Allergic contact dermatitis is a skin condition that appears in people who are hypersensitive to certain substances. When these people come in contact with those substances, an allergic reaction appears on their skin. The initial contact with a substance that is an allergen is not usually followed by a break-out of symptoms; the symptoms appear on the second and subsequent exposures. After the contact, the immune system overreacts in its response to what is perceived to be an attack.
With the allergic process, a number of chemicals are released, including histamines, which cause an inflammation. Allergic contact dermatitis is not a life-threatening condition, however, a visit to an allergy doctor may be needed to determine the allergen and get advice on the treatment.
Allergic contact dermatitis can be caused by coming in contact with a number of allergens, some of which are:
Symptoms of allergic contact dermatitis include:
Allergic dermatitis symptoms usually appear sometime after coming into contact with the allergen. The area that came into contact with the allergen is usually the area where the symptoms appear and they usually start off with an itchy rash, this may ooze or drain. The skin on the area may become scaly. Sometimes it will only be a little red or it can be blistery. The area can swell and feel warm.
Allergic contact dermatitis is an incurable condition. After the first exposure to the allergen, the person will have an allergic reaction after every subsequent contact for the rest of their life. The treatment options are aimed at managing the symptoms. An allergist may prescribe the following courses of treatment:
The mildest cases of allergic contact dermatitis usually don’t require any medical treatment. The area should be gently wiped with a damp cloth to make sure all of the allergen is removed from the skin. Topical corticosteroids are used to reduce inflammation in mild to moderate cases, but they should be applied with caution because of their side-effects. Severe cases require steroid and antihistamines to be introduced orally.
Allergic rhinitis is a common health condition that looks and feels much like a common cold. The condition is the result of contact with an allergen, which causes the person’s immune system to overreact in defense. This leads to well-known symptoms of sneezing, itching, and runny nose. If the person is allergic to a number of grasses used in the production of hay, the condition is called hay fever, although it does not present with a fever. Hay fever is treatable and is not life-threatening, but it can lead to a number of complications. During a visit to an allergist, the doctor will determine what caused the allergic reaction, which can be helpful when treating it.
Allergic rhinitis is caused by a number of allergens – pollen, dust mites, animal material, and mold. Hay fever is caused by grass pollen in most cases. After the allergen is inhaled, the immune system sends signals to a type of cells called mast cells to start producing histamines – chemicals that cause inflammation. The immune system overreacts, and the mast cells end up producing more histamines than needed, and doing other things to the body, all of which lead to the cold-like symptoms.
The most common symptoms of allergic rhinitis include:
Sneezing is usually repetitive when having allergic rhinitis, and is also usually worse in the morning. The nose is runny with clear and watery secretion, although the secretion may change if complications develop. Eyes are watery and itchy, and the nose, throat and ears will also possibly be itchy. Less common symptoms include swelling of the eyelids, nasal obstruction, headaches, coughing, and dark circles under the eyes.
Since there’s no cure for allergic rhinitis, treatment is usually aimed at the symptoms, and includes:
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