There are many different types of skin allergies. The medical term for skin allergies is allergic contact dermatitis. Some skin conditions are commonly thought of as allergies, but they are actually skin diseases, such as atopic dermatitis. Atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema, is a common skin disorder that can be made worse by allergies. Many people who have atopic dermatitis also have asthma and hay fever. Eczema is so common that nearly 70 percent of people who have asthma and hayfever will also have atopic dermatitis. Atopic dermatitis seems to run in families. Eczema is often a long lasting disease that can affect the scalp, cheeks, eye lids, hands, elbows and behind the knees. Cigarette smoke can make the symptoms of atopic dermatitis much worse.
Allergic Contact Dermatitis
Allergic contact dermatitis can be caused by any substance (allergen) that your skin reacts to. One of the most common skin allergies is caused by the jewelry you wear. Nickel is a metal that is used in many types of costume jewelry; including watches. The best way to avoid a reaction to nickel is to purchase jewelry and watches that don’t contain this metal.
It’s rare, but some people are allergic to gold. If you are wearing gold jewelry and you start itching, swelling, and blistering in the area of the skin where the jewelry touches, you may have an allergy to gold. If you are allergic to gold, you can coat the surface that touches your skin with clear nail polish. Clear nail polish is only a temporary fix, because it can wear off rather quickly, if you wear your gold jewelry fairly often. If your gold jewelry is below 12 carats, it might be nickel you are allergic to instead of gold. If you are wearing 10 carat gold and you break out in a rash, try wearing 12 or 14 carats and see if your symptoms go away.
Cosmetics, deodorants and soaps are common causes of skin allergies. You may be allergic to a chemical used in these products, called neomycin sulfate. Most people who are allergic to these products can wear products that are made without fragrances. You can purchase hypoallergenic products to avoid the discomfort of allergic dermatitis.
Formaldehyde is a chemical found in many household cleaning agents, which can cause skin allergies. Formaldehyde is not only in household cleaning agents; it’s also in some nail polishes, cosmetics, and in paint, paper towels, and in fabric finishes. If you frequently dry your hands with paper towels, and your hands get red and sore, you may be sensitive to formaldehyde. You can purchase products that are formaldehyde free. You should always read labels on the products you buy. If you have trouble finding formaldehyde free products, you can find them online.
Latex allergies can also cause skin allergies. Surgical tape, surgical gloves, and many other sources of latex can cause skin allergies. You should always let your medical professionals know if you are allergic to tape or to latex. Not only does latex cause skin allergies, it can also cause an immune system response that could be very serious.
Poison ivy is one of the most frequent sources of skin allergies during warm weather. Poison ivy can leave you with an itchy rash that can spread into blisters. The chemical that causes the allergic reaction to poison ivy is urushiol. By frequent landscaping, you should be able to get rid of poison ivy plants. If you dig up the plant, be sure to wear protective clothing and gloves.
There are many chemicals that you could come into contact with that could cause allergic dermatitis. You may not be able to always avoid an allergen that causes a skin allergy, but you should try to avoid contact with allergens as much as possible. It is also necessary to avoid the substances that will exacerbate symptoms of already present skin irritations worse.