Skin allergies and skin conditions are fairly common, from irritation to rashes, to eczema. As anyone with a chronic skin condition can attest, the symptoms associated with these allergies can be incredibly frustrating. Thankfully, treating skin allergies is a lot easier than skin conditions. Skin allergies occur when your body overreacts to an allergen and sends antibodies to fight it, leading to rashes. Typically, the best way to avoid these skin allergies is to avoid what it is you are allergic to, just as you would with any other allergy. In some cases, as with airborne contact dermatitis, avoiding the cause of your allergy is much more difficult.
Know What You Are Allergic To
Allergens are best avoided, but that is difficult when you do not know what it is that you are allergic to. Narrowing down the source can mean you will never have to deal with rashes or hives again. One of the most common allergens is nickel, which is found in many things from jewelry to soaps. To avoid nickel, you can opt for hypoallergenic jewellery from Blomdahl USA and check the ingredients list of your toiletries before you use them. Other common allergens include sunscreens, bug sprays, fragrances, cleaning products, latex, and chemicals.
To find what you are allergic to your doctor will likely administer a TRUE test. This test consists of 12 patches of possible allergens, and are administered in three panels that your doctor will place on your back. You will wear this for two days, after which your doctor will determine what it is you are allergic to. Do note that allergic reactions could take up to 10 days to appear, so be prepared to make a few return trips.
If you are allergic to something that isn’t included in the standard TRUE test your doctor will create a custom test based on items in your home and lifestyle. You might have to further follow up with a ROAT test (where you test yourself with the suspected allergen) or a dimethylglyoxime test which helps determine nickel or other metal sensitivities.
Treating Skin Allergies
The best method is prevention, but preventing your skin allergy from flaring up is difficult. That’s why it’s also important to know treatment options for when your allergies flare up:
- Topical Creams
There are a variety of creams to choose from, and which one is best for you will depend on your skin and the cause. Hydrocortisone is a medication that is used to treat many common allergies and is often the go-to option for treatment. There are many different products available, and the one for you will have to be prescribed by your doctor or pharmacist. It is important to note that you should avoid sensitive areas like your face and your underarms when you apply this cream. Other tropical creams include calamine lotion or corticosteroids which reduce inflammation and irritation.
Antihistamines are taken orally, and are ingested to prevent or reduce the effects of allergens. They are typically taken when the allergen in question is airborne, and as a result hard to avoid.
Having a skin allergy is not dangerous, and with the right precautions, it can be a very manageable skin condition that rarely disrupts your daily life. Avoid the allergen at all costs by being careful with ingredients and sourcing alternate products and find the right treatment medication to ensure you can continue your day with ease.