Best Guide Allergies Symptoms, Reaction, Treatment & Management (1)

Best Guide Allergies: Symptoms, Reaction, Treatment & Management

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Skin allergies cause an allergic reaction when the immune system reacts to something harmful. Various allergens can cause allergies, such as pollens, plants, foods, certain medications, etc. Itching, hives, redness, and other skin conditions are common. Sometimes, their cause is not easily identified. Sometimes, it can be caused by a medical condition like chickenpox or measles. An allergist can diagnose the cause of allergies. There are many preventative methods and treatment options for treating allergies. Allergies are a common health problem. When the body’s immune system reacts against a foreign substance or allergen, it is called an allergy. Many people do not have this reaction. Allergies can manifest with differing degrees of severity, a unique experience for each individual. Allergies can range from mild to life-threatening conditions, like anaphylaxis. Most allergies cannot be cured, but there are treatments to help relieve symptoms.

What is an allergy?

Allergies-Treatment-Management

Allergies are one of the most common conditions seen worldwide. Allergy symptoms can be mild, or they can even be life-threatening in some people. Considered a rare disease at the beginning of the 20th century, allergies have recently emerged as a growing health problem. Research shows that allergies cause daily problems for 20% of the European population. They fear that asthma or anaphylactic attacks will attack them or even cause death from exposure to allergens. The World Health Organisation reports that 10 to 40% of people in any country have allergies. In a person, allergies usually occur at the peak of their life, due to which they waste a lot of time every day. The impact of allergies is also increasing in India. Reports show that 20 to 30% of the Indian population suffers from various types of allergic diseases, such as asthma, rhinitis, food allergies, eczema, urticaria, anaphylaxis, and angioedema. What is an allergy? A malfunction of our body’s immune system is an allergy, where the immune system becomes overactive. An allergy is a reaction of the body’s defence system against a foreign substance. For other people, that external object is not harmful. In healthy people, the body’s immune system fights off invading microbes. But in people with allergic diseases, the immune system becomes overactive against harmless foreign substances called allergens. People who have allergies are sensitive to multiple substances. Both environmental and genetic factors play an important role in allergic diseases.

What is a skin allergy?

A skin allergy is a condition where the immune system reacts to certain harmful substances and identifies them as allergens. The skin experiences a reaction when it comes into contact with a specific substance to which it is allergic. Exposure can be through direct contact, ingestion, inhalation, or injection. Medically, all types of skin allergies are called hypersensitivity reactions. One that manifests as an immediate reaction is called a type 1 hypersensitivity reaction, and one that has a delayed onset is called a type 4 hypersensitivity reaction.

What are the types of skin allergies?

have certain types of skin allergies; some of them include:

  • Fungus or hives
  • Atopic dermatitis
  • Contact allergic dermatitis
  • Bladder or hives

Urticaria, commonly known as hives, is a type 1 hypersensitivity reaction caused by the antibody IgE (immunoglobulin E). It can be caused by various antigens that occur internally (e.g., from an infection inside the body) or from an external source.

Internal factors that cause hives include:

  • Bacterial infections such as upper respiratory tract infections or urinary tract infections
  • Infections such as amoebiasis or giardiasis
  • Systemic diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus are referred to as SLE (chronic autoimmune disorder).

External factors that cause hives include:

  • Inhalants: pollen, animal dander, plant hair
  • Food: eggs, seafood, meat, and vegetables
  • Medicines: penicillin and over-the-counter pain relievers
  • Physical agents: heat, cold, or injury

Symptoms of hives

Some symptoms of hives include:

  • The dermis (deeper layer of the skin) swells due to the dilation of blood vessels.
  • Swelling of the lips
  • Itching is common.
  • May notice respiratory symptoms, such as runny nose, shortness of breath, and shortness of breath with skin eruptions.
  • You may notice chest heaviness and abdominal pain.

Diagnosis of hives

The doctor will ask for a detailed history of the onset, type, and duration of symptoms. Routine tests like blood, urine, and stool tests are also done. Your healthcare provider might suggest a skin test as well.

