Skin irritations can be caused by medications, infections, or immune system disorders. A skin allergy occurs when an allergen causes the irritation. Common allergic skin conditions include:
Eczema, also called Atopic Dermatitis, is common, especially in children. It causes dry, irritated, inflamed skin. Some food sensitivities can worsen eczema, and it is often linked to asthma and hay fever. Antihistamines do not control itching because histamine is not responsible for eczema’s itch.
Hives, also called Urticaria, occurs when the immune system releases histamine which cause small blood vessels to leak. Acute Urticaria results after being exposed to a trigger like a specific food, medication, or insect sting. It can also be caused by viral infections in children. Chronic Urticaria can last for months.
ALLERGIC CONTACT DERMATITIS
This occurs when the skin breaks out after contact with an allergen. The most common example is poison ivy. Like poison oak and poison sumac, the poison ivy plant is covered with oil that causes an itchy, red rash. Nickel also causes Allergic Contact Dermatitis, as do certain chemicals found in cosmetics and other skin products.
Often seen with hives, this is a swelling in deep layers of skin. It often occurs in soft tissues like eyelids, mouth, hands, feet, and genitals.