We are born with 5 sense organs, and skin is the largest of them all. It gives the first reflex to pain, burning, itchiness, cuts, bruises, pigmentation, inflammation, or dying skin cells causing dark patches of skin. But little do we know that these are the skin’s response to factors that cause them. These factors can be the presence of antibodies entering our body through air, food, or water. Or due to allergens that the skin comes in contact with. Or the state of our mental health.
The skin ailments can be so irksome that a visit to a dermatologist becomes mandatory, says Dr. Archit Agarwal, one of the best dermatologists in Faridabad you will find. He is the founder of KDC clinic.
KDC clinic is well known for skin and hair treatments, including hair transplants.
Today he speaks about one of the prime reasons patients visit his clinic very often – skin allergies. He talks about skin allergies, how you notice them when it is crucial for you to see a doctor and how he treats these allergies.
So, let’s start at the very beginning.
What is Skin Allergy?
A skin allergy occurs when the skin gets inflamed due to the immune system’s reaction to an innocuous substance. It is known as an allergic reaction. A reaction to an allergen might result in hives, rash, itching, burning, redness, pimples, and swelling. Multiple allergens can create an allergic reaction.
Types of Skin Allergies:
The following are the most prevalent allergic skin conditions:
Angioedema is swelling deep in the skin. It typically affects the neck, eyelids, and lips and is frequently accompanied by hives.
Atopic dermatitis, often known as eczema, is characterized by dry skin, easily irritated, and itchy. It is the most prevalent allergic skin disorder, and children are more susceptible to it.
Eczema is associated with both genetic (parental inheritance) and environmental variables. It is linked to seasonal allergies, food allergies, and asthma. Certain meals, lotions, soaps, stress, and cold and dry air can trigger an eczema outbreak.
Contact Dermatitis: When the skin comes in contact with something that triggers an allergic reaction, contact dermatitis occurs. For instance, some individuals are allergic to nickel and will experience a skin response if jewelry containing nickel touches their skin. Poison ivy reaction is another example. Numerous individuals experience an allergic reaction to the oil of poison ivy and poison oak.
Urticaria, often known as hives, is an allergic reaction that causes raised bumps on the skin. These are sometimes known as welts or wheals. You may develop hives after consuming an allergenic food. In response to the allergen, the body produces histamine, which causes pimples. In addition to allergies, other causes of hives include bug bites.
If your skin condition is irking you, please can look for the best dermatologist in Faridabad if you stay in the area.
Dr. Archit warns about the signs and symptoms you should look for in case of skin allergies.
Symptoms of a skin allergy vary according to the type of allergic reaction:
- Angioedema is a form of inflammation. Angioedema on the eyelid, for instance, might cause the eye to swell shut. It is an emergency when it occurs in the throat because the swelling makes it difficult to breathe.
- Eczema results in a rash that is itchy, scaly, red, and dry, particularly on the knees, face, hands, and elbows. At times, eczema also produces clear fluid. The rash caused by allergic contact dermatitis is sometimes itchy and may cause pain. There may be both blisters and raised bumps in the inflammation. The reaction may occur immediately or up to 48 hours after the skin was exposed to the substance causing it to react.
- Hives are raised, flat, itchy, and potentially sensitive bumps. A rash is an indication of a possibly severe allergic reaction.
When to See a Physician
AS emphasized by Dr. Archit, one of the best dermatologists in India, both angioedema and hives may indicate a severe allergic reaction. Proceed to the nearest emergency room if:
- You have hives across your entire body.
- You are beginning to have difficulty breathing.
See a physician if:
- You develop a skin rash that persists for two to three weeks.
- You require assistance in managing your eczema symptoms.
- Your rash is oozing pus or is bleeding; it appears infected.
- You suspect you may have a previously unknown allergy.
Evaluation and Tests
To identify a skin allergy, your physician may:
Ask questions about your skin, symptoms, and frequency of occurrence.
Examine your skin. The doctor may also examine your chest, eyes, nose, and throat for allergic symptoms.
Sometimes, the doctor may be able to diagnose specific allergies without making you take the allergy test. Still, when they doubt the allergen factor, they might ask you to undergo specific tests and ask you to keep a tab on what you eat or drink daily. If you get the allergy again, it will be a determining factor.
Suggest allergy testing:
Some of the tests that the best dermatologist in Faridabad will suggest are:
- Skin puncture test. The doctor carries out this test by applying a suspected allergen to it and then lightly scraping the area for the allergen to enter the skin. Within 15 minutes, if your body reacts to it, you will typically get itching, rash, and redness. A hive may also be observed. This indicates an allergy, mainly if the hive is substantial. The skin prick test is only one indicator for you and your doctor, as your skin can be affected by substances to which it is not allergic. Even if your skin reacts, this does not necessarily indicate an allergy.
- Under-the-skin (intradermal) skin test: The doctor administers dermal allergen injections to check for allergies. If the skin prick tests is unindicative of allergy and the doctor is still sure that it’s an allergy.
- Blood tests (specific IgE). Your blood sample is injected with the suspected allergen in a lab and tested for IgE, an antibody produced by your blood that attacks allergens. Unfortunately, this test is not always accurate because it frequently indicates an allergy when there is none. The term for this is “false positive.”
- Challenge test. The purpose of this test is to detect food or medication allergies. You breathe in or ingest a little quantity of allergen at the doctor’s office so they can assess your reaction. The doctor is present to monitor and assist in the event of a life-threatening reaction.
- Patch check. This test determines the presence of allergic contact dermatitis. The physician applies a small quantity of allergen to the affected area, covers it with a bandage, and allows it to sit for two to four days. The doctor looks for symptoms of a response, typically a rash directly beneath the bandage.
Treatments to Skin Allergies:
Based on the findings of the tests, the treatment for skin allergy varies but typically includes two approaches:
- If the allergen is known, avoid it.
- Medications, creams, and other methods are used to lessen itching, swelling, and pain.
Below are treatment guidelines for each type of allergic skin reaction.
Several times per day, moisturize the skin using an ointment or lotion with no alcohol, aroma, or dye. Utilize this lotion or ointment immediately following a bath while the skin is still damp to avoid rubbing, scraping, and scratching.
Avoid skin contact with wool and lanolin. Lanolin is present in some skin care products.
Use mild shampoos and soaps.
Take brief baths or showers with water that is not too hot. Lukewarm water is kinder on the skin.
Urticaria and angioedema
Always carry an antihistamine or an epi-pen if you are susceptible to acute (sudden) hives and swelling.
Try to avoid the allergen that produced the reaction in the future
Keep a tab on what causes your reactions and avoid them cautiously.
Keep your skin cool and wear loose and comfortable clothing.
Contact allergic dermatitis
Allergic contact dermatitis takes almost 14 to 28 days to heal.
Wash off your skin with soap and water if your skin has come in contact with an allergen.
Itching and soreness can be partially alleviated with calamine lotion and cool compresses. Additionally, oatmeal baths can be used to calm the skin.
The doctor may prescribe an antihistamine or cortisone to aid in the healing of the rash. Still, it will probably take at least two weeks for the rash to disappear.
The best strategy to prevent allergic skin reactions is to identify and avoid the allergen that causes them. Consider allergies that come into direct contact with the skin, such as deodorants, soap, shower gels, hair products, makeup, and lotions. In addition to causing allergic responses, foods and medications can produce hives and inflammation.
Keep the skin hydrated and avoid the triggers of eczema flare-ups.