Irritated skin can be caused by a variety of factors. These include immune system disorders, medications, and infections. When an allergen is responsible for triggering an immune system response, then it is an allergic skin condition.
Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema)
Eczema is the most common skin condition, especially in children. It affects one in five infants but only around one in fifty adults. It is now thought to be due to “leakiness” of the skin barrier, which causes it to dry out and become prone to irritation and inflammation by many environmental factors. Also, some people with eczema have a food sensitivity which can make eczema symptoms worse. In about half of patients with severe atopic dermatitis, the disease is due to the inheritance of a faulty gene in their skin called filaggrin. Unlike with urticaria (hives), the itch of eczema is not only caused by histamine so anti-histamines may not control the symptoms. Eczema is often linked with asthma, allergic rhinitis (hay fever) or food allergy. This order of progression is called the atopic march.
Allergic Contact Dermatitis
Allergic contact dermatitis occurs when your skin comes in direct contact with an allergen. For instance, if you have a nickel allergy and your skin comes in contact with jewelry made with even a very small amount of nickel, you may develop red, bumpy, scaly, itchy or swollen skin at the point of contact.
Coming in contact with poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac can also cause allergic contact dermatitis. The red, itchy rash is caused by an oily coating covering these plants. The allergic reaction can come from actually touching them, or by touching clothing, pets or even gardening tools that have come in contact with the oil.
Hives are an inflammation of the skin triggered when the immune system releases histamine. This causes small blood vessels to leak, which leads to swelling in the skin. Swelling in deep layers of the skin is called angioedema. There are two kinds of urticaria, acute and chronic. Acute urticaria occurs at times after eating a particular food or coming in contact with a particular trigger. It can also be triggered by non-allergic causes such as heat or exercise, as well as medications, foods, insect bites or infections. Chronic urticaria is rarely caused by specific triggers and so allergy tests are usually not helpful. Chronic urticaria can last for many months or years. Although they are often uncomfortable and sometimes painful, hives are not contagious.
Angioedema is swelling in the deep layers of the skin. It is often seen together with urticaria (hives). Angioedema many times occurs in soft tissues such as the eyelids, mouth or genitals. Angioedema is called "acute" if the condition lasts only a short time such as minutes to hours. Acute angioedema is commonly caused by an allergic reaction to medications or foods. Chronic recurrent angioedema is when the condition returns over a long period of time. It typically does not have an identifiable cause.
Hereditary angioedema (HAE)
Hereditary angioedema (HAE) is a rare, but serious genetic condition involving swelling in various body parts including the hands, feet, face, intestinal wall and airways. It does not respond to treatment with antihistamines or adrenaline so it is important to go see a specialist.
Skin conditions are one of the most common forms of allergy treated and managed by an allergist/immunologist, a physician with specialized training and expertise to accurately diagnose your condition and provide relief for your symptoms.
As complex as it may sound, Keratosis Pilaris is a harmless, non-contagious type of skin disorder, which primarily affects people with dry skin. This disease has the potential to convert a person’s once smooth skin into skin as rough as sandpaper.
A number of light-coloured small bumps start appearing on the skin and in most cases, they tend to appear on the upper arms, thighs and buttocks of the affected person. In certain cases, there may be some swelling or redness, which comes along with the bumps. The skin loses its original glow and colour.
As mentioned above, people with dry skin suffer from Keratosis Pilaris. Also anyone with extra sensitive skin who is prone to be allergic to various substances tend to fall prey to this disease. Often Keratosis Pilaris is inherited from other family members as well. Persons suffering from asthma and eczema have higher chances of getting affected by Keratosis Pilaris.
But what leads to such a condition? A protein in our body called ‘keratin’, which protects our skin from various infections, is the main cause behind Keratosis Pilaris. Although there is no particular reason for excess building up of keratin in our body, too much of it under the skin leads to blockages of hair follicles and growth of rashes.
