Taking Care of Your Skin – When it’s Plagued by Allergy
Allergy can come in different forms. It all boils down to which cell of the body gets sensitized to the many allergens – substances or foreign bodies that elicit an allergic response – that are ever-present.
What causes skin allergies?
When a foreign body gets in contact with the skin, certain cells in the skin are stimulated to get rid of the intruders. The body increases the supply of blood to the area so that other defensive cells can join in the fight. During the entire process, substances are inadvertently released into the bloodstream, producing the symptoms that are classic to skin allergy – itching, warmth, redness, and swelling.You have to understand that not everything that gets in contact with the skin will elicit an allergic response. Experts have already identified the presence of certain protein markers on foreign bodies that initiate the whole allergic reaction.
How can you treat skin allergy?
Again there are no treatments for the allergy itself because it is a normal, albeit exaggerated, response by the body’s immune system. The treatment, therefore, is in the alleviation or management of the signs and symptoms of skin allergy.Topical medications that contain antihistamines can help relieve itching as well as swelling.Antihistamines block the effect of histamine that is released because of the destruction of the foreign body – the allergen. Antihistamine preparations can also come in the form of tablets or syrups. These preparations have a more systemic effect and thus will not be really advisable in skin allergies where the allergy may only be confined to a certain area of the skin.
Topical corticosteroids can also help control swelling, inflammation, and redness
Although oral corticosteroids can also be used, the numerous side effects associated with these products limit their prescription. Besides, skin allergies are often confined to a single area so it is best to apply treatments on the said area.
Topical antibiotics may be prescribed by your doctor if the skin allergy has already resulted to cuts in the skin. This is to preempt the possible entry of harmful microorganisms into the skin and into the bloodstream. The skin is home to many microorganisms, especially bacteria that are otherwise harmless if left on the skin surface. However, because there is already a cut which opens the surface to the inner structures of the skin, these harmless surface bacteria can migrate underneath and wreck havoc inside.
Are there other ways to treat skin allergies?
Like any allergy, the best way to avoid all the discomfort of itching, swelling, and redness is to avoid the allergen. Identifying what particular substances you are especially allergic to should make you vigilant enough to steer clear of them. You should consult your allergist on what type of allergy you have before attempting to treat it, if you feel you have a fragrance allergy, first discontinue the use of fragrances then see an allergist for proper medication or use the treatments outlined below.
Apply an ice pack or a cold compress of the area to help minimize the itch as well as reduce the swelling.
Make a mixture of finely ground oatmeal and lukewarm water and apply it as a colloidal pack on the allergic area of the skin. It has been shown to reduce inflammation in some individuals.
Avoid wearing tight-fitting clothes to prevent further irritation of your already-inflamed skin.
Managing signs and symptoms remain the hallmark of treatment of skin allergies. However, prevention of the allergic response from ever occurring is still the most sensible way to go. Not only is it more practical, it is also more effective.