Treatment of hives

Prevention is better than cure—this adage is true when it comes to hives.
If you’re aware of the allergen, make every effort to steer clear of it. For example, if nickel-containing synthetic jewelry triggers allergies, choose your jewelry carefully. If you know you are likely to break out due to allergen exposure, take an antihistamine (anti-allergic). You can choose an over-the-counter medication containing chlorpheniramine or diphenhydramine.
If a very small area of skin is affected, topically applied steroid ointment (hydrocortisone) will help. You can also try calamine lotion, as it has a soothing effect on irritated skin.
Using cold compresses and applying ice can provide a short-term remedy. Avoid hot water in cases of hives, as it worsens the condition.
If the hives are caused by stress or emotional turmoil, try drinking peppermint or chamomile tea to calm the nerves.

Preventive measures for hives Some preventative measures for hives include:

  •  Identify your triggers, such as pet dander, pollen, dust, certain food items, and medications, and avoid them as much as possible.
  •  Wear loose clothing made of cotton.
  •  Remember to follow your doctor’s instructions for taking your medication..
  • Soothe your skin by bathing and applying moisturiser as needed.
  • Atopic dermatitis

If you have atopic dermatitis, stay away from irritants like dust, cigarette smoke, wool, and synthetic fibres.

What is atopic dermatitis?

‘Dermatitis’ means inflammation of the skin, and ‘atopic’ refers to hereditary diseases that often occur together.

Atopic dermatitis is a skin allergy in which a person has an increased reaction to common and mild environmental factors. In atopic dermatitis, the person experiences severe itching and inflammation of the skin. It is also called eczema (a general term used for many skin inflammations). Atopic dermatitis often occurs with other atopic diseases such as hay fever, allergic rhinitis (allergic cold), and asthma.

Causes of atopic dermatitis

It is usually observed in children and is not very common in adults.

Combination of genetic and environmental factors.
Soaps and cosmetics, synthetic or woollen fabrics, and chemicals found in extreme temperatures
Emotional factors such as stress are also known to trigger these skin allergies.

Symptoms of atopic dermatitis

Dry, itchy, and red skin form the most common symptoms. Someone dealing with atopic dermatitis may endure intense itching.. Scratching in response to this only worsens the skin inflammation, making the itching worse.

In children, acute eczema is characterised by red, raised lesions, crusting, and weeping on the face, scalp, chest, and extremities. In severe cases, it spreads to other areas as well.

In children, severe eczema with skin pigmentation usually occurs, especially on the back of the knees and elbows.

In adolescents and adults, chronic eczematous lesions such as thickening and prominent markings are seen.

Common skin irritations for those with atopic dermatitis

Some skin irritations include:

  • Wool, animal fur, or synthetic fibres
  • Soaps and detergents
  • Irritants like mineral oil and chlorine
  • Dust
  • Cigarette smoke

Diagnosis of atopic dermatitis

Atopic dermatitis is easily diagnosed through physical examination. Characteristic features of the condition, such as severe itching, rash in characteristic areas such as the knees and elbows, a family history or history of atopy, and recurrent dermatitis, can help confirm this.

Treatment of atopic dermatitis

  • Avoid contact with allergens if known.
  • Applying steroid cream externally to the affected area is recommended.
  • Initially, a stronger steroid should be used to break the itch-scratch-itch cycle.
  • For long-term use, you should use a mild steroid cream such as hydrocortisone.

Preventive measures for atopic dermatitis

Some preventative measures for atopic dermatitis include:

Protect your skin from dryness. Don’t forget to apply moisturiser at least two to three times a day.
Discover your specific triggers and make every effort to minimize your exposure to them.
Do not take long showers, and remember to use lukewarm water.
The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends bleach baths to prevent skin rashes.
Be sure to use mild soap.

Contact allergic dermatitis

Artificial or costume jewellery can cause or trigger dermatitis in some. If you are one of them, it would be better to avoid wearing it.

What is contact allergic dermatitis?

Allergic dermatitis, abbreviated as CAD, is an inflammation of the skin caused by exposure to an irritant or allergen. This is classified as a type 4 hypersensitivity reaction. It is a listed occupational disease in most parts of the world, as the chemical, paint, and plastics industries are susceptible to it.

