Skin forms a protective layer for our body, with its unique waterproof and weather resistant properties. It prevents us from external agents, responsible for severe diseases and allergies. Eczema, contact dermatitis, hives and swelling are a few types of skin allergies, that are very commonly seen. Read this article to know more.
Skin is a very delicate though resilient part of our body that keeps fighting successfully with invaders. Often, some agents or allergens escape through its defense and cause skin complications. Skin allergies are rarely contagious. Since the capacity of fighting allergens varies depending on an individual’s immune system, it is not necessary that two people with the same type of skin can be affected by the same allergens. Generally, allergic reactions on the skin last for anywhere between a few days to few months and in some cases even a lifetime. It mostly depends on the extent and time of exposure to the allergen causing the allergy.
There are many causes of skin allergies. Genetics is one of the most common ones. Many families had ancestors suffering from a certain skin allergy and this has then continued for generations. Generally, younger children are prone to early skin allergies because of genetically inheriting a weak immune system. It often resurfaces even after periodic treatments and may take a long time to get cured completely. Skin disorders start with small allergies and rashes on the hands, elbows, face, neck or some other parts of the body. Rashes can be caused by viruses like those in chickenpox or shingles and parasites such as lice. Increasing pollution levels, unsafe drinking water, dust particles and the ultra-violet rays of the sun, cause maximum harm to skin. Direct exposure of the skin to the sun, causes many complications. Parasites, bacteria and viruses find easy living in unhygienic conditions and hence spread faster. Contact with jewelry having some amounts of nickel or other reactive metals, causes skin allergies to a few people. Hair dyes, lotions, gels, creams and other cosmetics may or may not suit a particular skin type and can also be problematic in certain cases.
In most of the cases, the skin develops rashes, marks and scars. The affected person feels an urge to scratch the itching part, which increases the complications. In some extreme cases, the scratched part gets deep wounds and bleeding also takes place. The rashes are very sensitive to the environmental changes and become dry and hard in some seasons. They often turn red with blisters forming all over the affected area. They may flake and ooze out pus, in worst cases. Skin swelling, skin inflammation and retention of pus are other very common signs of allergies on the skin. Allergies that occur because of coming in contact with chemical substances, include redness in eyes, skin irritations, sores, discomfort and burning sensations. Some very acute skin allergy symptoms may include hair loss in the affected area, nausea and vomiting, sweating and shudders. Wrinkles are direct effects of exposure to the harmful ultra-violet rays of the sun.
It has been found through a study, that nearly 80% of the children suffering from eczema may develop asthma or hay fever, at later stages in life. Non-steroids such as Elidel can prevent its spread. Children suffering from skin allergies have weaker immune systems, that makes them vulnerable to viruses and bacterial infection. Basic antibiotic medicines and creams can be used to avoid infections. Mild exposure to sunlight and photo therapy (using lights of different wavelengths) are effective in acute cases of infections. Maintaining hygienic environment is a must for avoiding exposure to allergens, dusts and mold. Immunotherapy is also effective in skin allergy treatments. Antihistamines are useful as a medication for air-borne allergens. Besides these, only proper soaps, detergents, shampoos and other cosmetics should be used ( if at all necessary) with the guidance of an expert dermatologist, though it’s advisable to reduce their use in skin allergies. One can also consider herbal or natural skin treatments that are mostly very effective and with no side effects.
Skin is the largest organ in the human body, that gives us a sense of touch and also regulates body temperature. No matter what time of the day it is, the epidermis (a layer just under the skin) keeps working hard to give us everlasting health. We can make its task easier by strictly adhering to a natural lifestyle by following healthy habits and getting timely treatment for any sort of minor allergies. Healthy skin is the best reflection of a ‘beautiful you’, truly indeed.