Allergies are among the most prevalent skin ailments, and can range from a mild irritation to severe and chronic cases. The most common types of skin allergies are contact dermatitis, eczema and hives and are usually triggered off by chemicals found in common consumer products such as perfumes. So how does one actually contract skin allergy? In layman's term, an allergic reaction is actually your body's immune response of making a big fuss out of a seemingly harmless object or what is commonly known as allergen. When the allergen gets in contact with the body's immune cells, the immune system releases histamine to effectively eliminate the allergens or irritants. This reaction can take event in just a matter of minutes and can cause a host of symptoms such as allergies and skin rashes. It is more like the human body responding to a false alarm.
More often than not, skin allergies develop when the highly sensitive person is constantly exposed to the causal allergen. In the case of contact dermatitis, the usual perpetrators are self-care products and poison ivy. Histamine further stimulates the production of mucus that ultimately causes redness and inflammation. The telltale symptoms of skin allergies are rashes, swelling, blistering and itchiness. Although, there are no specific reason as to why some people display sensitivity to certain allergens the common allergens are mold spores, pollens. Dust particles and air pollutants. There are some individuals who also develop skin allergies due to consumption of certain food groups such as eggs, wheat, soy, peanuts, crabmeat, shrimp and poppy seeds.
Unknown to many, metals are also a major culprit for skin allergies. In a research recently conducted by the Mayo Clinic, the top ten causes of skin allergy attacks are nickel, gold, Balsam (usually found in lotions and perfumes), Thimerosal or the mercury compound in some vaccines and antiseptics, Neomycin Sulfate found in insecticides, deodorants, ointments. Other major allergens are Fragrance mix, formaldehyde or the preservative usually found in paints, medications and cosmetic products, Cobalt chloride present in antiperspirant and buttons, Bactitracin and Quaternium 15 in nail polish and shampoos.
As you might have gathered, we are practically surrounded by a number of allergens than we care to think. The alarming thought is that it is usually found in the majority of consumer products we like to use. For some people, this might not be a cause for concern since they don't suffer any adverse effects. But for highly sensitive and allergic individuals, its more like going to war blindfolded. There are no long-term cures for allergies. The best remedy is of course general avoidance to known allergens. If you can't quite pinpoint which allergen have caused the allergic reactions, you can take a skin allergy test to determine which irritant your body displays high sensitivity. However, since skin allergies are often caused by a myriad of allergens found in the environment, you can never be too careful. If you develop rashes, top dermatologists advice a logical remedy: if its a dry rash, try to keep it moisturize, and if its moist, you need to keep it under dry conditions. One should also avoid scratching as this will only further trigger serious inflammation and can possibly irritate mote the surface cells.
For mild skin allergies, you can easily purchase some over the counter antihistamine drugs such as Benadryl. However, for severe and persistent cases, it would be advisable to visit your healthcare provider right away. Typically allergies manifest itself within minutes, the best thing to do it not to ignore it but apply anti-allergy medicines to relieve irritation and itchiness. For people with high sensitivity, skin allergies need not be a lifelong debilitating illness if you are vigilant enough to avoid allergens.