Allergies can cause more than sniffles, coughs, and sneezes. They can trigger an immune reaction in the body that attacks the skin, leaving a telltale trail of red, bumpy, scaly, itchy, or swollen patches. The most common allergic skin conditions are hives, angioedema, allergic contact dermatitis, and atopic dermatitis (eczema), and they can make life quite uncomfortable, according to experts at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.
Hives (urticaria) are itchy, red swollen areas of skin that can appear anywhere on the body and often go away spontaneously. Acute episodes may be triggered by viral infection, or an allergic reaction to a drug, food, or latex. Chronic hives can last for months or years. The first step is to eliminate identifiable allergy triggers. The symptoms are treated with antihistamines, and sometimes require additional medications.
Angioedema can appear alone or with hives. It’s a swelling in the deeper layers of the skin without itching or redness. Angioedema is usually found in soft tissues, such as eyelids, mouth, or genitals. The treatment is similar to that for hives.
Those who suffer from contact dermatitis will experience more pain than itch. Allergic contact dermatitis is characterized by the itchy, red, blistered patches often seen after contact with poison ivy, oak, or sumac. Early on, cold soaks and compresses can help. Doctors also may prescribe topical or oral corticosteroid medications.
Atopic dermatitis is an itchy, red, scaly rash also known as eczema. It’s most common in babies, but can strike later in life if patients have a family history of asthma or hay fever. Sometimes the affected skin looks very dry, other times it may ooze. Treatments include eliminating allergic triggers as well as applying cold compresses, lubricating lotions, and topical corticosteroid creams.
Not sure what type of rash you have? Immediate Care of Paintsville and Immediate Care of Magoffin County are here to help. Our clinics are open extended and weekend hours. So when you need convenient, walk-in medical attention without an appointment, come see us.
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