Most Common Skin Allergies

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Skin allergies are an immune system response to allergens, which the body thinks are dangerous. As there are 3700 potential allergens, like nickel, latex, fragrances, etc., it would be difficult to point to one without a patch test. Once a test determines the allergens, stay away from these to avoid any flare-ups.

Though some of these allergies can be treated with simple treatment options such as over-the-counter ointments, wearing loose clothes, soaking in oatmeal or taking a milk bath, applying a cold compress to the affected area etc.,  others might require expert medical advice, if they persist for more than a few weeks.

Here, we discuss the most common types of skin allergies.

1) Ringworm


Also known as tinea corporis, this is a superficial contagious fungal infection that can occur on any part of the body. It usually appears as expanding rings that are manifested as red, itchy, scaly bumps on the skin. As the ring expands outwards, the skin inside becomes less affected.


2) Psoriasis


Psoriasis occurs when the speed at which the skin cells complete their life cycle increases. This results in the build-up of thick, scaly, itchy and inflamed patches of skin that may be painful.


3) Eczema


Also known as atopic dermatitis, eczema is one of the most common types of skin rash. Chronic in nature, it is caused by allergens like cleaning products, dust and animal dander. In this condition, the affected skin breaks into red and itchy patches on the extremities, neck or upper body.


4) Christmas Tree Rash


Also known as pityriasis rosea, this skin condition makes an appearance as a fine, scaly and itchy patch on the abdomen, back or chest. It then spreads in the form of smaller patches and forms a Christmas tree type pattern.


5) Swimmer’s Itch


Also known as cercarial dermatitis, this condition is a parasitosis caused when the skin is exposed to water-borne parasites. The parasite attaches itself to the top layer of the skin triggering the skin to break out in a burning, itchy rash with tiny bumps or blisters.


6) Shingles


Also known as herpes zoster, shingles is caused by the chickenpox virus. If a person has had chickenpox, the virus may remain inactive in their nerve tissues, reactivating at a later stage in life. The condition manifests itself as bunches of painful blisters, similar to chickenpox rash, on one side of the body. Over a few weeks, the blisters break, leaving behind sores that dry and form scabs. In another few weeks’ time, these scabs fall off, providing relief from the pain.


7) Lichen Planus


Usually affecting the skin and the mucous membranes, this condition is characterized by itchy, stinging, purplish, flat-topped lesions on the skin. In places like the vagina and the mouth, that are lined by a mucous membrane, lichen planus often occurs as white, lacy patches.

Often, skin allergies go away on their own, but if they persist for more than a few weeks or the symptoms are severe, one should seek medical advice.

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