Types of Skin Allergies
Usually, you’ll be able to spot a skin allergy based on changes in the texture and appearance of your skin. However, it can be tricky to distinguish between the different types of skin allergies out there. Here are the most common types of skin allergies and all you need to know about them.
Eczema, also called atopic dermatitis, is caused by a specific gene variation that causes the skin to be more sensitive to certain substances. This means that atopic dermatitis usually starts during childhood or infancy. Eczema can also have episodes wherein it flares up, only to subside and then flare up again after some time has passed.
Eczema is linked to other conditions such as allergic rhinitis, food allergies, and asthma.
People with eczema usually suffer from a red rash that’s itchy. The rash can also be dry and scaly to the touch. Other symptoms include:
- A cluster of raised bumps that ooze clear fluid
- Rashes inside the back of the knees and crooks of the elbows, ankles and wrists, upper chest, neck, and the face.
- Itchiness that worsens at night.
Diagnosis of eczema involves a number of tests and examinations, such as:
Patterns in medical history. Your doctor will ask about the different types of food you eat and the places you go to. These can help them identify possible eczema triggers.
Skin and blood tests. Tests such as buccal swabs, skin biopsies, and blood tests can give clues about the allergens that you may be reacting to.
Urticaria, a.k.a. hives, is a skin allergy that comes with the development of red or flesh-colored wheals on the skin. The two main types of urticaria are acute or chronic hives. Acute urticaria is when the wheals appear and disappear on the skin for short periods of time, while chronic urticaria is when hives that stay on the skin for more than six weeks.
Doctors are unsure about why some cases of urticaria can last for just a few hours, while some last for months. However, research has shown that urticaria is a result of the immune system’s response to a particular allergen. Other triggers of a hives flare-up are the scratching, alcohol, heat or sunlight, stress, exercise, and certain pain medications.