We are all acquainted with the problem of allergies, those rashes accompanied by vigorous scratching. At first, the problem may not seem too serious, but gradually, it manifests itself in its most troublesome avatar. The problem of allergies may grow to such a point that it may affect our everyday life in various ways. Further, allergies are also known to cause severe fevers and impose several kinds of disabilities upon you. On the other hand, even if the allergies are too severe, you should consult the doctor as early as possible.
But why do skin allergies occur in the first place? Well, for the layman, it should suffice to know that they occur when the immune system responds to an allergen. At times, the immune system, when it incorrectly identifies substances or even certain parts of the body as a threat, causes an allergic reaction of the skin reaction to occur. This allergic reaction manifests in the form of red scratchy patches on the skin. In this blog, we tell you the different skin allergies, their causes and treatments and what measures you can take to relieve yourself from their repeated occurrence.
Eczema occurs when the skin does not retain enough moisture, thus causing the skin to become extremely dry, itchy and inflamed. In addition, the skin becomes scaly and cracked. This kind of allergy usually makes its occurrence in the creases of the arms and legs. This chronic skin allergy also goes through various periods of flare-ups and remissions. There are many people who are born with this kind of skin condition as a result of genetics, while others develop it during their early childhood. One of the reasons behind this may be the exposure of the skin to harmful chemicals or allergens. Most of the children, however, outgrow their eczema. However, there are others who tend to retain it during adulthood.
One of the ways of treating eczema is providing it with sufficient moisture. You should also make sure the skin is clean and dry. Always avoid scratching the infected area as that can aggravate the problem. Some of the products which help to cure the problem of allergies are tropical creams, cortisol creams, steroid creams and emollients.
Robert Sidbury, chief of dermatology at the Seattle Children’s Hospital, is of the opinion that eczema brings with it several coexisting ailments such as hay fever and asthma. In addition, it has also been observed that children affected with eczema are at a greater risk of developing ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder).
Dermatographia is a very rare skin allergy, so rare that it affects just about 5% of the population. According to Dr. Adrian Morris, principal allergist at the Cape Town and Johannesburg Allergy Clinics, Dermatographia is a rare skin allergy, so rare that if affects just 5% of the population. This kind of allergy makes its appearance when the mast cells in the skin produce too much histamine. This histamine is released when an excess of pressure, or any other kind of stimulation, is applied to the skin. The result is inflammation and itchiness of the skin. One can identify the occurrence of this reaction by the presence of white or red inflamed lines on the skin. According to the renowned dermatologist Dr. Amanda Oakley, the cause of dermatographia is unknown, but at times, it occurs as an allergic reaction to a foreign substance.
It is not unusual for dermatographia to last for only a year or two at the most. In other cases, however, this kind of allergy tends to last for an indefinite period. This kind of allergy can be treated with antihistamine medication or by applying a cold compress to the affected in order to reduce the swelling.
Hives, or urticaria, is a kind of skin allergy which has close resemblance to dermatographia. When it occurs, it tends to raise wheals in the skin. These wheals may vary depending on their size. Often, they are also accompanied by itchiness and cause immense discomfort. They occur most commonly on the arms and legs of the body. These hives are produced in the body when there is an overproduction of histamine. There is a different side to it too. When large amounts of chemicals are released by these cells to fight the allergen, there is a leakage of fluids into the blood stream. This may cause anaphylaxis.
The treatment for hives is the same as that for dermatographia. The best cure for it is antihistamine medication as well as steroid medication. You should avoid scratching the affected area completely, as doing so will only aggravate the condition further. A cold compress should also be applied. This will provide much needed relief to the area affected by allergy. Consumption of alcohol and junk food should also be avoided, as these are known to cause skin allergies. According to a recent study, the medication which is normally used to treat asthma can also be used to treat this kind of skin allergy.
4. Heat Rash
Heat rash is a very familiar term, and a large number of people across the globe are affected with this condition. Heat rash occurs when the sweat ducts of the skin get blocked due to warm temperatures and are unable to release sweat. It is commonly known as prickly heat, and the blocking of the sweat duct causes an inflammation of the skin. This leads to the formation of red and itchy bumps. According to a study, the blockage of the sweat duct occurs due to a biofilm which is produced by the Staphylococcus bacteria which is always present on the skin. Heat rash mostly occurs during both summer and winter. It also make an appearance in babies when they are overdressed or have undeveloped pores. It should also be remembered that heat rash is not contagious.
There is no specific treatment for heat rashes. It usually goes away by itself. You should always remember to keep the body cool at all times and avoid any friction or tight fitting clothing. Wear loose cotton clothes that help your skin to breathe freely. Remember to avoid the sun as much as possible. You should also avoid scented body lotions and scrubs, as these are known to cause immense agitation to the skin.