What is Skin Allergy
Skin allergy is very common but it’s very difficult to find the reasons of them. There can be many types of rashes that can occur by many things such as plants like poison ivy, allergic reactions to a medication or food, or a response to an illness.
Types of Skin Allergy
Allergic eczema (atopic dermatitis) and hives (urticaria) are two of the most common skin rashes. Eczema is caused in 10 to 20 percent of the children and 1 to 3 percent of the adults.
Symptoms of Skin Allergy
In eczema your skin will become red, irritated and itchy. Sometimes it appears in the form of small fluid-filled bumps that ooze.
Causes of Skin Allergy
The symptoms of skin allergies, also called allergic contact dermatitis include redness, itching, pain and swelling .It is caused by contact with dyes, cosmetics, perfue, latex, poison ivy, topical medications, detergent or some metals. You can know the cause of your allergy if you notice the time when you have a reaction. A doctor or an allergist can diagnose through skin testing.
Allergy skin tests – Definition
Your skin is exposed to certain suspected allergy causing substances and is then observed for signs of an allergic reaction.
Why it’s done
Your doctor can develop an allergy treatment plan by getting information from the allergy tests that includes allergen avoidance, medications or allergy shots (immunotherapy).
Skin testing can be done on all age groups of people, even infants too.However, sometimes skin tests are not recommended. It can be the cases where you:
1. Have had a severe allergic reaction.
2. Take medications that can interfere with the test results.
3. Have a widespread skin reaction.
Blood tests are useful for those who should not undergo skin tests.However; blood tests are avoided as they are less sensitive than skin tests and are more expensive. In general allergy skin tests are most reliable in diagnosing allergies to airborne substances such as pollen, pet dander and dust mites. They can also be helpful in diagnosing food allergies.However, food allergies are complex thus you can need additional tests and procedures.
Risks of Skin Allergy
The most common side effect of skin testing is swollen red, itchy bumps that will go away within few hours or a day or two. A cortisone cream can help in preventing the pain and itchiness.
Preparing for the Appointment of Skin Allergy
Your doctor will ask you several questions regarding your medical history, signs and symptoms and your way of treating them. Your answers will help in a good diagnose for the doctor to do. He can understand whether the allergy runs in the family or there are certain allergens that are causing the allergy. He can also perform a physical examination.
Medications can interfere with the accurate results
There are certain medications that can suppress allergic reactions and there are some medications that can increase the risk of developing a severe allergic reaction during the test.Thus, your doctor can suggest you to stop taking certain medications for 10 days. Medications that can interfere with the skin tests include:
1. Prescribed antihistamines.
2. over the counter Antihistamines.
3. Tricyclic antidepressants.
4. Certain heartburn medications.
5. The asthma medication (Xolair)
Tests For Skin Allergy
There are several tests that are performed at the doctor’s office such as Skin prick test, Skin injection test and Patch test.
Your doctor will advise you an allergy treatment plan which can involve medications, immunotherapy, changes in your work and home environment and dietary changes. You will be able to reduce allergy or its symptoms completely with the help of test results that will identify the solution to your problem.