Common Skin Allergies & Triggers
Irritated skin is one of the most common types of allergies treated and managed by allergists/immunologists. Skin allergies often occur when an allergen triggers an immune system response. There are a variety of conditions associated with skin allergies, including eczema (atopic dermatitis), allergic contact dermatitis, hives (urticaria), and angioedema.
Allergic Contact Dermatitis
Allergic contact dermatitis is often an itchy, red rash caused by direct contact with an allergen. Although not contagious or life-threatening, it’s important to know your triggers and treatment options so the issue doesn’t worsen. Typically, the rash won’t appear after the first time you touch something you are allergic to, but it often happens the next time. The experienced team at Langford Allergy will perform a skin test to see what’s causing the reaction and treat the allergy accordingly.
Common triggers for contact dermatitis include:
- Citrus fruit, especially the peel
- Fragrances in soaps, shampoos, lotions, perfumes, and cosmetics
- Hair dyes or straighteners
- Latex rubber
- Leather (specifically, chemicals used in tanning leather)
- Nickel, a metal found in jewelry and belt buckles
- Poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac
- Topical medications
Eczema (atopic dermatitis) is a red, itchy skin rash that appears anywhere on the body but is most often found on the face or wrists, behind the knees or ears, and at the bends of the elbow. Over 30 million Americans have some form of eczema. The rash is often associated with other types of allergies or immunological conditions including asthma, hay fever, or food allergies. However, eczema can also be triggered by:
- Environmental conditions
- Indoor or outdoor allergens
- Skin irritants
Skin Allergy Treatment Options
Allergic Contact Dermatitis can be tested and diagnosed by performing a patch test. Patches containing small amounts of certain triggers will be applied to the skin. The application site will later be examined for signs of an allergic reaction.