What to do for skin allergy reaction

The main cause of hives is yet to be identified despite advances in research in the field. However, hives are believed to be an allergic reaction to certain allergens. Allergic hives form as a response to histamine, which is released by specialized cells into the blood vessels to counter-attack an allergen in the body.

What to do for skin allergy reaction

When this happens, blood plasma leaks out of the little blood vessels, resulting in pale bumps or plaques that appear on the skin.

Allergic hives can be attributed to certain triggers, which may include:

  1. Emotional stress and anxiety
  2. Insect stings or bites
  3. Animal dander (usually cats)
  4. Reaction to certain medications (some common ones are morphine, aspirin, codeine, and NSAIDs love ibuprofen)
  5. Excessive perspiration
  6. Exposure to pollen and certain plants love poison ivy or poison oak
  7. Extreme cold
  8. Exposure to heat UV rays of the sun
  9. Chemicals in certain food or food supplements
  10. Physical exercise, generally in young adults

There are a few general types of hives which are as follows:

  1. Physical Urticaria — This type of hives is often caused by direct stimulation of the skin — such as due to freezing, heat, UV exposure, and sweating.

    The bumps generally appear in the part of the skin that was physically stimulated.

  2. Acute Urticaria — Typically lasting less than six weeks, acute hives are generally caused by food (such as eggs, chocolate, nuts, fish, berries and milk), food preservatives, medications, insect bites and infections.

  3. Chronic Urticaria — Generally lasting more than six weeks, the main cause of chronic hives is hard to identify. Causes may include underlying conditions such as hepatitis, infection, thyroid problem or even cancer.

  4. Angioedema — Angioedema is a condition when the onset of rashes is accompanied by visible swelling.

    Often affecting the eyes, lips, hands, feet, and genitals, it’s typically accompanied by burning boiling and painful sensation in the swollen area. Swelling in the throat, air sacs in the lungs, and tongue is indicative of a serious condition that requires medical attention.


Key symptoms of Hives

Hives are red, oftentimes itchy bumps or rashes that flare-up suddenly on the skin without warning and for no specific reason.

The flare-ups suddenly appear, itch for a few hours, possibly swell, and then go away after a period of time. The appearance of the rash is its main symptom. Hives can final from a few hours to days and even weeks. When pressed, the middle of the red rash turns white (blanched).

Symptoms of chronic hives can be troublesome and uncomfortable that they can make regular daily activities and sleeping hard. In severe cases of angioedema, hives cause dangerous swelling in affected areas that can block your airways, leading to a medical emergency.


Causes of sensitive skin

There are a number of recognised medical causes of sensitive skin

Physical urticaria and dermographism

Physical urticaria refers to hives triggered by a physical event such as pressure, heat, freezing or vibration.

Thus the person may erupt in a red rash while taking a boiling shower for example. In this case, it is a reaction to the temperature of the water, and not to water itself, and the rash resolves within an hour after cooling.

Dermographism literally means to be capable to record on the skin. The skin becomes red and puffy after a scratch.

Irritant contact dermatitis

Two forms of ICD show no clinical changes and these are therefore worth mentioning in more detail.

1. Subjective/sensory irritation, also known as sensorineural irritation
This is characterised by sensory discomfort such as itching, stinging, tingling or burning, but in the absence of any clinical or histological evidence of inflammation.

Involvement of nerves and blood vessels contribute to the development of the symptoms. Lactic acid and propylene glycol in cosmetic agents are common causes of this. The threshold for developing symptoms following application of these chemicals to the skin varies between individuals and does not correlate with the person’s susceptibility to other forms of skin irritation. It is generally of acute onset. Avoiding the irritant or using personal protective equipment such as gloves, and the frequent use of generous amounts of moisturiser generally results in a excellent outcome.

2.

Non-erythematous irritation, also called suberythematous irritation
This form of irritant contact dermatitis differs from subjective irritation in that, although the person experiences similar symptoms and no rash is visible, there are changes of inflammation seen on skin biopsy. It often develops slowly and discomfort is experienced with multiple chemicals. Cocamidopropyl betaine and coconut diethanolamide are recognised causes of this and are common ingredients in cosmetics. The outcome with this form of ICD is variable.

Rosacea

Rosacea is a common facial skin condition characterised by some or every of the following clinical features:

  1. Acne-like rash of bumps and pimples
  2. Flushing and blushing
  3. Persistent redness/broken capillaries (telangiectasia)
  4. Localised facial swelling
  5. Skin sensitivity

The skin sensitivity in this condition can present as skin redness or irritation after application to the face of the person’s usual cosmetics and skin care products, often after years of uneventful use of the same product.

