Written by Lisa Allen | Edited by Dr Mark Kapnoudhis
Skin allergy is a process that grows over a period of time from initiation phase. The first skin allergy symptoms might not appear immediately when the allergens make an entry into your system.
Factors related to environment, genes, skin condition, immune systems in your body and others contribute to the growth of allergens. Your skin and body react to them in various forms and degrees depending on the type of allergens.
Dermatology divides this reaction into 4 basic types based on the type of allergens.
- Type 1 hyper sensitive response is skin inflammation. It eliminates the antigen without causing excess damage to your skin cells. The allergens go away after sometime.
- Type 2 might result in cellular damages to certain extent. The allergens stay in your skin until they are eliminated by process of medication.
- Type 3 results in complex types of skin diseases leading to severe damages to tissues, blood cells and other major organs in the body. Your skin needs immediate medication and treatment to eliminate the allergens and bring your skin back to normal healthy conditions.
- Type 4 allergens are called intra cellular pathogens. They stay resident in your skin for considerable period of time and destroy the immunity system. They can also generate auto immune reactions whereby the immune system starts destroying healthy cells and tissues. Melanoma is one type of skin disorder which needs extended therapy or surgical methods to cure.
In this article you become familiar with 10 most common causes which result in skin allergy. You may get exposed to these causes at home, work place, while travelling, playing or any other time.
Skin Allergy Caused by Medicine
Medicines are consumed in order to cure your body from illness condition and restore normal health. However some types of medicines result in skin allergy as side effect. It may not happen with everyone who consumes the medicines, but only select few whose skin is allergic to one or more ingredients of a specific medicine.
- The exact reason for this type of abnormal skin reaction to medicines is yet to be established.
- Tests dosage is given before commencing on continued prescription.
- Certain known medicines which cause allergy in general are penicillin, tetracycline, dilantin, sulphonamide, anti inflammation agents etc. There are still other medicines which cause allergy during specific period only. For example Cephalosporins cause skin eruptions in some women during pregnancy and neo natal period only.
Skin Allergy Symptoms
- Food allergens like peanuts, dairy products, spices, certain vegetables and fruits can cause itching sensations and often result in rashes. They may disappear once the effect of these foods goes away from your body. In some cases the allergic reactions persist and results in skin infections. Atopic eczema is one such type which spreads to various parts of your body skin once it has come into contact. It needs consistent medication and treatment from an expert dermatologist for complete elimination.
- Insect bites cause swelling and itching on skin. If you have sensitive skin, the intensity can increase within short interval of time and result in skin infections like jaundice, pruritus, erythma, angioedema, fungal growth and others. Cure for such conditions must come from natural / herbal medications in case your skin is allergic to synthetic drugs. You must contact your dermatologist to find a reliable solution to this type of intensive infections. In case the insect bites result in mild skin allergies such as irritation, itching and rashes you can opt for OTC medications from your nearest chemist.
- Physical or sexual contact with people suffering from skin diseases like herpes-2 can result in contacting it into your skin. You need to opt for extended period of treatment and therapy in order to bring the disease under control. The chances of relapse are more when you go back to the same /similar environment which caused the disease initially. Hence prevention is said to be better solution if your skin is not yet affected by these types of infections.
- Balsam-of-Peru is one of the most common allergens present in cough syrups, ointments, healing sprays, dentistry medicines etc. It can cause swelling on skin and lips, hand eczema, blisters and open wounds etc.
- Spices such as garlic can cause dermatitis, skin layer thickening, irritation etc. You need to avoid consumption of garlic in any form. In most cases the symptoms will go away after sometime and stay away as long as you don’t touch garlic.
- Fruits such as banana, apple, papaya, mango and peach can cause mild to severe skin irritation. The effects may be immediate or after a gap of time. In case you have a doubt about any of the fruits, you need to stop consuming it for some time and observe the changes. If the allergic symptoms have stopped you can be sure of the cause and stop consumption that specific fruit. Otherwise you may need to contact your dermatologist for advice on medication and treatment.
- Meat and poultry products can result in skin allergy among some people. Swelling, rashes, red bumps and other types of allergic reactions.
- Chemicals in laboratory can cause severe skin allergy. It is not only the liquid or the powder but also their fumes which can trigger allergic reactions such as swelling, blisters and rashes. When left untreated they can turn into open wounds and serious diseases. You need to protect your skin with suitable lab safety dresses and protective masks. Contact your dermatologist to get the proper type of treatment.
- Skin allergy caused by cosmetics is often ignored in the initial stages when it is low in intensity. You need to be aware of the nature of your skin and avoid using such cosmetics to prevent recurring of such conditions.
- Most of the latex skin allergy symptoms disappear once you stop using the material in your dress, shoes other form. In case the symptoms persist you need to contact your dermatologist and get the proper medication.