HELP!
MY SKIN IS REACTIVE, ALLERGIC

Skin allergy generally refers to a condition called contact dermatitis. Allergens such as metals (nickel, chrome), certain ingredients in cosmetics & fragrances or household cleaning products come into prolonged contact with the skin where they stimulate an immune response that causes an itching, burning, scaling rash.

YOUR QUESTIONS
OUR ANSWERS

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What can I do about skin rashes that itch?

It's important to determine the cause of the itch and ensure that appropriate medical treatment is initiated if required. Otherwise, skincare products especially formulated for sensitive or allergic skin should be used to calm inflammation and protect the skin barrier. Antihistamines may be effective to help reduce itch. Dr Cara McDonald, Dermatologist – Complete Skin Specialists

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How can I treat an allergic reaction on my skin?

The most important thing when managing an allergic reaction on the skin is to stop using products which may have caused or could exacerbate the allergy. Many allergic skin reactions require medical treatment such as anti-inflammatory creams or tablets if they persist despite eliminating the cause. Dr Cara McDonald, Dermatologist – Complete Skin Specialists

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Can you be allergic to your own skin?

Certain auto-immune disorders are associated with the immune system reacting to parts of your own body, including the skin in some cases, which in essence is like an allergy to your own skin. These conditions are fortunately however quite rare. Dr Cara McDonald, Dermatologist – Complete Skin Specialists

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How long does an allergic skin reaction last?

The duration of an allergic skin reaction depends on the severity and cause of the reaction. Once the cause of allergy has been eliminated then the reaction may resolve spontaneously but in some cases medical treatment is required due to the self-perpetuating nature of inflammation in the skin. Dr Cara McDonald, Dermatologist – Complete Skin Specialists

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What does hypoallergenic mean?

Hypoallergenic is a term used describe any product which has been manufactured specifically to reduce the risk of allergies. Hypoallergenic skincare has been formulated to avoid using ingredients which are known to cause skin allergy. Dr Cara McDonald, Dermatologist – Complete Skin Specialists

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DIFFERENT TYPES OF ALLERGIES
CAN AFFECT THE SKIN

Contact dermatitis is not the only type of skin allergy. Skin also reacts to allergens - in our diet, our environment, and in medicines we take - often in the form of hives which are itchy red welts that appear on skin. In a milder form of reaction, allergy-prone skin itches, burns and stings. One special case of skin allergy is sun allergy, where allergic-like symptoms are brought on by UV rays.

IS MY SKIN
SENSITIVE, REACTIVE OR ALLERGY-PRONE?

Allergy-prone skin is not the same as sensitive or reactive skin types. Whereas allergy-prone skin reacts to specific allergens with visible reactions, sensitive skin experiences discomfort (tingling, itching, burning etc.) either all the time, or in response to internal (think stress or spicy food) and external (think hard water or air conditioning) trigger factors. You probably won’t see any visible changes in sensitive skin. A separate entity, reactive skin reacts to internal and external triggers with the same unpleasant sensations, plus visible symptoms of redness and flushing.

DEAR READERS

The information displayed here is intended for general educational purposes only and should not in any case be a substitute for professional medical advice. You should always seek the advice of a qualified health provider with any medical question.