If you often suffer from red, itchy bumps or swollen skin, skin allergies can be a cause, apart from sunburns, insect bites or dry skin. The common form of skin allergies include:
- Eczema: The red, scaly and itchy rash is often noticed in infants and individuals who are prone to allergies. It is often seen on the face, knees and elbows. In older people, it can present as rashes on the folds of knees and elbows, or the scalp. Food, stress and contact with irritants like wool, pets, and other surfaces can cause it.
- Hives: Raised itchy areas can be triggered by food, a drug, latex, rubbing of the skin and pressure sunlight, etc.
- Contact Dermatitis: It manifests as red, itchy, blistered and often a painful reaction to nickel, perfumes, latex, dyes, or cosmetics. Certain medications can cause such a reaction as well.
Tips to manage common skin allergies:
- Extra virgin coconut oil: Studies have reported it to be an effective moisturiser for a rough, itchy and scaly skin. Apply a thin layer on the affected region. Best time to apply coconut oil is after a bath or before going to sleep. Do not use coconut oil if you are allergic to it.
- Oatmeal: Oatmeal contains numerous biologically active compounds which can be beneficial in skin care and treatment. Research has shown that colloidal oatmeal binds to skin and offers protection against irritants. It holds moisture against the skin. You can use a blender to grind oats to a fine powder. Drop a pinch of it in water; the water must turn milky quickly. You can use this fine powder with lukewarm water to take a bath or soak yourself for 15 minutes in the milky liquid.
- Moisturize: Keeping your skin moist can help relieve the rash. Don’t forget to apply a moisturising cream after a bath.
- Scrubbing: Scrubbing the skin with water and soap can help in relieving contact dermatitis after exposure to an irritant.
- Cold compress: You can alleviate a common rash by applying a cold compress.
6. Shower: Take a cool shower, pat dry your skin and apply a moisturiser.
7. Light and loose clothing: Wearing loose fitting and light clothing helps in managing skin allergy.
8. OTC Drugs: Apply calamine lotion, or the OTC – hydrocortisone cream on the affected site.
9. Avoid scratching: Do not scratch the affected region and keep your nails well trimmed.
Caution: If you are bothered by a skin allergy that doesn’t go away quickly or doesn’t respond to these measures, visit your doctor. It could be a sign any other serious skin condition.
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- Scratching the Surface on Skin Allergies. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. https://www.aaaai.org/Aaaai/media/MediaLibrary/PDF%20Documents/Libraries/EL-skin-allergies-scratching-the-surface-patient.pdf. Accessed 18 Aug. 16.
- DermNetNZ. http://www.dermnetnz.org/topics/oatmeal/. Accessed 18 Aug. 16.
- Agero AL, Verallo-Rowell VM. A randomized double-blind controlled trial comparing extra virgin coconut oil with mineral oil as a moisturizer for mild to moderate xerosis. Dermatitis. 2004 Sep;15(3):109-16.