Categorized | Skin Care

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Learn About the Basics of Skin Allergies

Perhaps the most noticeable and annoying of all allergies is skin allergy, not just because they create maps and maps of little red blotches all over our bodies when they attack, but also because they leave marks when left untrained or if we fail to respond to them the right way, like frequent scratching.

The most common of skin allergies include eczema, contact dermatitis and uticaria, also known as hives. People usually mistaken dermatitis for eczema and assume immediately that they are one and the same. However, dermatitis is just the milder version of eczema, which is considered one of the most serious and advanced types of skin allergy.

Meanwhile, contact dermatitis, true to its name, occurs when our skin comes in contact with a certain allergen that caused the outbreak. Symptoms of skin allergy usually come out within 30 minutes after the skin has been exposed. Inflammations ensue, with levels depending on the degree of contact. They include scaling, redness and blisters.

Hives

Hives are usually harmless. They are comprised of roundish red welts that come out in groups and are normally very itchy. Their sizes also vary, with diameters ranging from several millimeters to around a few centimeters.

They are triggered by a number of factors, including insect bites, food and certain types of drugs and medicines. Hives that stay for over six weeks are commonly referred to as chronic urticaria, while those that last for less than the said period are called acute urticaria. Also, while it is said that hives are harmless, their exact cause has yet to be determined, that's why it is a little difficult to prevent.

Treatment for skin allergies

Skin allergies, although very annoying and not always preventable, can be treated. You may use topical ointments and steroids to help relieve the itchiness and the swelling, and these are available over the counter. You do not normally need a prescription to gain access to these medicaitons, but it is still always best to consult your dermatologist instead of immediately resorting to self medication.

Hydrocortisone is a known steroid medicine against skin allergy. Antihistamines also work just as well and are available both in topical (like corticosteroids) and in oral form. People who are allergic to certain types of food usually take in antihistamines before they eat offending foods so that outbreaks do not occur.

You can also ask your doctor about steroid injections, which include methylprednisolone, dexamethasone, prednisone, triamcinolone and betamethasone. Some antihistamines, however, are sleep inducers, like hydroxyzine and diphenhydramine, so you might want to steer clear of these drugs if you want to stay awake while medicated. Recommended antihistamines include Seldane, Benadryl, Atarax and Tagamet.

Almost everyone suffers from some kind of skin allergy, with varying levels. So, if you are suffering from skin allergy, you are not alone. Treatments and medications are available to combat them so you do not have to worry too much about major outbreaks. Just be sure to stay away from potential triggers and keep your medicines in hand.

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