About Coping With Skin Allergies
If you suffer from a skin allergy, then you don’t need to be told what a pain it can be. Skin allergies are the body’s natural reaction to specific trigger allergens and irritants.
Although there is no one set of universal allergens that trigger reactions in all humans, there are certainly a number of common ones. These include various metals, fragrances, plant oils, latex, and pets.
Various Types of Skin Allergies
Not every allergic reaction is the same as every other. In fact there are several different types of allergy to consider. One of the most common – and the one that most people tend to think of when they think of allergies – is contact dermatitis. Contact dermatitis occurs when your skin comes in contact with a given allergen and erupts in a red rash as a result. It can be caused by heat as well.
In fact, heat in and of itself can be a common trigger for rashes, irritation and different skin allergies. The same can be said for insect bites. Skin reactions can also be commonly caused by ingestion of foods you’re allergic to or exposure to plant compounds such as those found in poison ivy or poison sumac.
How to Deal With Your Allergies
The first order of business is to find out what’s causing your allergies so you can avoid it in the future. You may already know, but if you don’t, you can visit a doctor for testing.
Skin allergy testing is a method for medical diagnosis of allergies that attempts to provoke a small, controlled, allergic response.
A microscopic amount of an allergen is introduced to a patient’s skin by various means – usually a prick test or patch test. A prick test involves pricking the skin with a needle or pin containing a small amount of the allergen. A patch test requires applying a patch to the skin, where the patch contains the allergen.
Besides skin tests, there are blood tests which measure a specific antibody in the blood. The IgE antibody plays a vital role in allergies but its levels in blood do not always correlate with the allergic reaction.
Some rashes go away by themselves as soon as the allergen is removed. Others necessitate treatment. Specific causes of skin rashes include change in temperature, food allergens, sensitivity to certain drugs, pollens, dust, smoke, soap products, perfumes, lotions, and latex rubber.
Removal of the cause is the key to treating an allergic rash. Definitely make sure you take good care of your skin and use products recommended for allergy-prone people. Such products are often fragrance and allergen free in order to avoid exposing people to common triggers to skin allergies. It’s also important to make use of any prescription or topical medications your doctor may decide to recommend to you and use them as directed.
If you have questions about skin allergies contact your local doctor, who will arrange for you to see a dermatologist.