Skin allergies are very common and often the symptoms like itching and swelling subside on their own after a few hours or days without any specific treatment. However, at times a skin allergy can be extremely uncomfortable and unsightly and end up hampering the daily routines and activities of the individual. Skin allergies can be depressing and very uncomfortable, but there ways of dealing with it.
What causes skin allergies?
Skin allergies occur when the immune system reacts aggressively from contact with an allergenic material. Allergens that trigger skin allergies may include metals, cosmetic products, dust particles, and pollutants in the air. In most cases the causes of skin allergies are external and the reactions are not very serious; however, the causes and symptoms vary from person to person. If the symptoms are due to an internal allergic reaction to food or medicines, you should seek immediate medical attention.
Here are some simple ways of treating skin allergies by external means:
- Use a hot or cold compress. As a first step, wash the affected area, and try to calm the irritation or rash that is caused by the irritant. Apply a hot or cold compress to help the rash or swelling to subside and moisturize the area with a natural cold cream for quick relief. You can choose between hot and cold compress according to how well the allergic symptoms are responding to them.
- Apply an over the counter anti-itch cream. Once, you have calmed the irritation apply an over the counter anti-itch cream like cortisone or calamine lotion. If you are not sure which cream to apply, you can ask your local pharmacist for advice on anti-allergy products. Make sure that the cream is applied on the entire affected area, and wait for it to soak in before you put on the clothes.
- Wear comfortable clothes. Avoid wearing tight clothes, because perspiration and lack of air circulation can worsen the rash or swelling. Wear loose, soft cotton garments that are airy and cool on the skin to help give the skin breathing room and allow the rash to heal. If the reaction is worsening, use a damp dressing around the area to cool it down, and seek medical help if it worsens.
- Identify the allergen and avoid contact. In most cases, before seeking medical help, it's wise to try finding out what is causing the allergic reaction so that your doctor can provide you with the right information. Once you find out the irritant, which triggers the allergy, avoid any kind of contact with it again. If it is something that you use every day, try to replace it with an alternative made of a non-allergic material. If the irritant is a part of your work environment, bring it to the notice of your superiors and request a replacement.
- Seek medical attention if skin allergy symptoms worsen. If the allergic reaction starts up again or gets worse, you should seek immediate medical attention. A licensed medical practitioner can identify the allergic reactions and its causes, and prescribe the required treatment accordingly. If necessary, they can also administer immunotherapy treatments that can help your body learn to cope up with the allergens and prevent the symptoms from recurring.