Rashes, bumps, itching, and redness are all common skin conditions, however, their origin is difficult at times to identify. The two most prevalent types of skin allergies are eczema (atopic dermatitis) and hives (urticaria). Both of these reactions occur on or under the skin.
Hives (Urticaria) often appear as red, itchy, swollen clusters and can arrive suddenly, leave 1-2 hours later or last up to 24 hours or longer. Over 20% of the population has suffered from hives at some point. There are two types of uricaria, acute and chronic. Acute urticaria appears after ingesting a particular food or coming in contact with a trigger such as exercise or medications. Chronic urticaria can last several months to even years.
Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis) affects 1 in 5 children and 1 in 50 adults and is the most common skin allergy. It is thought to be caused by a defect in the skin barrier, which causes skin to dry out and become irritated and inflamed. Eczema is often an inherited disease that can worsen due to allergies, asthma and food allergies. This order of progression is referred to as the atopic march. Even though, eczema is on the rise, with the proper treatment, the disease can be controlled for the majority of sufferers.
Angioedema is often seen with hives, and occurs when there is swelling and inflammation in the deep layers of the skin. Angioedema many times occurs in soft tissues such as the eyelids, mouth or genitals.
Contact Dermatitis is a condition in which the skin becomes inflamed, red, and sore after coming into contact with an irritant or allergen. Common causes can include cosmetics, fragrances, soaps, latex, creams, nickel, and poison ivy. It is often difficult to tell whether the cause is an irritant or an allergen, your board certified allergist will do a physical exam, review your medical history and order allergy testing. This type of allergy testing may be a patch test. A patch test contains the allergens that are suspected to be causing your issues and is placed on the skin and worn for 24-48 hours. If you are sensitive to an allergen, your skin may react.
If you suffer from skin allergies, call and make an appointment today, so we can help you find relief.