Skin Allergies: What You Need to Know
Any number of factors can irritate skin ranging from immune system disorders, medications and infections. An allergic skin condition is defined as an allergen triggering an immune system response.
Here are the more common types of skin allergies & their reactions:
Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema)
Eczema is the most common skin condition, affecting 1 in 5 babies, but is far less common among adults. Researchers say the “leakiness” of the skin barrier makes it to dry out and become vulnerable to painful swelling & become irritated by many environmental factors such as:
- Food sensitivity or allergy
- Genetic factors
- Asthma, allergic rhinitis (hay fever)
Allergic Contact Dermatitis
When your skin touches an allergen such as nickel you may develop red, bumpy, scaly, itchy or swollen skin at the point of contact. For instance, jewellery that contains a tiny amount of nickel may cause a severe reaction.
In Photoallergic Contact Dermatitis, an allergen may not cause a skin reaction until the skin is exposed to sunlight. It can occur with products such as shaving lotion, sunscreen and some perfumes.
Hives are caused when the immune system releases histamine making small blood vessels to leak & the skin to swell.
Acute urticaria - occurs after eating a particular food or coming in contact with a particular allergy trigger. It can also be triggered by non-allergic causes such as heat or exercise, as well as medications, foods, insect bites or infections.
Chronic urticaria - There is no known cause or identifiable trigger & allergy tests don’t help. It may last for months or years. Hives can’t be passed on to people, but are uncomfortable and painful for the sufferer.
Hereditary Angiodema (HAE)
A rare & serious genetic condition where the hands, feet, face, intestinal wall and airways swell up. It doesn’t respond to conventional medicines like antihistamines or adrenaline & a dermatologist must be consulted immediately.
Immunologists, allergists & dermatologists are specially trained with the expertise to correctly identify the skin allergy type and provide relief for your symptoms.