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Skin allergy is an abnormal reaction to contact with allergens. Allergic diseases result from the immune system over-reacting to ordinarily harmless substances (allergens) such as plants, pollen, and house dust mite. This immune response is called hypersensitivity. When these allergens are foreign proteins, they are usually referred to as antigens. Skin allergies or dermatitis frequently occur amongst people who work in the textile industry. Workers tend to be exposed to solid irritants like acid and alkali regularly. They are also exposed to fiber particles which can get lodged in the throat and under the skin, causing an allergic reaction. Early diagnosis and treatment can prevent chronic skin allergies from occurring or recurring.
What happens when you have a Skin Allergy?
Skin allergy occurs when the skin comes into contact with something to which it is allergic. Allergic reactions may occur after days, weeks, or more than a year of constant exposure to an allergen. Some substances cause immediate responses, while others do not produce symptoms until hours or even days later. If you have a skin allergy, every time you come into contact with your allergy substance (allergen), your immune system reacts by over-producing Immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies and Histamine. The IgE antibodies are proteins produced by the body when it detects something foreign that invades the body (an allergen). Histamine is a chemical produced by cells in the skin, mucous membranes, and respiratory tract. It causes allergy symptoms such as itching, burning, sneezing, swelling of tissues, or hives. When you have a skin allergy, your immune system over-reacts to an allergen. It produces excess amounts of IgE and histamines, which circulate throughout your body and eventually get deposited in specific areas such as blood vessels, causing them to swell up. These deposits disrupt blood flow to cells located under these blood vessels resulting in redness and swelling on the skin surface.
What can cause skin allergies?
Common allergens are Perspiration – this is the most common cause of skin allergies in people with excessive sweating. Some people develop an allergic reaction to sure deodorants or antiperspirants. If you have a skin allergy, it is essential to avoid these products and look for alternatives that don’t contain any chemicals which will irritate your skin.
Cleaning compounds and soaps – some cleaning agents contain harsh chemicals such as ammonia which can damage your skin if used frequently on the same area or over long periods. It can result in chemical burns and an increased risk of infection. Leaving the wounds untreated may eventually lead to the development of a permanent allergy.
Metals – nickel, chromium, cobalt, mercury, and tin are common metals that may cause skin allergies. These metals are used in various goods such as clothing, jewellery, and make-up items.
Latex-Latex is a common allergen that can be found in many types of rubber products, including tampons, condoms, gloves, balloons, and various other household items. Latex allergy is often caused by exposure to latex through the use of medical equipment.
Carpet glue – carpet glues contain chemicals called formaldehyde, which act as an irritant for sensitive people.
Laundry aids – some people develop skin allergies when they contact dry cleaning fluids, detergent enzymes, or perfumes used in these products.
Shoe leather – some people can be allergic to the chemicals used in making leather shoes.
What are common symptoms of a skin allergy?
The symptoms you experience will depend on whether you have an immediate or delayed reaction to your allergen and its severity. Immediate reactions usually happen within minutes or hours of coming into contact with an allergen and may include:
- Hives Rash (urticaria) Nettle rash Toxic erythema
- Swelling of eyelids, lips, hands, lower legs, feet
- Severe swelling called angioedema
- Flushing Redness
More severe reactions like breathing problems, low blood pressure and shock may also occur. Delayed reactions happen up to 48 hours after exposure and may include: Dry, scaly skin, Skin scaling/flaking Hives, or rash that looks like tiny blisters. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, make an appointment with a qualified skin doctor who can help identify the allergen causing your reaction and suggest appropriate treatment. The visible signs of skin allergy include rashes, swelling, itchiness, and red patches on the skin. Skin allergies may affect any part of the body, including eyelids, face, lips, genitals, hands, feet, etc.
Remember, it’s essential to pay attention to things that cause allergic reactions like foods (peanuts, seafood, strawberries, etc.), medications (aspirin, penicillin), and insect bites. Also, keep in mind that products that have been used previously on your skin without any problems may suddenly cause an allergic reaction once your immune system has become sensitive due to some other factor such as stress or illness.
How can I avoid developing skin allergies?
Avoiding exposure to allergens is the most effective way to prevent new allergies from developing and prevent the worsening of existing allergies.
- Avoid using products on your skin containing ingredients that may cause allergic reactions.
- Always read the labels of products before using them to identify any known allergens.
- If possible, avoid coming into contact with known allergens by wearing protective clothing such as gloves, masks, etc., especially when carrying out cleaning/dusting activities and handling chemicals regularly or for prolonged periods.
- If you develop skin allergies, avoid touching or scratching the affected area, leading to secondary bacterial infections.
- Substances that commonly cause skin allergies in sensitive people are detergents (anionic and non-ionic), fabric softeners, fragrances, latex, nickel sulfate, and glyceryl stearate SE and lanolin.
- Stay healthy by resting more, eating healthily, and exercising regularly to boost your immune system.
- See a qualified dermatologist immediately if you develop rashes on your skin, especially if the rashes are itchy or look infected.
How can I find out what I am allergic to?
It is difficult to determine precisely what you are allergic to because the symptoms of various skin allergies can be similar, and you may have multiple allergy sensitivities. You must see your doctor or dermatologist for a proper diagnosis.
