Understanding skin allergy











Skin Allergy: allergic contact dermatitis



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Explains skin allergy conditions: contact dermatitis, hives, & eczema. Conventional treatment and breakthrough energy-based allergy elimination.

The skin allergy conditions we will discuss in this section include: allergic contact dermatitis, hives (urticaria), and eczema. Keep in mind that people sometimes use the terms eczema and dermatitis interchangeably. However, eczema is actually dermatitis that is in advanced, more serious stages.

Allergic contact dermatitis is a skin allergy condition that occurs when a certain external substance touches the skin. Allergic symptoms usually occur within about 30 minutes after exposure. After contact with this substance that is normally quite harmless for most people, inflammation occurs.

Symptoms such as redness, blisters, and scaling develop. The hands are involved in about 2/3 of contact dermatitis cases, since people come in contact with irritating substances at their jobs.



treatment of contact dermatitis



Topical steroid cream or ointment - Hydrocortisone is a steroid medication available in topical and oral forms. The topical form helps to reduce the itching and swelling when skin allergy is limited to a small area.

Oral steroids or steroid injections - These drugs include prednisone, methylprednisolone, betamethasone, dexamethasone, triamcinolone and hydrocortisone.

Antihistamines - used to relieve the itching associated with contact dermatitis. Sedative antihistamines such as diphenhydramine and hydroxyzine can be taken at night to help patients sleep.

Oral antibiotics - For secondary infection.


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hives (urticaria)



urticaria (hives) is a type of rash or skin allergy that is ordinarily harmless. We know that hives are usually caused by an allergy. The rash consists of circular, raised welts on the skin that are usually itchy and occur in batches. Hives can vary in size, from as small as a few millimeters to as large as several centimeters in diameter.

Hives can be caused by many different factors, including: medication, foods, and insect bites. Hives lasting less than six weeks are called “acute urticaria, while hives lasting more than six weeks are referred to as “chronic urticaria.” With chronic urticaria, it is usually much more difficult to identify the offending allergen than it is with acute cases. In about 80% of chronic cases of urticaria, the cause or offending allergen responsible for this condition is unknown.




treatment of hives - urticaria



Antihistamines are the primary medications used to control hives and stop the itching associated with this condition.

• Antihistamines such as Atarax, Benedryl, Seldane, and Tagamet

• Corticosteroids - used in more severe cases

• Injections of epinephrine - used in cases that involve life-threatening episodes

• Avoidance of known allergens


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eczema



eczema is a skin condition characterized by itching and a red rash, and it is most common in early childhood. This disease affects about seven per one thousand people in the United States, with 90% of the cases appearing in children between the ages of two months and five years. People sometimes use the terms eczema and dermatitis interchangeably. However, eczema is actually dermatitis that is in advanced, more serious stages, with symptoms such as blisters, scabbing, oozing, and discoloration.

There are two main forms of eczema: eczematous, which is caused by external factors; and endogenous, which occurs without a known outside cause. Even though a relationship exists between eczema and allergies, conventional allergy therapy has had little positive effect in treating eczema.


treatment of eczema



The major focus in treating eczema is providing patients with relief from the skin allergy symptoms. Doctors usually prescribe some of the following measures:

• antihistamines to suppress itching and reduce scratching

• corticosteroids applied to the skin

• moisturizing agents

• antibiotics for secondary infections

• non-alkaline cleansers (instead of soap, which dries the skin)

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References

American College of Physicians. Common Allergies. New York, NY: Dorling Kindersley Limited, 2000.

Cook, Allan. Skin Disorders Sourcebook. Detroit, MI: Omnigraphics, Inc., 1997.

Krohn, Jacqueline. Allergy Relief & Prevention. Vancouver, B.C. : Hartley & Marks Publishers Inc., 2000.

Kwong, Frank & Cook, Bruce. The Complete Allergy Book. Naperville, Illinois: Sourcebooks, Inc., 2002.

Lipkowitz, Myron & Navarra, Tova. Allergies A-Z. New York, NY: Facts On File, Inc., 1994.

Reader’s Digest. The Allergy Bible. Pleasantville, NY: The Reader’s Digest Association, Inc., 2001.

Reader’s Digest. Fighting Allergies. Pleasantville, NY: The Reader’s Digest Association, Inc., 2000.

Ross, Linda. Allergies Sourcebook. Detroit, MI: Omnigraphics, Inc., 1997.

Turkington, Carol & Dover, Jeffrey. Skin Deep. New York, NY: Facts On File, Inc., 1996.

Young, Stuart, Dobozin, Bruce, & Miner, Margaret. Allergies: The Complete Guide to Diagnosis, Treatment, and Daily Management. Yonkers, NY: Consumer Reports Books, 1991.