SKIN ALLERGY  OR ECZEMA

 

Allergy is common term we all know about. Allergy can affect many organ like eye, lungs etc. we would be talking about skin allergy in this blog. Intolerability of the skin to a certain substance is called allergy. Medically, we call skin allergy as eczema. Its notorious for being recurrent. But we can always nip the bud at the root and keep recurrences to minimum by having the right knowledge about the disease.  Knowing as to how and why eczema happens is the first step towards treatment.

 

HOW DOES ALLERGY  or ECZEMA LOOK LIKE?

Allergy may have various manifestations:

It may appear as red raised patches with white scales or as group of tiny water bubbles on red background. Bacterial infection may ensue on scratched skin and lead to development of pus. Itching is the hallmark of eczema.

Rashes can occur on any part of the body, not necessarily at the point of contact of allergen. They may either slowly spread to involve the entire body or may remain restricted to a certain body parts.

Microscopically, following things happen at the eczematous rash:

Blood vessels get dilated: giving rise to redness.

Fluid oozes out of blood vessels giving rise to swelling.

White blood cells from blood release certain substances giving rise to itching.

 

 

WHAT COULD BE THE CAUSE OF ALLERGY?

One can be allergic to anything under the sun including sun.  Any food item, any cosmetic, anything in the air, your pet, cement being blown in from the house etc. can trigger allergic response in the body.

The triggering substance can cause rashes after coming in direct contact with skin. Else after ingestion or inhalation too the triggering substance can cause skin rashes.

 

WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF ALLERGY?

There are two types of allergy:

Acute eczema: Skin developing allergy to a particular substance after very first exposure. Rashes are usually restricted to point of contact and develop within few hours of coming in contact with new substance.

Chronic eczema: Skin rashes slowly developing after years of exposure to certain substances.

Allergic attack my happen after the very first contact or after years of exposure to a particular substance. So when your doctor says you are allergic to your lipstick, it doesn’t matter you have been using it safely since years.

It’s like at times you hate a certain person instantly and at times you may start hating the person years later initially having loved them.

 

HOW DOES SKIN DEVELOP ALLERGY?

 

  1. Disrupted skin barrier: Skin protective barrier gets disrupted due to continuous exposure to harsh soaps containing SLS. Thus, allergens find easy access into body.
  2. The immune system overreacts: once the allergen enters body, it’s the duty of the immune system to throw the foreign substances out. But if, immune system over reacts, allergy and red rashes appear.

Allergic attack my happen after the very first contact or after years of exposure to a particular substance. So when your doctor says you are allergic to your lipstick, it doesn’t matter you have been using it safely since years.

 

WHAT IS THE TREATMENT?

 

  1. 1. Treatment primarily consists of finding the trigger and avoiding it.
  2. Avoid using harsh soaps for they disrupt the skin barrier. So stop using all soaps containing SLS like – Dettol, Lux, Lifeboy etc. Use Dove instead which is SLS free.
  3. Moisturizing the skin with moisturizer containing oats and ceramides is of prime importance as it helps heal the disrupted skin barrier. And at the same time it hydrates the skin.
  4. Flax seed oil: Apply flax seed oil just before bathing. They would lock in the skin natural oil and moisturizer and won’t allow soap to rip it off while bathing. Plus it contains essential fatty acids which heal the disrupted skin barrier.
flax seed oil
  1. For the current allergic episode visit a dermatologist who would prescribe you steroid based creams for few days. Oral steroids may also be needed in case of very severe reaction.

 

By:

Dr. Anvika Mittal

9999 747 717

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