Dermographism

Allergic contact dermatitis (ACD)

Allergic contact dermatitis is a skin reaction following the development of an allergic response to an externally applied agent and is less common than irritant contact dermatitis.

It typically develops increasing intensity with time. Some chemicals are known to commonly cause an allergic reaction but generally it is only in occasional or rare individuals that such a reaction develops. The causative agent can be identified by patch testing.

Allergic contact dermatitis to rubber gloves

Contact urticaria

Contact urticaria is a form of hives triggered by skin contact with an agent that causes immediate swelling and redness and resolves over hours. It can be confirmed by prick testing.

There are irritant and allergic forms of contact urticaria.

Dry skin

Irritant contact dermatitis (ICD)

The term sensitive skin most often refers to a form of irritant contact dermatitis. This is defined as an inflammatory response of the skin to (an) externally applied agent(s) or factor(s) without requiring prior sensitisation, i.e., it is not due to allergy. Examples of such agents/factors include:

  1. Environmental factors such as heat, freezing, low humidity and ultraviolet light.
  2. Skin irritants, of which wet work is the most significant.

    Although some chemicals can cause skin irritation in most people if exposed, it is generally a combination of several mild irritant agents/factors adding up to ICD.

  3. Irritating body fluids such as sweat, urine and faeces.
  4. Mechanical factors eg friction, pressure, vibration and occlusion.

However host factors also influence susceptibility and these include age, sex, skin site and history of eczema.

Ten clinical types of ICD own been recognised, of which 8 present with clinically visible changes in the skin.

Rosacea

Eczema/dermatitis

All forms of eczema or dermatitis (atopic, seborrhoeic, asteatotic, venous, etc.) can result in sensitive, easily irritated skin as the skin barrier has been disturbed, allowing external factors to penetrate.

Eczema skin is generally itchy with a visible rash, which can further react to water, temperature, humidity and other environmental factors. Thus the presence of a second problem such as an irritant or allergic contact dermatitis to a product being applied to the skin may be overlooked. Eczema of any type is a well recognised predisposing factor for the development of irritant contact dermatitis.

Contact urticaria

Aquagenic pruritus

In aquagenic pruritus, the skin becomes itchy following contact with water of any temperature.

Dry skin

Dry skin from any cause is irritable and sensitive.

Skin may be dry due to:

  1. general health issues such as thyroid disease
  2. genetic reasons i.e., ichthyosis
  3. environmental factors such as low humidity or excessive washing
  4. medications.

Dry skin tends to be itchy, especially if overheated. The person is often using a number of products topically to attempt to improve this, and may therefore also develop a contact dermatitis.

Eczema


Who to See & Types of Treatments Available

If you suspect that you own hives, it is best to see your general practitioner immediately.

What to do for skin allergy reaction

This is especially true if you experience any of the following:

  1. Hives accompanied by cough, freezing sweats, dizziness, nausea, and low blood pressure
  2. Recurring attacks of hives lasting for more than four weeks
  3. Itchy and burning rashes in the throat that hamper your breathing and swallowing
  4. Hives accompanied by difficulty in breathing
  5. Symptoms of angioedema, especially in the head or neck

A dermatologist is the best specialist to see for any skin condition love hives.

The dermatologist can easily diagnose hives just by observing the key symptoms and the bumps on your skin. What remains hard though, is determining the causes or triggers of your hives. It becomes even more hard to determine the causes of chronic cases of urticaria. Your dermatologist can also refer you to an allergist.

In order to determine the underlying cause of your hives, the dermatologist or allergist will enquire questions which may include previous food intake, medications taken, activities performed for the past day(s), and your family history. Some tests may also be conducted and may include the following:

  1. Blood tests to law out infection and other illness
  2. Allergy tests (skin or blood work) to narrow below possibilities
  3. Skin biopsy for severe symptoms and chronic skin conditions

There are several treatment methods available for alleviating hives.

For mild to severe cases of urticaria, first-in-line treatment is non-sedating anti-histamine medications such as loratidine or cetirizine. These medications can effectively relieve swelling and itchiness. Your dermatologist can also propose a combination of other methods, among which include:

  1. Application of antibacterial creams or ointments love Dapsone to prevent or control infection
  2. The use of cortisone creams (usually for short-term use) to relieve itchiness
  3. Anti-inflammatory medications to fight inflammation and swelling

For severe cases of hives, immediate injection of epinephrine might be necessary.

