A Closer Look at Skin Allergies
Skin allergy symptoms like itchy, red, and bumpy skin can be distressing, uncomfortable, and excruciating in some instances. Rashes may have several causative factors; these include plants exposure and allergic reactions to food or medication. Illness like chickenpox or measles can also cause rashes. However, hives and eczema are the most common forms of skin rashes that are linked to allergies.
If your skin issue is allergy-related, we recommend that you consult your doctor for a diagnosis and treatment plan that allows you to live a life unhindered by symptoms.
Common Skin Allergy Singapore Causes
13.1% of Singapore’s general population suffer from Eczema (atopic dermatitis)
20% of children and 5% of adults are affected by Eczema.
Eczema causes skin irritation that usually presents as dry, red, itchy skin. If the skin becomes infected, small pus-filled bumps may appear. Eczema is often hereditary.
Hives, also known as urticaria often presents as welts or red bumps on the skin. When the condition lasts less than six weeks, you are suffering from acute urticaria. However, if the flare lasts longer than six weeks, the condition is now chronic in nature. Acute urticaria is usually caused by infection or allergen exposure. Unfortunately, no one really knows what causes chronic urticaria.
This condition appears when you come into contact with an allergen or irritant. Typical symptoms experienced are burning, blisters, and itching.
Contact dermatitis can be caused by an array of products including shampoos, laundry detergents, soaps, and fabric softener. Even excessive water exposure can trigger contact dermatitis. Other materials that may cause contact dermatitis are certain metals and items made from synthetic substances like stainless steel, alloys used in the manufacturing of costume jewelry, nickel, latex, nail polish, adhesives, and certain topical medications. Some plants may also cause contact dermatitis.
Another important point to note is that some allergens are only activated by sunlight. This medical term is photoallergic contact dermatitis. Patients have experienced symptoms when they used products like sunscreen, shaving lotions, and perfumes.
What symptoms can I expect if I have a skin allergy?
Of course, the symptoms that you experience depends on what you are allergic to.
However, some of the common signs include:
- Dry skin
- Itchy skin
More severe skin reactions may present as:
- Skin blisters
- Intense pruritus
- Severe redness
- Skin peeling
How can I discover what triggers my Skin Allergy?
Most people are unable to pinpoint the exact substance or material that causes their skin allergy.
Fortunately, there are quite a few tests available that can detect the allergens that trigger skin allergies.
Skin prick tests and blood tests are quite successful in identifying specific allergens.
Your doctor will explain the advantages and disadvantages of each allergy test that is available and they will also help you select the most suitable test that is specifically tailored to your allergy and preference.
What are my Treatment Options for my skin allergy?
- Avoid offending allergens
- Always have sufficient moisturizer on hand
- Make an appointment with your doctor to discuss the possible use of steroids and antihistamines which have been proven to be effective in soothing irritation, inflammation, swelling, and hypersensitivity.
- Ask your doctor if you are a good candidate for Immunotherapy.
(This treatment works by controlling and de-sensitizing the immune system, preventing reaction to the allergens.)
What steps can I take when I have a skin allergy?
In order to effectively manage your skin allergy, we recommend that you record your flares in a diary. Additionally, try to avoid the allergen as much as you can.
We strongly suggest that you consult your doctor for guidance on the available treatments that are right for you.
Feel free to make an appointment with our clinic if you need more information.
What does a skin allergic reaction look like?
Each allergic reaction may look different depending on the cause. Our doctors have experience treating them all. Here we will give you a description of each skin allergy in Singapore:
A tell-tale symptom of eczema is sensitive dry skin. You may also develop red itchy patches. Symptoms often come and go. Flare-ups can be particularly uncomfortable leading to skin that is itchy, oozing, and cracked. Mild eczema may cause a bout of dry skin while severe eczema may appear unsightly with red, scaly, and oozy skin.
Hives are essentially upraised itchy bumps. Generally, hives are red and turn white (blanch) when the center of the welt is pressed.
Contact dermatitis usually presents as itchy red bumps in the spot where your skin came into contact with the allergen or irritant.
If you believe that you may be suffering from any above conditions, make an appointment with our doctor for an examination and testing. You will be assessed, and a treatment plan will be agreed upon.
What can I do to relieve allergic itching?
Avoid scratching at all costs!
If you scratch your hives or rash, your skin will be irritated and can eventually become infected.
Regular baths and generous skin moisturization right after will help help to soothe and combat dryness.
Creams and oral medications such as antihistamines can be prescribed by our doctor which are proven to relieve itchy skin.
There have been advancements in allergy medications which include ointments for atopic dermatitis .
Feel free to discuss all your options with our physician.
There has been no change in my routine – what could possibly be causing my hives and skin rash?
Rashes can be caused by infection, allergies, rosacea, eczema, or damaged skin. Our doctor will help you determine what is causing your symptoms and recommend the appropriate treatment.
Should I avoid the sun when I have a rash or hives?
Irritated and sensitive skin may be further exacerbated by UV rays. We recommend that you minimize your exposure to direct sunlight.
Additionally, some skin rashes can be triggered by sunlight. This is called Photoallergic contact dermatitis where patients develop a reaction after being exposed to the sun. Certain sunscreens, cosmetics, shaving lotions, and perfumes may trigger the reaction.
Could my symptoms be caused by a food allergy?
Definitely, food allergens can cause skin reactions like hives.
This is why it is so important to seek the advice of a doctor so that you can discover your food allergy sooner rather than later.