that usually signify an immune system reaction:
- Rashes (contact dermatitis) – Rashes can be confusing because they can be caused by an allergen or by an irritant. If the rash is caused by a powerful irritant, or there is prolonged exposure, the skin can be damaged. If the rash is caused by an allergen, it can show up one or two days after the initial contact, resulting in an itchy, red reaction. it will usually disappear, even without treatment, in two or three weeks.
- Hives (urticaria) – Hives are also known as welts, and can last from a few hours to very long periods of time. They come in different sizes and are often very itchy. They are generally raised on the skin and red in color, but will turn white if pressed on. Hives can be acute or chronic. Acute hives are most common and last just minutes or days. The trigger can usually be identified fairly easily. Chronic hives can occur off and on for months or years. The cause is usually difficult to identify, even with blood or skin tests.
- Eczema (atopic dermatitis) – This common allergic condition can affect all ages, but is most common in younger children. Eczema is usually associated with hay fever, asthma or food allergies.
- Swelling (angioedema) – Angioedema is the temporary swelling of the deep layers of the skin. The swelling of any soft tissue can be uncomfortable or burn, but if it is in the throat, it can be life-threatening. Swelling can also be acute or chronic, with an identifiable cause in most acute cases, and an unknown cause in most chronic cases. There is also a rare form of angioedema (C-1 esterase inhibitor deficiency) that is an inherited condition. it usually involves the mouth area, but sometimes as far down as the stomach. There is no known cure for this form of angioedema, but there is treatment to reduce the symptoms.
Any of these skin conditions can occur with an immune system reaction. A medical expert can help to form a diagnosis and recommend treatment to alleviate suffering.
Disclaimer: This article is intended for information purposes only. it is not a substitute for medical attention and supervision.
Berger, William E. and Gordon, Debra L. Allergy and Asthma Relief. new York: The Reader’s Digest Association, Inc., 2004.
Bock, Kenneth and Stauth, Cameron. Healing the new Childhood Epidemics: Autism, ADHD, Asthma, and Allergies. new York: Ballantine Books, 2007.
Bateson-Koch, Carolee. Allergies: Disease in Disguise. Burnaby, BC, Canada: Alive Books, 1994.
Hospital for Sick Children: The Complete Kid’s Allergy and Asthma Guide: The Parent’s Handbook for Children of All Ages. Ed. Dr. Milton Gold. Toronto, Canada: Robert Rose Inc., 2003.
- Oxyhives Review
- What Are Hives And How Can You Deal With Them?
- Superfoods for Hives Relief - ahealthything.com
- Moving With Your Children