There are also effective home remedies for hives that patients often discover extremely useful in relieving discomfort.

Application of freezing, wet compresses to the affected areas, taking comfortable cool bath, and wearing smooth-textured loose clothing are among them. While hives are easily controlled, it is still extremely significant to determine the cause and avoid its triggers. Boosting the immune system by eating the correct kinds of food and avoiding stress through nerve-calming techniques love yoga and medication can also prevent hives from recurring.

What to do for skin allergy reaction

References:

  1. American Academy of Dermatology: “Hives.» https://www.aad.org/dermatology-a-to-z/diseases-and-treatments/e—h/hives
  2. American College of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology: «All About Hives.” http://acaai.org/allergies/types/skin-allergies/hives-urticaria
  3. MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia: “Hives.» http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000845.htm

What are common sources of allergic contact dermatitis?

Not everyone reacts to allergens. However, some people become allergic to something that they had previously tolerated for numerous years. Skin can become allergic to a substance after numerous exposures or after just 1 exposure.

Common sources of allergic contact dermatitis include:

  1. Preservatives. These substances are included in skin care or cosmetics products to hold them from spoiling.
  2. Metals such as nickel (present in costume jewelry or snaps on jeans). Nickel may cause an allergic dermatitis in areas in contact with the metal (for example, the ears under earrings). Gold is also becoming a widespread allergen.
  3. Fragrances.

    What to do for skin allergy reaction

    These can be found in perfumes, soaps, lotions, and shampoos.

  4. Topical medications, such as antibiotics (Neosporin®) or anti-itch preparations. These may cause an allergic reaction or even worsening of the initial problem and are often misdiagnosed as an infection.
  5. Sunscreens. These commonly cause a hive-like rash that can appear hours or days after sun exposure.
  6. Cosmetics.
  7. Rubber or latex ingredients. These are common sources of work-related allergies. It can cause immediate allergic reactions, such as itching, burning, or welts. Some people experience itching and tearing eyes or even shortness of breath.

Who to See & Types of Treatments Available

If you suspect that you own hives, it is best to see your general practitioner immediately.

This is especially true if you experience any of the following:

  1. Hives accompanied by cough, freezing sweats, dizziness, nausea, and low blood pressure
  2. Recurring attacks of hives lasting for more than four weeks
  3. Itchy and burning rashes in the throat that hamper your breathing and swallowing
  4. Hives accompanied by difficulty in breathing
  5. Symptoms of angioedema, especially in the head or neck

A dermatologist is the best specialist to see for any skin condition love hives.

The dermatologist can easily diagnose hives just by observing the key symptoms and the bumps on your skin. What remains hard though, is determining the causes or triggers of your hives. It becomes even more hard to determine the causes of chronic cases of urticaria. Your dermatologist can also refer you to an allergist.

In order to determine the underlying cause of your hives, the dermatologist or allergist will enquire questions which may include previous food intake, medications taken, activities performed for the past day(s), and your family history.

Some tests may also be conducted and may include the following:

  1. Blood tests to law out infection and other illness
  2. Allergy tests (skin or blood work) to narrow below possibilities
  3. Skin biopsy for severe symptoms and chronic skin conditions

There are several treatment methods available for alleviating hives. For mild to severe cases of urticaria, first-in-line treatment is non-sedating anti-histamine medications such as loratidine or cetirizine. These medications can effectively relieve swelling and itchiness. Your dermatologist can also propose a combination of other methods, among which include:

  1. Application of antibacterial creams or ointments love Dapsone to prevent or control infection
  2. The use of cortisone creams (usually for short-term use) to relieve itchiness
  3. Anti-inflammatory medications to fight inflammation and swelling

For severe cases of hives, immediate injection of epinephrine might be necessary.

There are also effective home remedies for hives that patients often discover extremely useful in relieving discomfort.

Application of freezing, wet compresses to the affected areas, taking comfortable cool bath, and wearing smooth-textured loose clothing are among them. While hives are easily controlled, it is still extremely significant to determine the cause and avoid its triggers. Boosting the immune system by eating the correct kinds of food and avoiding stress through nerve-calming techniques love yoga and medication can also prevent hives from recurring.

References:

  1. American Academy of Dermatology: “Hives.» https://www.aad.org/dermatology-a-to-z/diseases-and-treatments/e—h/hives
  2. American College of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology: «All About Hives.” http://acaai.org/allergies/types/skin-allergies/hives-urticaria
  3. MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia: “Hives.» http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000845.htm

What is contact dermatitis?

