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Since the skin is known as the largest organ in the body, it is common for various allergens to cause a negative reaction to the skin. A skin allergy is one of the most common problems reported by allergists, but it remains one of the most confusing diseases to diagnose. From inflammation to hives and drug-related rashes to eczema, skin allergies come in various forms and give out different symptoms.
The symptoms of skin allergy may include one or more of the following physical signs – rashes, hives, swelling, itching and skin dryness that results to cracking of the skin. The most common areas affected by skin allergies are the arms, hands, face and neck because they are exposed most of the time every day. However, no part of your skin is immune from these allergens.
Allergic Contact Dermatitis and Eczema
When your skin becomes irritated with an object because of direct contact with an allergen or the source of allergy, you are experiencing a condition known as “allergic contact dermatitis”. On the other hand, if a skin irritation is caused by contact with a harsh substance without allergies and affecting the immune system, this condition is called “irritant contact dermatitis”.
Contact dermatitis is the most common type of skin allergies because the allergens exist anywhere – ranging from your bathroom cabinets to rubber latex gloves, cosmetics, nickel and chrome in jewelries, toiletries, hair products, fabric softeners and many more. Just being outdoors can expose you from different kinds of skin allergies, such as allergen sources from poison ivy, poison oaks and poison sumac.
Eczema, on the other hand, is another type of skin allergy with unknown origins. Symptoms of eczema include red, scaly, itchy and dry patches usually affecting the arms, legs, scalp and face. Just like other allergies, eczema has no known cure. Instead, you have to treat this skin allergy by regularly moisturizing the skin to avoid irritations, prevent itching and promote a healthier skin.
Although it is important to identify the most accurate cause of allergic contract dermatitis and eczema, skin allergy can be caused by numerous allergens that you are exposed to every day. For this reason, it is difficult to point out the exact culprits of your condition.
While a doctor can help you with temporary remedies for your skin allergy, the key to determining the cause and giving appropriate treatment to skin allergies is to observe and take note of where you might have caught the negative reactions. The location of the hives, rashes, swelling and itch could help you figure out the cause of your condition.