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Skin Allergies and Rashes

apply cream to skin on handSkin allergies and rashes seem to go hand in hand but that is not always the case.  Rashes can be caused by serious illnesses like chicken pox(and shingles), measles, and rosacea.  Skin allergies are caused by reactions to contact with certain things or even reactions to medicines like penicillin.  Particular allergic reactions that involve the skin are hives that can be the cause of anything from food allergies to seasonal allergies.

Though skin allergies can be embarrassing it is important to make sure you tell your doctor about them.  With children it is also important to let them know not to be embarrassed and to communicate with their parents and their health care providers.  Skin allergy symptoms like itching can be painful but also can be a symptom of something more serious so don’t let embarrassment and the gross factor stop you from getting the help you or your child may need.

So what causes skin allergies?  As mentioned before food allergies can cause hives which are a form of skin allergy.  Another type of skin allergy that can affect many people without them knowing is contact dermatitis which basically is the inflammation of the skin when someone comes in contact with something.  The culprits can include:

  • Metals
  • Chemicals
  • Rubber
  • Plants – Flowers
  • Pets – Cats and Dogs

The resulting symptoms can include redness, swelling, burning, stinging, itching, and blisters. These symptoms usually appear on the face and hands.

Prickly heat is also one of those innocent seeming skin allergies that pop up in both children and adults who seem particularly sensitive to artificial heat.  Many of my family members seem to experience this in houses with forced hot air systems for heat.  It is usually a mild reaction with small red dots and minor itching that goes away pretty quickly.  Heat is not the only cause of prickly heat since it could be a symptom of other allergies as well.

Food allergies can cause many rashes including Uritcaria.  This rash has burned type of look to it with the outer edges being a lighter red than the middle which can be very read.  Eczema is probably one of the better known skin allergies next to hives perhaps.  It is often associated with asthma as well as allergies and can be quite dramatic and widespread on the body.  The raised red patches of skin can be very dry and itchy and can be on the face and hands which make it particularly uncomfortable for the sufferer.  Though there are many creams that attempt to treat Eczema some cases do not really get much better with those treatments.  Managing what your skin is reacting to is can impact the severity of the Eczema particularly for those that see a correlation between their Eczema and food allergies for example.

Hives are red and itchy patches of skin. There are 2 kinds of hives. Acute hives can last up to 6 weeks. They are caused by food allergies, medications, bug bites, and signs of diseases. Chronic hives thankfully are not very common. The last indefinitely, on and off over long periods of time. The causes for chronic hives is not currently known. Some doctors think they may be stress induced.

Skin allergies can take some time to treat.  Meeting with a dermatologist and an allergist can provide you with a path to the relief of skin discomfort.  There are many over the counter remedies they may recommend like cortizone creams.  Some cases may require the use of allergy shots to help manage your skin allergies.

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