Many people get rashes that are itchy and irritating. It is possible that your rash could be eczema. Eczema occurs because of many different reasons. There are also various types of eczema. Today, however, we will focus on allergic eczema, which is also known as contact dermatitis.
What is allergic eczema?
Allergic eczema refers to the skin condition that occurs when you are in contact with something you might be allergic to. Like eczema, it causes a rash that can be itchy, red and inflamed. Sometimes it can even cause blisters. This kind of eczema can turn painful if you don’t treat it immediately.
What are the symptoms of allergic eczema?
This kind of eczema causes an allergic reaction to your skin. Therefore, it can cause the following symptoms.
- Rashes around the area that has come in contact with the allergen.
2. Redness of the skin.
3. Swelling of the skin exposed.
4. Very often, these rashes are itchy, but you should avoid scratching them.
5. You can also have a burning sensation around the rashes.
6. If left untreated, the rash can turn into a painful blister or develop an infection.
When does allergic eczema occur?
This condition can occur any time after the skin has come in contact with an allergen. Quite often, the symptoms appear only 48 to 96 hours after exposure! So it is possible that you could be exposed several days before you can see a physical reaction. If you are looking for what might have caused the allergy, you may have to retrace your steps many days earlier.
Common allergens that cause allergic eczema
There are various things that can cause an allergic reaction to the skin. Technically you can be allergic to anything. But let us discuss the top 10 common allergens that cause this skin condition.
1. Certain oils and scents used in perfumes can cause irritations and allergic reaction in people. Fragrances used in skincare products can also be the reason for an allergy.
2. Ointments used for anti-bacterial purposes or antifungal creams like methylisothiazolinone and neomycin can result in allergic reactions in some people.
3. Formaldehyde is a preservative used in products that can cause allergies in people.
4. Many people are allergic to hair dyes. This is because of an ingredient known as paraphenylenediamine.
5. Many metals like nickel, cobalt and chromium can also cause allergic reactions. They are used to make jewellery that you wear.
6. Clothing dyes can also cause reactions when you wear the clothes and the colour bleeds.
7. Latex allergies are pretty common and can cause allergic eczema.
8. Poison ivy can definitely cause a skin allergy in someone who might not be allergic too.
9. Adhesives used in household items are a common cause of allergies.
10. Chemicals in cleaning products, soaps and detergents are common allergens.
How do you know you have allergic eczema?
Step 1 and the most important thing to do is visit a doctor, skin specialist or dermatologist. The doctor will examine your skin and do further tests if allergic eczema is suspected. They will try to find out what you are allergic to.
- A patch test is when various patches with allergens are stuck to your back. They stay on for 48 hours, after which you are checked for reactions and allergies.
- One way to test for allergies is to do a blood allergy test. It is a blood test where they check how your blood reacts to different allergens. This test can be expensive and not always conclusive.
- You can also test for allergies with a skin test. This is a slightly painful one where they prick your skin with different allergens on your arm and wait for a stipulated amount of time for reactions.
- If these allergy tests cannot ascertain what you are allergic to, your doctor might consider a skin lesion biopsy. This entails extracting a small part of the skin with an allergic reaction and sending it for testing to a lab.
How to treat allergic eczema
There are many things you can do to help avoid allergic eczema and treat it.
1. Always keep your skin well moisturised. Hydration can go a long way to help with eczema and allergies. Just make sure to use a moisturiser that is fragrance-free and hypoallergenic.
2. Sometimes, just washing the area affected can help reduce an allergy.
3. Once you know what you are allergic to, you can take proactive measures to avoid contact with allergens.
4. Prescription ointments given by your doctor can help greatly with treating allergic eczema.
5. Anti-allergic medicines and antihistamines can help with allergic reactions.
6. Wear gloves when using cleaning products and other chemicals.
7. If the infection is terrible, your doctor could prescribe antibiotics and other oral medication.
8. Always follow your doctor’s orders.
9. Always keep track of what you are allergic to and watch out for even the most minor reactions.
10. Using an air purifier can help with environmental allergens like pollen and dust.
11. Change your bed sheets regularly to avoid a dust mite allergy. Also, let ample amount of sunlight into your home and ventilate it well.
12. Ensure that you have a healthy diet and a high water intake!
The silver lining
Allergic eczema can range from very mild to quite severe. But you do not have to worry too much as long as you get the right treatment. Always, always seek the help of your doctor!
The natural remedies mentioned in the blog are the widely popular ones. It is in no way a substitute for medical advice, treatment or diagnosis. Avoid using these if you have sensitive skin or are prone to allergies.
Before trying any natural remedy, always test a small quantity on your skin to check for any adverse reactions or allergy to any particular ingredient. In case of emergency or any reaction, immediately connect with a doctor who can offer the proper treatment.
1. How can I permanently cure my allergies?
While there is no permanent cure to allergies, you can ask your doctor about a process called desensitisation, where they give your shot with allergens that your body, over time, learns to react differently to. However, this cannot be done for everyone and is best to check with your doctor on how you can prevent your allergies.
2. What allergies trigger eczema?
The most common allergens that cause a flare-up in eczema are dust, pollen, dust mites, pet hair etc.
3. How long does allergic eczema last?
It can take anywhere from one to three weeks to treat allergic eczema, but this is only if you immediately seek medical attention.
4. Can allergic eczema spread?
Usually, it does not spread; however, in some cases, it can. There is not enough proof of whether or not it spreads beyond the area of contact with allergens.