What type of skin allergies are there
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
Resources We Love
Favorite Sites for Financial Assistance and Advocacy
National Psoriasis Foundation — Advocacy
NPF Advocacy helps organize volunteers to share information and advocate with legislators for change in public policy regarding psoriasis.
This online nonprofit information resource helps users to discover programs that assist patients who can’t afford medication and healthcare costs.
Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA)
The free PPA website helps users locate public and private assistance programs that can assist cover expensive prescription medication costs.
Favorite Organizations for Essential Psoriasis Information
American Academy of Dermatology (AAD)
The AAD represents the vast majority of practicing dermatologists in the United States.
Its website includes a tool that allows you to search its database to discover dermatologists in your area.
American College of Rheumatology (ACR)
This global organization of physicians, health professionals, and scientists has provided a comprehensive website that offers a wealth of patient and caregiver resources, including educational videos, information on available medication and therapies, and a search tool to discover a local rheumatologist.
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)
Dedicated to supporting research to treat diseases affecting muscles, bones, joints, and skin, NIAMS offers a website that provides an exhaustive guide to skin conditions and related topics, as well as news on the most recent clinical trials.
National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF)
As the leading patient advocacy group for people living with psoriatic disease, the NPF provides an huge online support community for people dealing with psoriasis.
It provides a wealth of patient resources, including personalized guidance on how to deal with the disease.
Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis Alliance (PAPAA)
Founded in 2007, this alliance of two previous psoriasis-based foundations operates a website offering information, advice, and support for those living with psoriasis, including a special section for children coping with the disease.
Psoriasis Cure Now
This patient advocacy group specializes in raising awareness about the seriousness of psoriasis and the need for additional medical research.
It also provides resources and information to urge patients to advocate for themselves when seeking medical care.
The Itch to Beat Psoriasis
Everyday Health contributor Howard Chang provides a firsthand perspective on psoriasis with an additional dose of encouragement, education, and empathy. Chang’s posts deal with the everyday details of living with psoriasis, including topics such as navigating the condition as a parent and how best to use the frequent time you spend in doctors’ waiting rooms.
Just a Girl With Spots
Having been diagnosed with psoriasis at 15, blogger Joni Kazantzis writes about not only her personal battles with the condition but also the mental and physical challenges that each person with psoriasis must battle daily.
Todd Bello was diagnosed with psoriasis at age 28.
Through his blog, Bello shares regular posts about living with psoriasis as well as his patient advocacy efforts as a extremely athletic volunteer for the NPF. His passionate efforts on behalf of others with psoriasis own helped build a community of support for those dealing with the condition.
The National Psoriasis Foundation blog
With the motto “the P is silent but we are not!” this blog is a frequently updated resource that covers a wide spectrum of psoriasis-related topics, including health, advocacy, and inspirational personal stories.
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Soap Lake in Washington state has endless been a favorite destination for those dealing with skin conditions, thanks to the lake’s high natural mineral count and alkaline levels.
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Set in a volcanic Icelandic landscape, the Blue Lagoon resort provides luxury accommodations and fine dining, finish with a private lagoon at the Silica Hotel.
Its best feature, however, may be the clinic, which is widely favorite in treating psoriasis.
Guests can bathe in the mineral-rich seawater of the lagoon, while other treatments include UV light therapy and a host of internally developed skin-care products.
Created by the LEO Innovation Lab, this user-friendly app is a social media platform for people living with psoriasis. In addition to providing an easier way to join with others dealing with the condition, it provides groups based on topic (parenting, diet, exercise, travel) and offers tools to assist host meetups.
This app allows you to document and track how your psoriasis develops over time by using your phone’s camera.
The split-screen feature enables you to compare your condition over time and relate it to the effectiveness of your treatment with your dermatologist.
Itchy eyes, a congested nose, sneezing, wheezing and hives: these are symptoms of an allergic reaction caused when plants release pollen into the air, generally in the spring or drop.
Numerous people use hay fever as a colloquial term for these seasonal allergies and the inflammation of the nose and airways.
But hay fever is a misnomer, said Dr. Jordan Josephson, an ear, nose and throat doctor and sinus specialist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.
«It is not an allergy to hay,» Josephson, author of the book «Sinus Relief Now» (Perigee Trade, 2006), told Live Science. «Rather, it is an allergy to weeds that pollinate.»
Doctors and researchers prefer the phrase allergic rhinitis to describe the condition.
More than 50 million people experience some type of allergy each year, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. In 2017, 8.1% of adults and 7.7% of children reported own allergic rhinitis symptoms, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Worldwide, between 10 and 30% of people are affected by allergic rhinitis, Josephson said.
