What causes allergy rashes on skin

Signs and symptoms of metal hypersensitivities can range from little and localized to more severe and generalized.

Limited reactions can appear as a contact dermatitis on the skin that has been exposed to the metal.

What causes allergy rashes on skin

The skin may appear red, swollen, and itchy. Hives and rashes may also develop.

More severe metal hypersensitivity reactions generally happen from prolonged exposure to a metal allergen through implants or metal ions that are inhaled or eaten. These reactions often cause chronic joint or muscle pain, inflammation, and swelling, leading to generalized fatigue and lack of energy. In addition, fibromyalgia (pain without known cause) and chronic fatigue syndrome can also be seen in people with metal hypersensitivities.

Common symptoms of metal hypersensitivity include:

  1. cognitive impairment
  2. hives
  3. reddening of skin
  4. blistering of the skin
  5. muscle pain
  6. rash
  7. joint pain
  8. chronic fatigue
  9. chronic inflammation
  10. depression
  11. fibromyalgia
  12. swelling

Related conditions

The following symptoms and conditions own been linked to metal hypersensitivity.

What causes allergy rashes on skin

If you own any of these conditions, you may wish to speak to your doctor about the possibility of a metal hypersensitivity:

  1. eczema
  2. fibromyalgia
  3. osteomyelitis
  4. chronic fatigue syndrome
  5. rheumatoid arthritis


Main allergy symptoms

Common symptoms of an allergic reaction include:

  1. itchy, red, watering eyes (conjunctivitis)
  2. a raised, itchy, red rash (hives)
  3. tummy pain, feeling ill, vomiting or diarrhoea
  4. sneezing and an itchy, runny or blocked nose (allergic rhinitis)
  5. swollen lips, tongue, eyes or face
  6. wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath and a cough
  7. dry, red and cracked skin

The symptoms vary depending on what you’re allergic to and how you come into contact with it.

For example, you may have a runny nose if exposed to pollen, develop a rash if you own a skin allergy, or feel sick if you eat something you’re allergic to.

See your GP if you or your kid might own had an allergic reaction to something. They can assist determine whether the symptoms are caused by an allergy or another condition.

Read more about diagnosing allergies.


Severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis)

In rare cases, an allergy can lead to a severe allergic reaction, called anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock, which can be life threatening.

This affects the whole body and usually develops within minutes of exposure to something you’re allergic to.

Signs of anaphylaxis include any of the symptoms above, as well as:

Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency that requires immediate treatment.

Read more about anaphylaxis for information about what to do if it occurs.

Sheet final reviewed: 22 November 2018
Next review due: 22 November 2021

There are 2 types of contact dermatitis.

Irritant dermatitis: This is the most common type. It is not caused by an allergy, but rather the skin’s reaction to irritating substances or friction. Irritating substances may include acids, alkaline materials such as soaps and detergents, fabric softeners, solvents, or other chemicals. Extremely irritating chemicals may cause a reaction after just a short period of contact.

Milder chemicals can also cause a reaction after repeated contact.

People who own atopic dermatitis are at increased risk of developing irritant contact dermatitis.

Common materials that may irritate your skin include:

  1. Hair dyes
  2. Pesticides or weed killers
  3. Rubber gloves
  4. Cement
  5. Long-term exposure to wet diapers
  6. Shampoos

Allergic contact dermatitis: This form of the condition occurs when your skin comes in contact with a substance that causes you to own an allergic reaction.

Common allergens include:

  1. Fabrics and clothing, including both materials and dyes.
  2. Nail polish, hair dyes, and permanent wave solutions.
  3. Preservatives commonly used in prescription and over-the-counter topical medicines.
  4. Adhesives, including those used for untrue eyelashes or toupees.
  5. Poison ivy, poison oak, poison sumac, and other plants.
  6. Rubber or latex gloves or shoes.
  7. Nickel or other metals (found in jewelry, watch straps, metal zips, bra hooks, buttons, pocketknives, lipstick holders, and powder compacts).
  8. Antibiotics, such as neomycin rubbed on the surface of the skin.
  9. Balsam of Peru (used in numerous personal products and cosmetics, as well as in numerous foods and drinks).
  10. Fragrances in perfumes, cosmetics, soaps, and moisturizers.
  11. Formaldehyde, which is used in a wide number of manufactured items.

You will not own a reaction to a substance when you are first exposed to the substance.

What causes allergy rashes on skin

However, you will form a reaction after future exposures. You may become more sensitive and develop a reaction if you use it regularly. It is possible to tolerate the substance for years or even decades before developing allergy. Once you develop an allergy you will be allergic for life.

The reaction most often occurs 24 to 48 hours after the exposure. The rash may persist for weeks after the exposure stops.

Some products cause a reaction only when the skin is also exposed to sunlight (photosensitivity). These include:

  1. Sunscreens
  2. Some perfumes
  3. Coal tar products
  4. Shaving lotions
  5. Sulfa ointments
  6. Oil from the skin of a lime

A few airborne allergens, such as ragweed, perfumes, vapor from nail lacquer, or insecticide spray, can also cause contact dermatitis.

The Facts

Metal hypersensitivity is a disorder of the immune system. It is a common condition that affects 10% to 15% of the population.

