As you go through your day, you encounter a wide variety of substances, including the objects you touch, the food you eat, and even things floating in the air. Sometimes, these may result in an adverse reaction known as an allergy. Have you ever had a rash or persistent itchiness? If this has happened to you, you may have skin allergies.
Types of Skin Allergies
Skin allergies are classified by their location and what causes the allergic reaction. Here are several types of skin allergies and what you need to know about them.
A condition that can develop at any age, especially during infancy, atopic dermatitis is the most common skin allergy type. It is also often referred to as eczema. Red, itchy rashes usually begin to appear at the elbows, knees, and neck. It may spread all over the body in more severe cases.
Eczema is a chronic condition. It usually persists throughout a patient’s life, and there is no available cure yet. Other symptoms may include drying of the skin, hay fever, leaking fluid from bumps due to the rashes, severe itchiness especially at night time, and swollen skin.
Contact dermatitis has similar symptoms to atopic dermatitis, such as dry skin, red and itchy rashes, and swollen skin. However, this is not a lifelong condition and usually goes away after several weeks of medication. It only occurs when the skin comes in contact with an irritant and can occur anywhere on the body.
Seborrheic dermatitis targets oily areas on the body, such as the scalp and the face. Instead of rashes, red, scaly, and dandruff-like patches appear in the problem areas. While proper hygiene is usually enough to treat seborrheic dermatitis, your doctor may recommend over-the-counter creams. They might also give you prescription medication if it resists treatment.
The skin may develop an extreme sensitivity to heat, causing a heat rash. Heat rashes occur when the pores are blocked with sweat, resulting in small bumps and lumps that can become itchy and inflamed. Depending on the rash’s severity, medical care may not be needed as heat rashes typically subside once you cool off. However, if they worsen or don’t disappear after a few days, you may require medical attention.
Urticaria or hives is a skin condition wherein raised, red bumps of various shapes and sizes appear, especially when the skin is exposed to an irritant or allergen. Both hives and contact dermatitis are caused by touching an allergen. Unlike contact dermatitis, hives usually disappear after 24 hours. However, a patient may have chronic hives, in which the rashes return over several days or even weeks.
What Causes Skin Allergies?
Substances that trigger skin allergies are usually harmless to most people. However, since every individual is built differently, some people develop sensitivity to the things listed below.
Often found in cosmetics, perfumes, bath products, and other personal care products, fragrances are almost everywhere. However, the chemicals in some fragrances can cause skin allergies for some people.
Dyes are also usually present in cosmetics such as hair dye and other personal care products. They are often added to bring color, but they can also often irritate the skin.
3. Airborne Allergens
Things like dust, pollen, and fungus spores can also cause skin allergies in several people. These are very tiny particles that may enter the pores of the skin and irritate it.
Metals are not inert substances and can cause chemical reactions. Some of the most common metals that can cause a skin allergy are a nickel, chrome, and mercury, often found in jewelry.
Almost any chemical can cause an allergic reaction, and medicines are no exception. Topical ointments and medications are some of the most common possible causes of skin allergies. You may also experience an allergic reaction to some antibiotics.
Some plants contain or excrete chemicals that are allergens for some people. For example, rashes caused by poison ivy are an allergic reaction to an oily resin called urushiol.
Skin Allergy Treatment in Northeastern Illinois
Skin allergies have a wide variety of triggers. Most of the time, they go away on their own. However, allergic reactions may worsen, so it is best to see a doctor for medical advice and treatment for your allergy symptoms.
At Oak Brook Allergists, you can be assured of exceptional service and care, especially when it comes to skin allergies. We have four locations in Illinois, catering to both adult and pediatric patients. For questions or concerns, you may call our main office at (630) 574-0460 or request an appointment online.