Skin allergies are of several types. But all rashes that itch are not always allergic. When you have allergic skin condition quite often, you will have symptoms like itchy, swollen, red and bumpy skin. The most common skin rashes that are allergic include:
Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema)
Atopic dermatitis or eczema is a common allergic reaction that frequently occurs on face, knees, and elbows in young children and often continues till they become adults. People with family history of allergy also can suffer from eczema. This red, itchy and scaly rash occurs where an affected person scratches.
Among infants, rash occurs on scalp, cheek or chest where the child often scratches. Older children and others mostly have rashes on the skin folds of knees and elbows. But rashes can also occur on neck, face, back, feet, hands, or anywhere else.
What Causes Eczema?
The rash appears red and can have flakes or discharges from small blisters or bumps. Due to aggressive scratching, the infection can flare up. Atopic dermatitis is actually not a type of rash that itches; rather it is itch that becomes a rash, when scratched. So the main target should be to control the itching. When there is no itch, there will be no scratching and eventually there will be no rash.
Triggers For Itching
Generally children with dermatitis often suffer from other allergic disease like asthma and rhinitis. The allergy is triggered when it comes in contact with dust, harsh soaps, chemicals wool, and cat dander or by sweating or overheating. Emotional stress among adults can also flare up the allergy.
Among infants and children, certain foods can aggravate this skin allergy. People suffering with this skin allergy mostly have very dry skin and often have “allergic shiner”, which is an extra crease across eyelids known as Dannie’s line. Children with atopic dermatitis are also vulnerable to other skin infections. To prevent itch, the allergic person should avoid use of harsh soaps, chemicals, wear cotton clothes and keep the skin cool and dry.
There is no laboratory test available to diagnose this skin condition. Diagnosis of atopic dermatitis is simply made by family history of patient and physical examination. If symptoms of itching and scratching are not present, then it is assumed that patient is not suffering from atopic dermatitis.
People with atopic dermatitis are quite susceptible to other bacterial, fungal or viral skin infections. A common skin bacterium known as staphylococcus aureus can worsen the condition.
Virus that causes chicken pox, herpes infections, and shingles can cause harm and lead to serious skin infection to a person suffering from atopic dermatitis. Foods that trigger allergy and direct contact with irritants like dust, mites and animal dander should be avoided as they can worsen the condition.
Treatment And Prevention
Preventing scratching and itching is the main aim of the treatment. To prevent itching, apply creams and ointments available for eczema. Also apply cold compress. Try to avoid direct contact with any irritants that aggravate the condition.
Also find out and eliminate the food that cause recurrent allergy. Consult a skin specialist if infection reoccurs. Doctors mostly prescribe topical medication and inhibitors for treating eczema. They often recommend antihistamines to reduce itchiness. If skin staph infection is assumed to be the cause of eczema flare up, then doctors can prescribe antibiotics. .
Urticaria, also known as hives are red, itchy and swollen rash that can occur to any one at any age. They usually appear in clusters suddenly in various shapes and size and leaves quickly within minutes or few hours. Many people have suffered from hives at least once.
What Causes Hives?
Hives can be triggered by any medicine or food. The most common foods that often trigger hives include peanuts, almonds, and walnuts. Besides these, shellfish like, crab, oyster, and shrimp can cause hives in some people. Some medications that can cause hives are aspirin, sulfa, penicillin, and phenobarbital.
Some types of hives can be triggered without any allergy. They generally appear when an activity increases the body temperature like exercise, hot bath, emotional stress or fever.
After the rise of body temperature, when the body gets cooled, these types of hives occur. In the same way, after the skin is exposed to cold wind or water, cold-induced hives can occur. They mostly appear on mouth or lips. Similarly solar hives occurs when skin is exposed to sunlight or sun lamp.
When hives affect a person daily or frequently and continues longer than a month, it is called “chronic urticaria”. Though it is not trigger by allergy, yet allergists can evaluate the problem and offer best treatment.
Treatment of Hives
It is best to avoid the foods and medication that triggers hives. When hives reoccurs frequently, allergist prescribes antihistamines to treat the symptoms.
Contact dermatitis is a rash or irritation that is caused on the skin when skin comes in contact with a certain foreign substance. Substances that often trigger contact dermatitis in many people include certain cleaning solution, detergents, some metals, poisonous plants like poison ivy, chemicals, cosmetics, nickel, dyes, rubber (LATEX), perfumes, certain foods and the like.
When irritants come in contact with skin, they are more painful than itchy. Longer the skin remains in contact with the irritant, the more severe will be the reaction. People working in cleaning, hairdressing, metal and chemical engineering industries, and horticulture often develop contact dermatitis.
The substance that causes inflammation should be avoided by using gloves or in other ways. Since these inflammations are non- allergic, avoiding the irritants can prevent damage of the skin and provide relief.
Allergic contact dermatitis is often caused by touching poison ivy plant, which results in development of itchy red blisters on the skin. Allergic reaction can occur after 25 to 48 hours after coming in contact with irritants. The reaction goes away after 15 to 30 days even after treatment. Cold compress or soak can provide some relief at early stage. To identify the substance that has caused reaction, allergists often perform patch tests.
Right care can help you to feel better. For accurate diagnosis, visit the office of an allergist. He will provide you proper evaluation and a treatment plan to manage skin allergies.