In 2019, spring arrived early in some parts of the country and later in others, according to the National Phenology Network (NPN).
Spring brings blooming plants and, for some, lots of sneezing, itchy, watery eyes and runny noses. According to NPN data, spring reared its head about two weeks early in areas of California, Nevada and numerous of the Southern and Southeastern states. Much of California, for example, is preparing for a brutal allergy season due to the large quantity of winter rain. On the other hand, spring ranged from about one to two weeks tardy in the Northwest, the Midwest and the Mid-Atlantic U.S.
[Watch a Massive ‘Pollen Cloud’ Explode from Late-Blooming Tree]
The symptoms of allergic rhinitis may at first feel love those of a freezing. But unlike a freezing that may incubate before causing discomfort, symptoms of allergies generally appear almost as soon as a person encounters an allergen, such as pollen or mold.
Symptoms include itchy eyes, ears, nose or throat, sneezing, irritability, nasal congestion and hoarseness. People may also experience cough, postnasal drip, sinus pressure or headaches, decreased sense of smell, snoring, sleep apnea, fatigue and asthma, Josephson said. [Oral Allergy Syndrome: 6 Ways to Avoid an Itchy, Tingling Mouth]
Many of these symptoms are the immune system’s overreaction as it attempts to protect the vital and sensitive respiratory system from exterior invaders.
The antibodies produced by the body hold the foreign invaders out, but also cause the symptoms characteristic of allergic responses.
People can develop hay fever at any age, but most people are diagnosed with the disorder in childhood or early adulthood, according to the Mayo Clinic. Symptoms typically become less severe as people age.
Often, children may first experience food allergies and eczema, or itchy skin, before developing hay fever, Josephson said.
«This then worsens over the years, and patients then develop allergies to indoor allergens love dust and animals, or seasonal rhinitis, love ragweed, grass pollen, molds and tree pollen.»
Hay fever can also lead to other medical conditions. People who are allergic to weeds are more likely to get other allergies and develop asthma as they age, Josephson said. But those who get immunotherapy, such as allergy shots that assist people’s bodies get used to allergens, are less likely to develop asthma, he said.
The most common allergen is pollen, a powder released by trees, grasses and weeds that fertilize the seeds of neighboring plants.
As plants rely on the wind to do the work for them, the pollination season sees billions of microscopic particles fill the air, and some of them finish up in people’s noses and mouths.
Spring bloomers include ash, birch, cedar, elm and maple trees, plus numerous species of grass. Weeds pollinate in the tardy summer and drop, with ragweed being the most volatile.
The pollen that sits on brightly colored flowers is rarely responsible for hay fever because it is heavier and falls to the ground rather than becoming airborne. Bees and other insects carry flower pollen from one flower to the next without ever bothering human noses.
Mold allergies are diverse.
Mold is a spore that grows on rotting logs, dead leaves and grasses. While dry-weather mold species exist, numerous types of mold thrive in moist, rainy conditions, and release their spores overnight. During both the spring and drop allergy seasons, pollen is released mainly in the morning hours and travels best on dry, warm and breezy days.
Main allergy symptoms
Common symptoms of an allergic reaction include:
- wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath and a cough
- sneezing and an itchy, runny or blocked nose (allergic rhinitis)
- itchy, red, watering eyes (conjunctivitis)
- a raised, itchy, red rash (hives)
- tummy pain, feeling ill, vomiting or diarrhoea
- swollen lips, tongue, eyes or face
- 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.
Tests & diagnosis
A physician will consider patient history and act out a thorough physical examination if a person reports having hay-fever-like symptoms.
If necessary, the physician will do an allergy test. According to the Mayo Clinic, people can get a skin-prick test, in which doctors prick the skin on a person’s arm or upper back with diverse substances to see if any cause an allergic reaction, such as a raised bump called a hive. [7 Strange Signs You’re Having an Allergic Reaction]
Blood tests for allergies are also available. This test rates the immune system’s response to a specific allergen by measuring the quantity of allergy-causing antibodies in the bloodstream, according to the Mayo Clinic.
How do scientists know how much pollen is in the air?
They set a trap. The trap — generally a glass plate or rod coated with adhesive — is analyzed every few hours, and the number of particles collected is then averaged to reflect the particles that would pass through the area in any 24-hour period. That measurement is converted to pollen per cubic meter.
Mold counts work much the same way.
A pollen count is an imprecise measurement, scientists confess, and an arduous one — at the analysis stage, pollen grains are counted one by one under a microscope. It is also highly time-consuming to discern between types of pollen, so they are generally bundled into one variable. Given the imprecise nature of the measurement, entire daily pollen counts are often reported simply as low, moderate or high.
The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology provides up-to-date pollen counts for U.S. states.