Skin allergies can manifest in a different way. The most common conditions are hives (welts), contact dermatitis and atopic dermatitis (eczema).
Hives, also called urticaria, are raised, itchy welts which can present as Acute Urticaria and last for a few days or weeks or become Chronic Hives and stay for months and years. Occasionally Hives come together with swelling soft tissues such as lips, fingers or around eyes. In this case it is called Urticaria and Angioedema. Acute and Chronic Urticaria often have different mechanisms and different causes. Management of Chronic Urticaria can be a challenging clinical problem that requires more medication use and occasionally injections with Biologics. For difficult cases, it is appropriate to consult with an allergist-immunologist, who is trained to determine the cause and help to manage more complicated clinical scenarios.
Contact dermatitis involves a range of symptoms – redness, swelling, blisters, oozing and crusting of the skin and could be triggered by nonspecific irritants, chemical allergens and sun exposure or sun exposure in combination with certain chemical agents. This could affect hands, face or other parts of our body. An allergist often uses an allergy patch test to make a proper diagnosis. Avoidance of identified allergens helps to address a problem.
Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is experienced by people of all ages but more often affects children. A severe form of eczema causes skin changes which are similar to contact dermatitis. A milder form of eczema manifests mostly as scattered dry patches more often in skin creases, hands, neck and face. Allergy to food plays a significant role in the development of atopic dermatitis, especially in younger children. Finding food allergens assures better control of these types of rashes. An allergy specialist could help identify the food allergens, provide a plan for the food allergens elimination diet and efficiently treat Atopic Dermatitis skin changes.