A lot of people have allergies; you may even have one or know someone who has one that’s why you’re reading this. But did you ever wonder how allergies work? All you might know about having an allergy is that you are not allowed to eat food or go near things you are allergic to, and that’s it.
Allergies In A Medical Perspective
Allergies are not just about restrictions; it is a serious medical condition that you should take critically. When you have skin allergies, you have a condition called allergic contact dermatitis. This is a condition in which you have skin inflammation because of your exposure to an allergen.
An allergen is a substance that someone is allergic to. So far, atopyan allergic reaction to allergens is the most frequent cause of allergic dermatitis. These are allergens that you can inhale or absorb through your skin in the environment around you.
You can usually get allergens from weeds, grass, tree pollens, feathers, house dust, cigarette smoke and wool. Sometimes, your allergic dermatitis can be due to food and pets that you get allergens from.
When you have allergic dermatitis, you usually show tiny to large water blisters, swelling and redness on your skin. Your blisters may break, which can form into crusts and scales. If your allergic dermatitis is untreated; your skin may darken, become leathery and later on have cracks. Allergic contact dermatitis can be difficult to differentiate from other rashes, especially if it has been there for a while.
Causes of Allergic Dermatitis
Substances like alkali, acids, strong soaps, solvents, or detergents do not typically cause allergic dermatitis. These harsh substances, which can create a reaction on most people’s skin, are known as ‘irritants’. Though there are some chemicals that are both allergens and irritants, you usually get allergic contact dermatitis from short contact with common substances that other people don’t have adverse effects with.
You can pinpoint your allergen by consulting a dermatologist. You should discuss the substances that you get in contact with either at home or at work. If you can’t identify the allergen by recalling, then your dermatologist can perform patch tests on you.
Patch testing is a procedure used to diagnose allergic contact dermatitis. It is very safe and quick, so you need not to worry about it. You will be asked to put a small amount of a suspected allergen to your skin for a limited time, usually up to two days. Substances like nickel, dyes, rubber, poison oak, poison ivy, and other linked plants are relatively common allergens.
Once your skin reacts to a certain allergen, then your dermatologist would pinpoint it out. This is the time where you start avoiding contact with that substance. You can also ask your dermatologist for over-the-counter medication that you can use for sudden mild allergic dermatitis attacks.