An allergic reaction happens when the immune system has an unusual reaction to a harmless substance. The job of immune system cells is to find foreign substances, such as viruses and bacteria, and get rid of them. Normally, this response protects us from dangerous diseases. People with skin allergies have over-sensitive immune systems. They can develop allergic rashes and other conditions due to proteins found in food, pollen, latex, drugs or other things. The skincare experts at MetroDerm, P.C. can help patients determine which allergens are causing their allergic reaction and prescribe the best treatment plan.
- Atopic dermatitis (eczema): The most common allergic skin condition is eczema, especially in young children, affecting 20 percent of infants but only 1 in 50 adults. In about half of patients with eczema, the patient has inherited a faulty gene in their skin called filaggrin. The itch of eczema is not caused by histamine so antihistamines do not help with the symptoms. Eczema is frequently linked to food allergy, allergic rhinitis, or asthma.
- Allergic contact dermatitis: When your skin comes in direct contact with an allergen, allergic contact dermatitis occurs. You may develop red, scaly, itchy, dumpy, or swollen skin at the point of contact. Touching poison oak, poison sumac or poison ivy can also cause allergic contact dermatitis. An oily coating covering these plants causes the red, itchy rash. An allergic reaction can be caused by touching the plants or by touching clothing, pets or gardening tools that have come in contact with the oil.
- Hives: An inflammation of the skin triggered when the immune system releases histamine, causing small blood vessels to leak and leading to swelling in the skin. Acute urticarial happens after eating a particular food or contacting a specific trigger. Other triggers include non-allergic causes such as exercise or heat, as well as medications, food or insect bites. Although they can be uncomfortable or painful, hives are not contagious.
- Angioedema: Often seen in combination with urticarial (hives) angioedema is swelling in the deep layers of the skin. Angioedema frequently occurs in soft tissues such as eyelids, genitals or the mouth. Acute angioedema is commonly caused by an allergic reaction to food or medication. Chronic recurrent angioedema recurs over a long period of time and does not have an identifiable cause.
- Raised bumps
- Scaling/flaking of skin
- Cracked skin
- Latex, pet dander or poison ivy
- Cold or hot temperatures
Allergies can be annoying. If you are tired of dealing with the symptoms, visit MetroDerm, P.C. at one of four convenient metro Atlanta locations: Alpharetta, Johnson Ferry Rd. in Atlanta, Hiram & Lilburn.