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Skin allergy is the response of the body’s natural immune system to some allergen that has found its way into our system. This results in the skin becoming irritated. There may be a lot of reasons why skin allergies occur! They may be due to immune system disorders, some reaction to medication or the possibility of infection. Here we acquaint you with some common clinical skin allergies.
1. Atopic dermatitis: Atopic dermatitis is a very commonly occurring skin allergy that makes the skin irritated, itchy, and dry. Atopic dermatitis is also termed eczema, and it is more pronounced in children than in adults. Atopic dermatitis can result from genetic conditions or external environmental factors, which include pollution or toxins that find their way into our system and trigger the immune system, which results in skin inflammation and redness of the skin. Genetically, when one inherits a faulty gene in their skin called filaggrin, then the condition of atopic dermatitis may be severe. Studies suggest that atopic dermatitis is connected to asthma, food allergies and seasonal allergies.
2. Allergic Contact Dermatitis: This type of allergy flares up in response to direct contact with the allergen. If you have an allergy to nickel, then direct contact with nickel can cause red bumps and scaly pus-filled or swollen breakouts at the point of contact. The response time for the breakout is very short and must be immediately investigated. Some people who encounter poison ivy or poison oak can also suffer from allergic contact dermatitis. The allergy flares up because of the oily secretion found in these plants, which triggers the immune response of the body. Some people may also experience flare-ups when exposed to certain fabrics, pets or even gardening tools.
3. Urticaria: Urticaria is also termed as Hives in clinical terms. Urticaria is the inflammation of the skin when the immune system is triggered, and the system releases histamine. Histamine leads to the leaking of the small blood vessels, which causes swelling in the skin. Angioedema is swelling in the deeper layers of the skin. Urticaria can be of two types: acute and chronic. Acute urticaria is triggered in response to exposure to an allergic food or direct contact with the allergen. Exercise, medication, insect bites, infections or heat can also trigger the outburst of acute urticaria. Chronic urticaria is not generally caused by an instant connection with an allergen. Chronic urticaria does not respond to allergy tests. Chronic urticaria can last for many months or years and may be painful and uncomfortable, but the best part of urticaria is that it is not contagious.
4. Angioedema: The swelling in the deeper layers of the skin is called angioedema. It is usually found in pairs with urticaria or hives. Angioedema is commonly found in soft tissues like the eyelids, mouth, or genitals. Angioedema can also be categorised as acute or chronic. Acute angioedema flares up in response to some food or allergen and lasts for a few minutes or hours. The condition of chronic angioedema lasts for a longer period and doesn’t yet have an underlying cause of occurrence.
5. Hereditary Angioedema (HAE): HAE is an extremely rare yet serious skin condition. HAE is characterised by swelling in various parts of the body like the hands, face, feet, airways and intestinal walls. In the case of HAE, it is strictly advisable to visit a specialist since HAE does not respond to antihistamines or adrenaline.
If you are experiencing a sudden breakout or immune response to any food or fabric, it is strictly advisable that you visit the Emergency Room for immediate treatment. Afterwards, once the flare is under control and not risking your most regular activity of breathing, you can visit our clinic for further consultation. In case your eczema symptoms are uncomfortable, and you are unable to manage the pain, it is time for you to trust our skin care expert to treat you! Our skin care experts will check the severity of your condition and do the needful.
Our clinical experts are well-versed in the field of clinical allergies. They may recommend skin allergy tests like the skin prick test. In the skin prick test, the medical expert usually scratches your skin gently to test for any occurring allergy within 15 minutes of testing. The next test, very common for skin allergy testing, is an intradermal skin test where the allergen is injected into your skin to test for a reaction after a certain amount of time. Some doctors may suggest a specific IgE blood test which tells us how the blood reacts to the allergen, and the blood is tested under laboratory conditions. A patch test is fairly common too where a small amount of allergen is on your skin, and the doctor covers it with a small patch and leaves it for 2 to 4 days to check for any signs of rash or allergy.
Allergies are a reaction of the body’s natural defence mechanism when it encounters an allergen. Treatments depend on the severity of the allergy.
1. It is recommended that you avoid the allergen if you know you are allergic towards it.
2. Using counter-medicines or drugs to relieve the itching and the pain from the allergy.
Clients suffering from eczema are suggested not to scratch or rub their affected area as this may lead to secondary infection, which would require alternate medications to be resolved. Moisturising the skin with alcohol-free ingredients can soothe the skin. Avoid contact with fabric that may trigger the reactions. Using gentle soaps and shampoo works best for eczema.
Hives and angioedema, when acute, can be resolved using anti-histamine medication. Some people even carry an Epi-Pen as an emergency restitution. Chronic hives and angioedema need medical intervention and can be catered to only by medical professionals.
Allergic contact dermatitis resolves on its own within two or three weeks. If you come into contact with the supposed allergen, it is advised you immediately wash the area with water and soap to reduce the allergic reaction and follow up with our medical experts for further consultation. Calamine lotions have a wonderful soothing property and can help relieve the pain of itching and redness.