Common allergens associated with contact dermatitis

Some common allergens associated with contact dermatitis include:

  • A particular type of grass, Parthenium (colloquially known as Congress grass), found abundantly in India, is notorious for causing dermatitis.
  • Leather goods, artificial jewellery, or any metal, including nickel, plastic, hair dye, etc.
  • Dyes or chemicals used in industry
  • Airborne allergens such as pollen or industrial dust
  • Topical antibacterial ointment containing neomycin or nitrofurazone
  • Rubber or latex (people with a latex allergy may also be allergic to bananas, avocados, kiwi fruit, and chestnuts because the proteins in them are similar to latex).
  • Cosmetics
  • Soaps and detergents
  • Clothes

Symptoms of contact dermatitis

Symptoms can be acute or long-lasting (chronic).

As a rule, it affects the backs of the hands and fingers, and the hands are more affected than the palms. Other exposed areas, such as the face, legs, and underarms, can also be affected.
Itching
Redness and inflammation of the exposed area
Skin lesions or rashes

Allergies Symptoms, Reaction, Treatment & Management

Diagnosing contact allergic dermatitis

To diagnose allergic contact dermatitis, doctors utilize a skin patch test. In this examination, a tiny quantity of the suspected allergen is placed on the patient’s back, and the outcome is assessed after 48 hours. If a swelling or raised spot appears, the test confirms an allergy to the substance.

Treatment of allergic contact dermatitis

Initial treatment includes washing the irritated, exposed area with water.
To keep allergic contact dermatitis at bay, contact with that allergen must be identified and thereby avoided.
Cold compresses and soothing anti-itch lotions and creams with calamine may help.

Prophylactic measures for contact dermatitis

  • Identify your skin irritants and keep a safe distance from them.
  • Wash the affected areas thoroughly using a mild soap.
  • Protect your hands by wearing gloves while handling cleaning agents and dishwashing liquids.
  • Use a protective gel or cream to protect your skin.
  • Apply moisturiser when your skin feels dry or when needed.
  • Be sure to wear protective clothing when playing with pets.

Prevent skin allergies.

Dust mites are a common cause of many allergies, so vacuum your house regularly to keep dust mites under control. A strong immune system is better equipped to fight allergies. So, work towards that.

Stress can cause certain types of skin allergies. Incorporate meditation and physical exercise into your daily routine to reduce stress. If you have a history of allergies, carry an epinephrine injection (used to treat life-threatening allergic reactions) and learn how to use it. It can be life-saving if the reaction is very severe.

Home Remedies for Skin Allergies

Explore these well-established solutions to find relief for skin allergies:

  • Oatmeal: Oatmeal contains anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that can help you relieve itching caused by an allergic reaction. The best ways to incorporate oatmeal include taking oatmeal baths and poultices.
  • Baking soda: It has anti-inflammatory properties. It can help you balance your skin’s pH levels while calming skin allergies. You can apply baking soda paste to the affected area or consider a baking soda bath.
  • Herbs and Plants: There are a variety of herbs and plants that you can use to get relief from skin rashes or allergic reactions on your skin, including aloe Aloe vera, neem, tulsi, persimmon leaf extract, stinging nettle, and chamomile.

When to consult a doctor?

Skin diseases often go away on their own or with simple home remedies. However, if your symptoms persist, make sure to contact your doctor as soon as possible. Your doctor will identify the root of your problem and treat it accordingly.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How do I get rid of skin allergies?

You can consider applying an oatmeal bath, cold compress, freshly extracted aloe vera gel, coconut oil, or baking soda to get rid of skin rashes. However, if home remedies don’t work and symptoms persist or worsen, see your doctor.

What to do with skin allergies?

For relief from skin allergies, consider using ointments and creams such as hydrocortisone or calamine to help ease discomfort. In some cases, antihistamines can work wonders. You can also try other solutions like using cold compresses or enjoying baths with ingredients such as baking soda or oatmeal for added relief. However, do not forget to consult your doctor, as he will provide you with the right treatment according to the nature of your skin disease.

How can you identify the type of skin allergy?

Redness, pain, itching, and inflammation are some of the common signs and symptoms of skin allergies. Therefore, it may be difficult for you to identify the type of skin allergy you have. Therefore, it is highly recommended to visit your doctor if your symptoms worsen.

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