Allergic reactions manifest themselves in the skin in three main ways:
- Eczema (atopic dermatitis) is a chronic skin sensitivity that usually first manifests in childhood. Individuals are predisposed to having very dry skin, and flares of itchy, red rash. Read more about eczema here.
- Hives (urticaria) appear as red or pink welts in the skin. They are swollen and itchy and they come and go over a short period of time. Hives appear in response to any number of triggers including medications, infections, insect bites, stress, sunlight, exercise and topical allergens. Rarely, physical stimuli such as heat, cold or pressure can induce hives. Cases of chronic hives may be linked to an underlying medical disorder such as thyroid disease or autoimmune disease, though most of the time a cause is difficult to find
- Allergic contact dermatitis occurs when an individual’s immune system becomes sensitized to a chemical after it comes into contact with the skin. There is a multitude potential allergens in our environment; some common ones include fragrances, dyes, preservatives, cosmetics, soaps, latex, metals, poison oak and various other botanicals. Symptoms can range from mild irritation or itching to severe red rash with blistering and weeping of the skin. Read more about allergic contact dermatitis here.
How to diagnose skin allergies
It can be difficult to differentiate between the types of allergic reactions in the skin, and overlapping conditions do occur. If you feel you may be suffering from skin allergies we will be able to recommend the appropriate testing and treatment for what is ailing you.