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.
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. Even though, eczema is on the rise, with the proper treatment, the disease can be controlled for most sufferers.
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 percent of the population has suffered from hives at some point. There are two types of uticaria, 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. Angioedema is often seen with hives and occurs when there is swelling and inflammation in the deep layers of the skin.
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 can be difficult to determine if an individual’s contact dermatitis is caused by an irritant or an allergen. To identify the cause, a 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 48 hours. If you are sensitive to an allergen, your skin may react.