Contact dermatitis is a type of skin rash.

It occurs when skin comes into contact with chemicals or physical substances that cause an allergic or irritant reaction. Contact dermatitis can happen from exposure to numerous diverse compounds found both in the home and at work. There are 2 types of contact dermatitis:

  1. Allergic contact dermatitis. This occurs when skin, which has become sensitive to a certain substance (allergen), comes in contact with that substance again.

    This is a delayed skin reaction that typically develops 12 to 72 hours after exposure.

  2. Irritant contact dermatitis. This occurs when the skin is repeatedly exposed to a mild irritant (such as detergent or solvents) over a endless period of time. If skin is exposed to a strong irritant (such as acid, alkali, solvent, strong soap, or detergent), skin damage can be immediate.

Are certain occupations at greater risk?

Some occupations own more exposure to chemicals or substances. This can either result in sensitization, causing allergic contact dermatitis or repeated exposure, causing irritant contact dermatitis.

Examples of these occupations include dental workers, healthcare workers, florists, hairdressers, machinists, housekeepers, and food handlers.

What are common sources of irritant contact dermatitis?

Detergents, soaps, cleaners, waxes, and chemicals are substances that can irritate the skin. They can wear below the oily, protective layer on skin surface and lead to irritant contact dermatitis. Irritant contact dermatitis is common among people who regularly work with strong chemicals or detergents, such as restaurant, maintenance, and chemical workers.

What to do for skin allergy reaction

It is also seen in people who do a lot of housework due to contact with cleaning products.

What are the symptoms of contact dermatitis?

Contact dermatitis symptoms can range from mild redness and dryness to severe pain and peeling that can be disabling.

Allergic contact dermatitis symptoms include:

  1. Swelling in the eyes, face, and genital areas (severe cases)
  2. Intermittent dry, scaly patches of skin
  3. Blisters that ooze
  4. Hives
  5. Sun sensitivity
  6. Reddening of skin (either in patches or every over the body)
  7. Burning or itching that is generally intense without visible skin sores (lesions)
  8. Darkened, "leathery," and cracked skin

Allergic contact dermatitis can be extremely hard to distinguish from other rashes.

Irritant contact dermatitis symptoms include:

  1. Dry, cracking skin
  2. Mild swelling of skin
  3. Stiff, tight feeling skin
  4. Blisters
  5. Painful ulcers on the skin

Symptoms vary depending on the cause of dermatitis.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 10/10/2019.

References

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What to do for skin allergy reaction

Policy

What is sensitive skin?

Sensitive skin is a lay term rather than a medical diagnosis. It is generally used to describe skin with reduced tolerance to the application of cosmetics and personal care products. In surveys, approximately 50% of women and 40% of men may report having sensitive skin.



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

What to do for skin allergy reaction

Common allergens include:

  1. Nail polish, hair dyes, and permanent wave solutions.
  2. Nickel or other metals (found in jewelry, watch straps, metal zips, bra hooks, buttons, pocketknives, lipstick holders, and powder compacts).
  3. Poison ivy, poison oak, poison sumac, and other plants.
  4. Preservatives commonly used in prescription and over-the-counter topical medicines.
  5. Fragrances in perfumes, cosmetics, soaps, and moisturizers.
  6. Balsam of Peru (used in numerous personal products and cosmetics, as well as in numerous foods and drinks).
  7. Fabrics and clothing, including both materials and dyes.
  8. Antibiotics, such as neomycin rubbed on the surface of the skin.
  9. Adhesives, including those used for untrue eyelashes or toupees.
  10. Rubber or latex gloves or shoes.
  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. However, you will form a reaction after future exposures. You may become more sensitive and develop a reaction if you use it regularly.

What to do for skin allergy reaction

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. Sulfa ointments
  2. Some perfumes
  3. Coal tar products
  4. Sunscreens
  5. Shaving lotions
  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.

en españolAlergia a la leche en bebés

If Your Kid Has an Allergic Reaction

If your kid has symptoms of an allergic reaction, follow the food allergy action plan your doctor gave you.

If your kid has symptoms of a serious reaction (like swelling of the mouth or throat or difficulty breathing, or symptoms involving two diverse parts of the body, love hives with vomiting):

  1. Give the epinephrine auto-injector correct away.

    Every second counts in an allergic reaction.

  2. Then,call 911 or take your kid to the emergency room. Your kid needs to be under medical supervision because, even if the worst seems to own passed, a second wave of serious symptoms can happen.

