A skin allergy can be an annoying and embarrassing condition. The rash from an allergic reaction can last for days, and that could be a problem if it affects your face or hands where it can be easily seen. Plus, the constant itching can be difficult to put up with. If you have itchy rashes that come and go, you should see a skin allergy specialist to find out what causes them and to find an effective treatment. Here's how a skin allergy is diagnosed and treatments that might help.
How To Find Out What Causes Your Allergic Reaction
You might know what things cause a rash if you break out every time you use them. For instance, if your skin itches every time you use sunscreen, then you know there's something in it that triggers your allergies even if you don't know what specific ingredient causes the rash. However, it's also possible you have no idea what causes your skin to react, and that can make your condition frustrating because you don't know what to avoid.
When you see a skin allergy specialist, one thing the doctor will probably do is apply patch tests to your back that expose you to a variety of allergens. If you're allergic to one of the substances on the patch, your skin will develop a small rash in the area. This lets the doctor know what common allergens affect you.
How Skin Allergies Are Treated
Skin allergies are treated in different ways depending on what affects you and how bad your reactions are. Some allergens, such as poison ivy, may be possible to avoid, and as long as you don't have contact with the substance, you won't have symptoms. Or, if you're allergic to latex, you can avoid wearing latex gloves. Depending on what you're allergic to, it might not be possible to completely avoid your triggers, or you might forget and accidentally come in contact with something that you know causes a rash. In those cases, your doctor can prescribe treatments to help control itching and help the rash heal.
Your doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory medication or antihistamines. You might take them orally or apply creams or lotions to your skin. You could also try using ice to cool the inflammation or soak in oatmeal baths. Try to avoid scratching or that could lead to skin breaking and infections that need additional treatments. Your doctor can advise on the best way to treat your outbreaks at home that might include wet dressings or using over-the-counter products to relieve itching and start healing, although it could take several days for your rash to clear up.
Contact a treatment center, like The Regional Allergy Asthma & Immunology Center, PC, for more help.