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Skin Allergies

There are some allergies that manifest mainly in the skin, like eczema, contact dermatitis and urticaria (hives). They can be collectively called skin allergies.

What causes skin allergies?

When the body is exposed to allergens it has been previously sensitized to, the allergens trigger an allergic reaction. The contact can happen at the skin surface as in contact dermatitis, or even by ingesting the allergen like in urticaria .The allergens cause the release of histamine and other compounds from allergy cells in the skin, which leads to the allergic symptoms like redness, swelling and itching. Examples of allergens include cosmetic preparations, household cleaners, clothing material, jewelry, some medications, food stuff like seafood, eggs or peanuts etc

How can attacks of skin allergy be prevented?

The single best method is to avoid the allergens completely ,of course after they have been identified .In contact dermatitis for example if there is an allergy towards cleaning solutions , allergic reactions may be prevented by either wearing special protective gloves or by using hypoallergenic cleaners .

Allergenic food types should be avoided completely, and when in restaurants or when buying complex food items, one should always ask or check if any of the known allergenic food types are included in the meal.

Treatment of skin allergy

Prompt treatment is the next best thing if allergic reaction occurs. There are generally 2 types of treatment:

  1. Acute severe reactions like severe urticaria require Adrenaline injections and anti-histamine, because the allergic reaction might develop into anaphylaxis which is a life threatening condition. The adrenaline shot might be obtained in the emergency room ,but it is always better for people prone to severe allergic reactions to carry an emergency adrenaline shot with them at all times .
  2. Chronic reactions like eczema and contact dermatitis require moisturizing creams, steroid ointments and anti-histamine treatment.


Submitted on January 16, 2014