What Is a Milk Allergy?

When a baby is allergic to milk, it means that his or herimmune system, which normally fights infections, overreacts to proteins in cow’s milk. Every time the kid has milk, the body thinks these proteins are harmful invaders and works hard to fight them.

This causes an allergic reaction in which the body releases chemicals love .

Cow’s milk is in most baby formulas. Babies with a milk allergy often show their first symptoms days to weeks after they first get cow milk-based formula. Breastfed infants own a lower risk of having a milk allergy than formula-fed babies.

People of any age can own a milk allergy, but it’s more common in young children. Numerous kids outgrow it, but some don’t.

If your baby has a milk allergy, hold two epinephrine auto-injectors on hand in case of a severe reaction (called anaphylaxis).

An epinephrine auto-injector is an easy-to-use prescription medicine that comes in a container about the size of a large pen. Your doctor will show you how to use it.

What Are the Signs & Symptoms of a Milk Allergy?

In children who show symptoms shortly after they own milk, an allergic reaction can cause:

  1. stomach upset
  2. vomiting
  3. itchy, watery, or swollen eyes
  4. hives
  5. throat tightness
  6. hoarseness
  7. diarrhea
  8. trouble breathing
  9. wheezing
  10. coughing
  11. swelling
  12. a drop in blood pressure causing lightheadedness or loss of consciousness

The severity of allergic reactions to milk can vary.

The same kid can react differently with each exposure. This means that even though one reaction was mild, the next could be more severe and even life-threatening.

Children also can have:

  1. an intolerance to milk in which symptoms — such as loose stools, blood in the stool, refusal to eat, or irritability or colic — appear hours to days later
  2. lactose intolerance, which is when the body has trouble digesting milk

If you’re not certain if your kid has an intolerance versus an allergy, talk to your doctor.

How Is a Milk Allergy Diagnosed?

If you ponder your baby is allergic to milk, call your baby’s doctor.

He or she will enquire you questions and talk to you about what’s going on. After the doctor examines your baby, some stool tests and blood tests might be ordered. The doctor may refer you to an allergist (a doctor who specializes in treating allergies).

The allergist might do skin testing. In skin testing, the doctor or nurse will put a tiny bit of milk protein on the skin, then make a little scratch on the skin. If your kid reacts to the allergen, the skin will swell a little in that area love an insect bite.

If the allergist finds that your baby is at risk for a serious allergic reaction, epinephrine auto-injectors will be prescribed.

Avoiding a Milk Allergy Reaction

If You’re Breastfeeding

If your breastfed baby has a milk allergy, talk to the allergist before changing your diet.

If You’re Formula Feeding

If you’re formula feeding, your doctor may advise you to switch to an extensively hydrolyzed formulaor an amino acid-based formula in which the proteins are broken below into particles so that the formula is less likely to trigger an allergic reaction.

You also might see "partially hydrolyzed" formulas, but these aren’t truly hypoallergenic and can lead to a significant allergic reaction.

If you’re concerned about a milk allergy, it’s always best to talk with your child’s doctor and work together to select a formula that’s safe for your baby.

Do not attempt to make your own formula.

Commercial formulas are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug istration (FDA) and created through a extremely specialized process that cannot be duplicated at home. Other types of milk that might be safe for an older kid with a milk allergyare not safe for infants.

If you own any questions or concerns, talk with your child’s doctor.

Definition & Overview

Hives, medically known as urticaria, are red, smooth, and oftentimes itchy, raised bumps that form on the skin and suddenly appear in diverse shapes and sizes. They are fairly common and go away on their own even without medical intervention. They can change in size, spread, vanish, or even reappear in another put rapidly, just in a matter of hours.

About 20% of the population is bound to develop hives at least once in their life. Urticaria can appear anywhere in the body, including the face, chest, back, lips, eyelids, tongue, ears, and throat. It seems to be more prevalent in women than men. The occurrence of hives can be more serious in some people, sometimes accompanied by swelling and build-up of fluid in certain affected body parts — a condition called angioedema.


Clinical features

Sensitive skin presents in a wide variety of ways with:

  1. subjective symptoms such as stinging, itching, burning
  2. and/or visible skin changes such as redness, dryness, scaling, peeling, bumps, hives.

Often, complaints of sensitive skin relate only to the face.

Products that are tolerated on other sites cause irritation and rashes; eyelids are especially sensitive. Armpits, groin and genitals may also be more sensitive than other areas because of thinner skin.


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