Can you manage your skin allergy at home?
The management of your skin allergy involves avoiding the allergens that are causing it. In some cases, you may be able to avoid your allergen by changing the type of soap or cosmetic product that you use. In other cases, you will need to find an alternative product that does not contain any ingredients which cause allergic reactions. You will also need to carefully read the labels on products and packaging to know precisely what is in them before using them.
If a skin allergy worsens despite your best efforts, see a dermatologist who can prescribe appropriate medication depending on what triggers your symptoms (e.g., antihistamine pills, creams, or oral steroid medications). Avoiding further exposure to the allergen plays a crucial role in managing your skin allergy.
What are the possible complications of skin allergy?
Like most other types of allergies, skin allergies can cause a severe reaction known as anaphylaxis in some people. For this reason, anyone who has experienced more than one episode of breathing problems, low blood pressure, and loss of consciousness should carry an ‘anaphylaxis kit’ which contains adrenaline and other medication to treat such a reaction. If you have any questions or concerns about your skin allergy, please consult a dermatologist with expertise in this area.
What kind of doctor can help with a skin allergy?
A dermatologist is the best specialist for diagnosing and managing a skin allergy because they are familiar with all types of skin conditions and have expertise in dealing with this type of problem. They will ask you about your symptoms, medical history, and what products you are using or have used recently so that they can determine what type of product may be causing your problem. They will also look at your skin to determine if there are any visible signs of an allergic reaction, including hives, swelling, flushing, or rashes on the affected area. They may refer you to another doctor, such as an allergist who can test you for different allergies if necessary. In some cases, allergy tests may be needed (e.g., patch testing) and can be done by your doctor or dermatologist.
When to visit a doctor for skin allergy?
You should visit your doctor if:
- You have a rash or other noticeable skin changes that don’t improve with any products you try at home.
- You develop new rashes, hives, or swellings after using products containing fresh ingredients.
- You can get reactions when you use new products.
- There is a family history of allergies.
How does the doctor treat skin allergies?
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms, medical history, and what you are exposed to at work.
On examination, they may see signs of itchiness on the body where there are patches of different colored skin.
They may take small samples of your skin (biopsy), blood, and urine to help diagnose the problem.
If you are taking certain medications, they must be stopped before you have any tests not to affect the results. Your doctor will advise when it is safe for you to start retaking them after the test results come back. They usually need a few weeks after stopping a course of antibiotics before testing is carried out because antibiotics can change some test results.
Your doctor may recommend one or more of the following treatments:
- Avoiding irritants such as soap or perfume until your condition is under control Washing with milder products like plain or unperfumed bar soap.
- Drinking plenty of fluids if you are dehydrated (your doctor can check this with blood tests).
- Applying cool compresses or ice packs to reduce the swelling.
- Taking antihistamines orally to stop a skin allergy reaction.
- Steroid creams and ointments are applied directly to your skin.
- Antihistamine tablets, in some cases oral steroid medication
If you have a severe reaction that is difficult to treat under other circumstances.
Some people may need stronger treatments such as Phototherapy treatment which involves being exposed to specific amounts of natural sunlight or artificial ultraviolet light from sun lamps, tanning beds, or very specialized lamps given by mouth for those who cannot use any form of ultraviolet light. This treatment usually only needs a few weeks before it affects the skin condition.
The immunosuppressant medication suppresses the symptoms of a skin allergy (e.g., prednisolone) and is taken for many months.
Immunotherapy treatment is where you are given tiny amounts of the specific substance that your body has developed an allergy to in order to improve your immune system’s response. This treatment takes months (years in some cases) and may be used alongside phototherapy or immunosuppressant medications.
What complications can happen with skin allergies?
Skin allergies can cause discomfort and distress, but most resolve within a few weeks or months without any lasting problems if they are treated quickly.
In rare cases, skin allergies can become severe such as Eczema herpeticum – this is when an infection from herpes simplex virus spreads to an area that already has eczema.
Allergic vasculitis – this is where there is inflammation of blood vessels in the skin, causing redness and itching or swelling of the affected area. This condition can occur at any age but is more common in men over 40 years old. It may be caused by certain medications, including aspirin and the antimalarial drug chloroquine.
Can Homeopathy treat skin allergy?
Homeopathy for skin allergy offers a wide range of natural homeopathic remedies for skin allergies. Homeopathic treatment for skin allergy helps to cure the root cause without any side effects and symptoms relief within a few days and gives long-term results when kept up continuously till the time course is completed.
Apart from this, individualized homeopathic treatment for skin allergy plans are given based on the patient’s age, hormonal status (if pregnant or not), other existing diseases (if any) to make it more effective. Dr Batras homeopathy clinic provide the allergy treatment in same manner.
Homeopathic medicines for skin allergies are non-toxic, safe, and do not cause any adverse effect on a patient’s health even if taken continuously without stopping so that patients can take them as regular medication as an alternative to allopathic treatment drugs.
Skin allergies can cause much discomfort and distress, especially if the reaction becomes severe. It would help if you visit Dr Batras homeopahty doctor to diagnose your skin allergy and recommend suitable treatment.
If you are looking for any help regarding skin allergies, book a consultation with our expert Homeopathic Doctors through OHO Homeopathy.