What Is a Skin Allergy?

Did you know that 15 to 20 million people every year have to visit a dermatologist because they have a skin rash? That rash is called atopic dermatitis, or eczema. This is what happens when your body an allergic reaction to something you eat, inhale or touch.

Many people think that an allergic reaction is always caused by your skin coming in contact with something like poison ivy (boy do I have a nasty reaction). Actually this is probably the least of the causes. In most cases atopic dermatitis or eczema is caused by a reaction to some sort of internal trigger, like food. Some people will call this a food allergy.

Unlike a bee sting, eczema is not life threatening but it can be life altering. Maybe you have seen the commercials on TV where the woman wears a long sleeve sweater in the summer because the skin on her arm is all dry and scaly. That is not too far off. People who suffer for eczema are very self conscious of the way they look. Unlike asthma, the signs and symptoms of eczema are out in the open, visible to all.

A person with eczema will wear long sleeved shirts and pants to hide their skin because they have scratched it to the point it is red, swollen and cracked. In sever cases it may even be “weeping” a clear fluid. It can be quite painful physically and mentally.

Just like any other allergy, doctors are not sure what causes it. Stress and food seem to be two common factors. For many their symptoms seem to get worse when they are under a lot of stress and get better when they are not. Foods or food allergies also play a major role. Your eczema may flare up if you eat something that you were unaware that you are allergic to.

Atopic dermatitis or eczema usually appears in children 4 to 6 years old. For some it can disappear as they get older, for others it is a lifelong condition.

Wishing you the best of health



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