For people who are scared of medical tests, it may be a relief to know that Keratosis Pilaris does not need any sort of testing. Treatment of Keratosis Pilaris is a time taking process and immediate results may not be seen after applying a particular lotion or cream. However, sometimes it gets cured on its own without any medication.
To start off, the amount of time which is spent in water should be limited. In addition to this, there are other steps which may be taken. For example, while taking a shower, hot water should be substituted by warm water. Also, it is vital to ensure that the skin is adequately moist. Two ways of going about doing this are using moisturizers and making use of a humidifier. Make sure you use mild soaps for regular hygiene and for your shower.
Who gets Keratosis Pilaris?
Anyone can get Keratosis Pilaris. It is estimated to affect between 50-80% of all adolescents and approximately 40% of adults. Females may be more frequently affected than males. Age of onset is often within the first 10 years of life and can particularly get worse during puberty. Keratosis Pilaris may however begin at any age. A large percentage of patients have other people in their family with the same condition. It has commonly been seen in twins. Keratosis Pilaris is also seen in atopic dermatitis patients and patients with very dry skin.
One big relief when it comes to having Keratosis Pilaris is the fact that there is little risk at all if a person has it as it is not threatening. That being said, the sooner it is under control, the better!
What’s going on with your kids?
Maybe you’ve noticed a raised red spot on your son’s skin after he’s been playing in the park.
Maybe you hear your daughter sneezing after she pets your neighbor’s cat.
Or you might notice your preteen rubbing his puffy eyes as he wheels the lawn mower back into the garage.
What do these symptoms have in common and how can you help?
What is an allergy?
The children described above may be showing signs of an allergic reaction. Common allergy triggers include:
Any child can develop an allergy. It happens when their immune system overreacts to a substance that’s normally harmless.
When your child eats, touches, or breathes in an allergen, their immune system releases histamines. That causes symptoms of an allergic reaction.
The symptoms of an allergic reaction can vary from person to person. Allergens can affect your child’s skin, respiratory tract, and other organs.
How can allergies affect your child’s skin?
If your child comes in contact with an allergen, they may develop contact dermatitis. Their skin may appear:
If they touch, inhale, or eat an allergen, they can also develop hives. These are raised welts that can develop on their skin, and they’re almost always itchy.
Some children with allergies also develop eczema. This condition causes their skin to become inflamed, itchy, and irritated, even when they haven’t made contact with an allergen.
What do respiratory symptoms involve?
Allergic reactions can also affect your child’s respiratory tract and sinuses. After coming into contact with an allergen, they may experience:
stuffy or runny nose
red, itchy, or watery eyes
a feeling of pressure in their face
coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath
If your child has a severe allergy, they may develop anaphylaxis. This is a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction.
It can cause their airways to close, making it difficult to breathe.
What other symptoms do allergies cause?
Your child might experience other, more severe symptoms too, including:
a tingling sensation in their mouth
swelling of their tongue or face
In the case of a severe allergic reaction, they can even lose consciousness.
If you suspect your child has an allergy, make an appointment with their doctor.
If you suspect they’re having a severe allergic reaction, give them epinephrine if you have it, and call 911.
How can you prevent allergic reactions?
The most effective way to prevent allergic reactions is to avoid allergens. Once you know what allergens your child is allergic to, ask their doctor how they can avoid them.
For example, if your child is allergic to grass, their doctor may encourage them to wear long pants and socks outside.
If they’re allergic to dogs, their doctor may advise them to avoid petting them.
If they’re allergic to certain foods, their doctor will emphasize the importance of never eating them. For example, they will likely encourage you and your child to read ingredient lists, ask questions about restaurant menu items, and take steps to avoid contaminating dishes and cooking surfaces with allergens.
Can you use natural remedies?
Many allergic reactions can be avoided. But accidents do happen.
To treat allergic reactions, your child’s doctor will likely recommend certain medications. For example, they may recommend over-the-counter antihistamines, prescription antihistamines, or epinephrine.
