Allergic Eczema:

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Causes || Symptoms || Diagnosis || Treatment

When you come into contact with something that could make you sick, your immune system initiates chemical changes in your body to help you fight the disease.

Every day, you are exposed to thousands of substances. The majority of them have no effect on your immune system. However, you may come into contact with things that cause your immune system to react, even if they aren’t normally harmful to your body. Allergens are the terms for these substances. An allergic reaction occurs when your body reacts to these allergens.

An allergic reaction can occur in numerous ways. When someone has an allergic reaction, they may feel trouble breathing, may experience coughing, burning eyes, and a runny nose. Other allergic reactions can cause change in skin, and cause different types of skin lesions.

When you come into contact with an allergen, you get an itchy skin rash called allergic eczema. The symptoms usually appear hours after you’ve been exposed to the substance that caused the allergic reaction.

Allergic eczema is sometimes also known as:

  • Allergic dermatitis
  • Contact dermatitis
  • Allergic contact dermatitis
  • Contact eczema

What Causes Allergic Eczema?

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When you come into direct contact with an allergen, you get allergic eczema. Because the condition does not immediately trigger an allergic reaction, it is referred to as a “delayed allergy.” The symptoms of allergic eczema may not develop for 24 to 48 hours after you’ve come into contact with the allergen.

The following are some of the most common allergens that cause allergic eczema:

  • soaps and cleaning products
  • perfumes found in cosmetics
  • hair dye
  • nickel, which can be found in jewelry, belt buckles, and metal buttons on jeans
  • latex
  • adhesives
  • clothing dyes
  • poison ivy and other plants
  • antibiotic creams or ointments that are used on the skin

Allergic eczema may also develop when the skin is exposed to chemicals in the presence of sunlight. For example, an allergic reaction can occur after using sunscreen and spending time in the sun.

What Are The Symptoms Of Allergic Eczema?

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Allergic eczema symptoms vary from person to person. They could potentially change over time. Symptoms usually appear after coming into touch with the allergen. Symptoms may also spread to other parts of the body in rare cases.

Common symptoms include:

  • a burning sensation or pain
  • itching
  • red bumps that may ooze, drain, or crust
  • scaly, raw, or thickened skin
  • dry, red, or rough skin
  • warm, tender skin
  • inflammation
  • cuts
  • rash

The hands are often the most vulnerable to allergic eczema symptoms because they are more likely to touch items that cause an allergic reaction.

How Can You Diagnose Allergic Eczema?

To determine whether you have allergic eczema, your doctor will first inspect your skin. If doctors suspect you have the condition, they’ll need to conduct additional tests to determine what you’re allergic to. A patch test will be done in the majority of cases.

If your doctor is unable to make a diagnosis based on the patch test, additional testing will be required. A skin lesion biopsy may be performed by your doctor to rule out the possibility of another health condition causing your skin condition.

What is the Treatment Available?

The severity of your symptoms determines how you should treat allergic eczema. However, it is important to thoroughly wash the affected area with plenty of water to remove all remains of the allergen.

If your symptoms are mild and do not bother you, you may not require any more treatment. However, to keep the skin hydrated and repair damage, you may wish to use a moisturizing lotion. Itching and irritation can be relieved using over-the-counter corticosteroid lotions.

If your symptoms are severe, your doctor may prescribe prescription-strength ointments or creams. If necessary, the doctor may also prescribe corticosteroid pills.

The best treatment for allergic eczema is prevention, which means avoiding any irritants known to cause the reaction.

Avoiding allergens can be difficult though, especially if a person comes into contact with them as a result of their occupation or daily rituals.

Other treatments for allergic eczema include:

  • applying an over-the-counter (OTC) hydrocortisone cream to reduce itching
  • moisturizing the skin at least twice daily with a fragrance-free moisturizer
  • taking antihistamines
  • taking oatmeal baths
  • wearing protective clothing and gloves when in contact with a known allergen
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