Has it ever happened with you that a certain area of your skin starts itching suddenly, you cannot stop scratching, and as you do that, it leaves a rash, which not only irritates your skin but is even painful at times? Well, we have all faced such a situation, in the most common cases, it being a mosquito bite and not lasting for too long. However, when it lasts for really long periods and keeps getting more painfully annoying and worse, it indicates a skin allergy or infection that requires immediate care and attention.
What is Skin Allergy?
In medical terms, skin allergies are referred to as Contact Dermatitis, which is generally caused for two reasons.
- Skin reacting to harsh substances upon coming in contact with them, such as chemicals. It’s called Irritant Contact Dermatitis. Your skin gets irritated due to the chemical touching it, probably due to the properties of the substance, or some other reasons. The body responds to this skin irritation by causing an itchy feeling, redness, and rashes.
- Skin reacting to some allergen it came in contact with. This is called Allergic Contact Dermatitis. Your skin is basically allergic to some substance, which can be anything, even something airborne. When the skin comes in contact with such a substance, it reacts to it by causing irritation, itching, redness, and rashes.
So, to put it together, Skin Allergies are basically an immune system response generated when the skin comes into contact with some harsh or allergen substances or allergens. The body feels that some foreign element has entered it and is going to attack. Due to this, the body signals the immune system to start producing antibodies so that they can attack the allergen. Ultimately, the effect on skin shows in the form of rashes, redness, and pain. So, the best way to prevent these allergies is to keep away from harsh substances and allergens.
However, identifying these allergens affecting your skin is very difficult. As mentioned above, it could be anything, so you never know what’s causing the allergy. Moreover, many times, the allergens start reacting days after they touched your skin. Furthermore, you could be completely okay with using a particular substance for years before it turns out to become an allergen and cause allergic reactions in your skin. So, how do you figure out the allergens responsible for your skin allergies or infections?
Well, one way could be hit and try. You can be paying very close attention to your skin and how it’s reacting to different substances that it’s coming in contact with. You may need to keep a very detailed record of each and everything and be very cautious, proactive, and attentive. By the tone of it, this sounds very tricky, and it sure is. No matter how much attention you pay, just watching out for allergens is not really going to help you figure them out.
A better way is going for Skin Tests, perhaps the only way to find out what’s causing your skin’s allergies. Generally, the doctors use the Patch Test.
What is the Patch Test?
In this test, the doctor uses patches that contain different allergens in them. These patches are applied on your back and left for a few days, at least 2-3days. After that, the doctor removes these patches and checks for allergic reactions in your skin. The process is tricky and can require several visits to the doctor since the allergens may take time to react and thus require the need for the doctor to keep a constant check for an accurate diagnosis.
Once a reaction is found with the patch test, you are to follow up with the Repeat Open Application Test. You can do this by yourself. You need to apply the suspected allergen to a small spot on your skin every day for a brief period and check for the reactions in your skin. This finally helps rule out the allergen, and then you can prevent yourself from the skin allergy.
However, many times the patch tests may not work in case the allergen is different from those used in the standard patches applied to your body. In such a case, the doctor has to go by a more detailed approach where substances are chosen from your workplace and areas of frequent contact for the patch testing.
Skin Allergies are nasty and finding out what’s causing them is nastier and trickier. It’s only with a proper testing approach at the hands of an experienced and expert dermatologist that you stand a chance to find out the allergen causing your skin allergies. Moreover, with a doctor’s help, not only can you rule out the allergens but also take steps to treat your allergies and relieve the pain and symptoms.
Skin Allergies and Infections do not seem much of a problem in the initial stages. However, as you leave them unattended, they aggravate with time and can take a severe form. So, pay attention to any allergic reaction you are constantly witnessing, figure out the issue, and get the right Skin Allergy Treatments.