Some natural remedies may also help soothe mild allergic symptoms. But you should never use natural remedies to treat a severe allergic reaction.
Always talk to your child’s doctor before trying a new treatment for their allergies.
Natural remedies for skin symptoms
Antihistamine creams and lotions are available at many drug stores. Some other remedies may also help soothe skin symptoms.
For example, to help treat contact dermatitis, bathe the irritated area with warm water and mild soap. Then consider applying aloe vera gel or calendula cream.
Note, however, that some people can also be sensitive to the ingredients in these products. If your child’s skin is dry, a fragrance-free moisturizing cream or ointment may help.
To help relieve hives, apply a cool wet cloth to the area. Putting baking soda or oatmeal in your child’s bathwater might also provide a soothing effect.
Natural remedies for sinus symptoms
Even if you install filters on your air conditioner, get rid of allergy-triggering pets, and keep kids inside when pollen counts are high, it may be hard for them to avoid airborne allergens completely.
To treat mild respiratory symptoms, consider trying over-the-counter allergy medications.
Breathing in steam from a bowl of hot water may also help clear congested sinuses.
And some people believe that nasal lavage can help. In this procedure, you use a neti pot or other device to flush your child’s nasal cavities out with water. Do this only with older children who will cooperate with the procedure.
Natural remedies for stomach symptoms
If your child has diarrhea, encourage them to eat a bland diet. For example, many people recommend rice, toast, bananas, and applesauce. It’s also important for them to drink plenty of water and other fluids.
If your child feels nauseous, encourage them to rest and stay still. Get rid of strong scents that might make their upset stomach worse, such as candles or air fresheners.
You can also look for special antinausea wristbands at your local drug store. They’re designed to stimulate a pressure point that might help relieve nausea. Though there is no strong evidence these work, they are low-risk.
Rashes happen from time to time, especially in dry weather. But rashes that don’t go away could be skin allergies.
Skin allergies are the most common allergies in children. The second most common are allergies to foods. Respiratory allergies, which are more common among older children, are the third most common.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the cases of skin and food allergies among children increased over the period of a long-term survey (1997–2011), with skin allergies more prevalent in younger children than older ones.
Allergies are one of the most common medical conditions, but having them at an early age can interfere with a child’s physical and emotional health.
Learn about the different types of skin allergies in children and how to find the most effective treatment.
The skin is the largest organ in the human body, which measures about 2 square metres, that is approximately 22 square feet. Skin is not just the longest organ alone in our body, but also has numerous amazing roles which most of us don’t realise actually. It not only protects our body from chemical, harmful radiations and sun. It also acts as a major storage area of energy, synthesizes vitamin D and the best indicator of any disorder in your digestive and immune system. But most of us don’t identify the warning signs that our skin shows from the initial stage unless it becomes more severe and start to show drastic skin changes or allergies.
Homeopathy is the system of medicine, which not only identifies the problem of skin from the root level but also understands the nature of skin of each individual and treats the skin allergies without causing any harmful side effects. As allergies are not common for everybody it is very much necessary to identify the skin nature of every individual and the type of allergen by which the person is affected. Thus, homeopathy way of treating is best for skin allergies. Here are few best remedies for skin allergies used in homeopathy
Apis mellifica: It is the best remedy for hives and utricarial rash. It can be used for any type of allergies with severe burning, itching sensation and rash.
Natrum mur: Natrum mur is the commonly used homeopathy medicine for nasal and skin allergies
Sulphur: It is the top most natural homeopathic medicine for treating the skin allergies. It shows wonder in relieving the excessive itching and burning sensations
Rhus toxicodendron: It is used for treating person with eczema in which the person develops numerous vesicular rashes along with itching, swelling and tingling sensation over the affected area of skin.
Arsenicum: It is used for treating psoriasis, chronic uriticaria and chronic eczema.