It can produce a variety of symptoms, including rashes, swelling, or pain due to contact with certain metals (see the symptoms and complications section, below).

In addition to the local skin reactions, metal hypersensitivity can also manifest itself as more chronic conditions such as fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. There are numerous local and systemic symptoms that, when considered together, can be caused by metal hypersensitivities.

It is estimated that up to 17% of women and 3% of men are allergic to nickel and that 1% to 3% of people are allergic to cobalt and chromium.

These types of reactions can be localized reactions that are limited to one area, but they can also be more generalized and affect other more distant parts of the body.


Making the Diagnosis

Your doctor may suspect metal hypersensitivities based on a combination of your personal history and your signs and symptoms. To determine possible causes of metal exposure, your doctor may enquire if you own any type of implants, if you smoke, or if you regularly use any cosmetics.

Aside from a thorough personal history, your doctor may also order laboratory tests to confirm whether you own a metal hypersensitivity.

These tests generally involve giving a blood sample at a laboratory. The laboratory technicians will test the white blood cells for their activity against metal ions by using radioisotopes and microscopically observing physical changes within the cells. If the test shows that the white blood cells own increased activity when exposed to the metal ions, it indicates the presence of a metal hypersensitivity.

A dermatologist can also conduct an allergy test in which they expose various metal ions to your skin to test for a hypersensitivity reaction. This allergy test, which is similar to a regular "scratch test," is often done as a "patch test." The metal ions that are believed to be causing the allergic reaction are applied to a patch, which is then placed on the skin.

The patch is left in put for 48 hours, after which it is removed from the skin at a return visit to the doctor. Skin that is red or irritated under the patch may be an indication of an allergy.


Treatment and Prevention

Treatment of metal hypersensitivity is highly individualized, as the allergens and reactions can be extremely diverse from person to person.

What causes allergy rashes on skin

Skin hypersensitivities can often be resolved by avoiding the item that causes the reaction. If the dermatitis is more significant, the doctor can also prescribe corticosteroid creams and ointments to reduce the local inflammation. The doctor can also prescribe oral antihistamines to further reduce the allergic reaction. Oral corticosteroids can also be used, but they can cause problematic side effects.

Systemic reactions are more hard to resolve, as they are often caused by implants. Removal of the implant is sometimes considered when a non-metal replacement is available and may be used.

For example, a plastic-based dental filling material may be used to replace a previous metal dental filling. However, if the allergy is caused by an artificial knee or hip, replacement with a non-metal option is rarely done due to the difficulty of replacement. For these situations, treatment generally involves both topical (surface-applied) and oral medications to reduce the allergic reaction. Due to the hard nature of treating systemic metal allergies, doctors sometimes recommend a hypersensitivity test before an implant is chosen.

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What causes allergy rashes on skin

Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may own regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/condition/getcondition/Metal-Hypersensitivity

What Are the Symptoms of an Allergy?

An allergy occurs when the body’s immune system sees a substance as harmful and overreacts to it. The symptoms that result are an allergic reaction. The substances that cause allergic reactions are allergens. Allergens can get into your body numerous ways to cause an allergic reaction.

  1. You can inhale allergens into your nose and your lungs. Many are little enough to float through the air.

    Examples are pollen, home dust, mold spores, cat and dog dander and latex dust.

  2. Your body can own allergens injected into it. This includes medicine given by needle and venom from insect stings and bites.
  3. You can ingest allergens by mouth. This includes food and medicines you eat or swallow.
  4. Your skin can absorb allergens. Plants such as poison ivy, sumac and oak can cause reactions when touched. Latex, metals, and ingredients in beauty care and household products are other examples.


Causes

The symptoms of metal hypersensitivity are caused when the body’s immune system starts to view metal ions as foreign threats. The cells that make up the immune system normally kill foreign bacteria and viruses by causing inflammation.

If they start attacking metal ions that you touch, eat, inhale, or own implanted in you, they can produce a variety of symptoms (see the symptoms and complications section, below).

Potential metal allergens (triggers of allergic reactions) are extremely common in everyday life. Typical sources such as watches, coins, and jewellery come readily to mind. However, there are also other less obvious sources of metal in our daily lives.

What causes allergy rashes on skin

For example, cosmetic products and contact lens solutions may also contain metals that can trigger a reaction at the area of contact.

Nickel is one of the most frequent allergens, causing significant local contact dermatitis (skin reddening and itching). Cobalt, copper, and chromium are also common culprits. These metals can be found in consumer items such as jewellery, cell phones, and clothing items.

Aside from everyday items, medical devices also contain possible allergens such as chromium and titanium. Older dental implants and fillings are often made of metals. A few intra-uterine devices (IUDs) for birth control are made of copper and can also cause hypersensitivities.

Implantable devices such as artificial knees, artificial hips, pacemakers, stents, and fracture plates, rods, or pins may contain metals that can cause metal hypersensitivity reactions. These reactions are often more severe in nature when the allergens own been implanted within the body for an extended period of time.

In addition, people who already own an autoimmune disorder (a disorder where the immune system is overactive) can own a higher risk of a metal hypersensitivity, as their immune system is in a constant state of activity.


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