Red, bumpy, scaly, itchy, swollen skin….any of these symptoms can signify an allergic skin condition.
These skin problems can be caused by a range of different things: animals, plants, medicines, foods, jewelery or even your clothes.
Generally these attacks that are brought on by the unfortunate intersection of allergies and skin rashes fall into one of two categories: dermal allergies and systemic allergies that present as skin rashes.
What are the most common allergens?
Pollen from trees, grass and weeds. Allergies that occur in the spring (late April and May) are often due to tree pollen.
Mold. Mold is common where water tends to collect, such as shower curtains, window moldings and damp basements.
Causes Skin Allergies
Dust mites, cockroaches, molds and animal dander, are examples of year-around allergens.
Tree, grass and ragweed pollens are primarily seasonal outdoor allergens. Seasonal pollens depend on wind for cross-pollination. Plants that depend on insect pollination, such as goldenrod and dandelions, do not usually cause allergic rhinitis.
Allergy is caused by an oversensitive immune system, which leads to a misdirected immune response. The immune system normally protects the body against harmful substances, such as bacteria and viruses. It reacts to substances (allergens) that are generally harmless and in most people do not cause a problem.
Grass and tree pollens
Dust mites (living in and feeding on house dust)
Food (cow’s milk, hen eggs, wheat, soya, seafood, fruit and nuts)
Fungal or mould spores (in the bathroom and other damp areas)
Poison ivy is the classic example of acute ACD in North America. ACD from poison ivy is characterized by linear streaks of acute dermatitis that develop where plant parts have been in direct contact with the skin.
Symptoms Skin Allergies
Pimples, blackheads, whiteheads, pustules, and some skin cysts are markers of acne. Get up to speed on acne symptoms
Allergic shiners – the dark circles children with allergies often get under their eyes
An allergic salute common in children – the upward tilt of the nose with a crease on top, caused by the child’s continual upward swiping at an itchy nose.
Another skin condition, urticaria (hives), is often considered a symptom of allergies, but not all urticaria is caused by an allergic response. Allergic urticaria is often related to drug, food, or latex allergies, but many times it is not known what triggers the urticaria.
wheezing, noisy breathing or shortness of breath
rash or redness of the skin
loss of consciousness
Treatment Skin Allergies
Antihistamines like diphenhydramine, chlortrimeton, or loratadine (Clari tin, Clari tin RediTabs, Al avert); and moisturizing lotions.
Keep windows and doors closed during heavy pollination seasons.
Use the air conditioner in the house and car.
Rid the home of indoor plants and other sources of mildew.
Gargle with warm salt water to help reduce swelling and relieve discomfort:
Gargle at least once each hour with 1 tsp (5 g) of salt dissolved in 8 fl oz of warm water.
Use acaricide (a chemical that kills house-dust mites) or a tannic acid solution (solution that neutralizes the allergen in mite droppings).