Skin Allergy Treatment, Causes, and More from Knox Dermatology

What Causes an Allergic Reaction?

An allergic reaction to the skin occurs when your skin comes in contact with substances that your body mistakes as a threat.  The inflammation, bumps, and patches of dry skin that appear and form a rash is your immune system’s response to the supposed “threat.”

Here is Knox Dermatology’s guide on skin allergy treatment, prevention, and causes.

Common Skin Allergy Treatment and Conditions

Skin allergies can affect an individual on both a long-term basis or circumstantially.  Here are some examples of types of skin allergies.

Allergic Contact Dermatitis

Have you recently switched to a new shampoo, tried a self-tanner over the holidays, or changed your laundry detergent? If you answered yes to any of these questions and have noticed strange bumps and itchiness on your skin, you could have allergic contact dermatitis.

This skin allergy is circumstantial, and the rash it causes is due to an allergen directly touching the skin.  Many other substances could be to blame such as chemicals found in perfumes, deodorant, metal jewelry and make-up.

To ease pain and stop the rash from spreading, at the first sign of the rash forming, rinse off the affected area in case the substance causing the reaction is still present on your skin.  To reduce itching and pain, antihistamines and antibiotic cream can be applied to the skin.

To avoid a future contact dermatitis incident, it’s important to recognize what induced your body’s response.  If you are unsure of the exact cause, a skin patch test can be conducted.  With this test, small doses of substances are placed on the skin to determine which brings about a reaction.


According to the National Eczema Association, “Over 30 million Americans have some form of eczema.”  Eczema has similar symptoms to contact dermatitis, but is a long-term condition that often is due to genetics.  With eczema, skin is extremely itchy and dry.  Cuts and discharge caused by constant scratching is common.  Although eczema can remain a consistent skin condition, it’s possible that it will flare-up and periodically worsen.

Flare-ups can be prevented by consistently using lotions to keep your skin moist.  If over the counter ointments and creams don’t relieve symptoms, contact your dermatologist to explore other treatment options.

Hives and Angioedema

Hives, or raised patches on the outermost layer of the skin, are formed when histamines are released from the blood vessels.  This occurs when the body is exposed to specific foods or other allergens.  Angioedema, on the other hand, is when the deeper layers of the skin are affected and induce swelling. Figuring out the cause of the reaction and using antihistamines can be used as a treatment method.

This information does not substitute for professional care or recommendations from your physician. If you have any skin allergy concerns or would like to have your skin looked at by a professional to determine the severity of a reaction, skin allergy treatment options, and more contact Knox Dermatology today to schedule an appointment.