Allergy is an abnormal reaction to the environment when our bodies develop hypersensitivity to certain foreign substances.
Normally, our bodies recognize any foreign genetic information; in other words, can tell alien substances from inherent ones. In very specific cases and in different ways of self-defence, our bodies ensure a certain level of resilience to various diseases by developing the immune system.
The bodies of allergic people produce antibodies, completely different to the substances of our usual environment. These antibodies are called class A immunoglobulins (IgE). People, suffering from allergies, cannot control their responses which are inadequate to the threats from the environment.
Most common symptoms of skin allergies:
1. In atopic dermatitis:
- Itchy skin rash with redness, scaling or moisture.
- Thickening of skin with pigmentation and scratch marks.
2. In Quincke edema (massive hives):
- Itchy flat red-rimmed blisters, or instant (with a couple of minutes) swelling of eyelids, lips, and ears with itching and burning sensation.
3. In allergic contact dermatitis (eczema):
- In 1 to 2 days (sometimes even later) after repetitive influence of chemical, physical, biological and other irritants on skin of the face, palms or other body parts in contact with the afore-mentioned substances, a condition might develop when skin starts itching, burning, swelling, blistering, scaling, or becomes damp.
Skin allergy diagnostics:
- Usually, diagnostics involve skin tests against different allergens. The results start showing in 15 to 20 minutes: in the test area, skin swells and reddens like mosquito or nettle bite. Other methods include:
- Laboratory tests against IgE or blood tests and
- Epicutaneous (patch) tests.
With corresponding allergy symptoms, we advise:
- Observe your body response to different substances and keep diary.
- Avoid those irritants that have caused allergic reactions.
- Inform your physician about medications that you are allergic to.
- Consult your family doctor, find out about your chronic diseases (condition of internal organs, neurological disorders, endocrine problems, and others), causes of chronic infections (bad teeth, tonsillitis, sinusitis), parasitic diseases (toxoplasmosis, toxocariasis, various helminths, etc.). If needed, additional tests might be prescribed.
- Observe and control your diet and surrounding environment.
- Strictly follow your doctor’s advice about medication.
- In acute period, take symptomatic medication.
- Preventive treatment depends on the duration of your condition, the level of complications, and unfavorable background (the history of allergies, hereditability, and chronic diseases).