What is allergic eczema?
You experience an allergy when something that is not good for your body gets into your body or touches your skin. An allergy can either be ‘in’ or ‘on your body.
What actually happens during an allergy is that the immune system of your body releases chemicals in response to a substance that is supposedly foreign to your body system. The immune system is doing nothing but protecting your body from what can harm it. It is a way of ensuring that you don’t fall sick. This substance that causes your body to react negatively is called an allergen.
These chemicals that your immune system produce can make you feel sick. It can also cause your skin to have unpleasant spots.
Every day, you get to be exposed to things that can turn up to be an allergen to your body. What might be an allergen to you might not be an allergen to another person. That’s just how the body is.
Your body can react in different ways to an allergen. It can react by experiencing breathing difficulties. It can also react by having a runny nose. Your eyes can burn, your skin can change, and you can also cough as a consequence of an allergen.
So what’s allergic eczema?
It is your skin reacting to an allergen by developing rashes that are itchy. It usually takes some hours after you have been exposed to an allergen before you will get a reaction.
Other names for allergic eczema are:
- contact dermatitis
- allergic contact dermatitis
- contact eczema
- allergic dermatitis
What causes allergic eczema?
You will develop allergic eczema whenever your body comes directly in contact with an allergen. It is often termed a ‘delayed allergy’ because most times, the reactions don’t occur immediately. It can take up to 24-48 hours to develop after the allergen has had direct contact with your skin.
The following can be allergic eczema’s triggers:
- cleaning products
- plants like poison ivy
- clothing dyes
- nickel – belt buckles, jewelry, and metal buttons used for jeans contain nickel
- hair dye
- antibiotic creams and ointments
- perfumed cosmetics
Allergic eczema can also occur if your skin is exposed to sunlight and chemicals at the same time i.e. staying longer in the sun after you have used sunscreen.
Recognizing the symptoms of allergic asthma
Allergic eczema can produce different symptoms. Also, the symptoms differ from one person to another. It is important to note that the symptoms can change with time. The symptoms will be seen at the point of the allergen’s contact with the skin. It is hard for it to spread to non –contact areas. But it’s possible anyways.
Typical symptoms of allergic eczema are:
- warm and tender skin
- red bumps which can drain, crust, or ooze
- thick and scaly skin
- burning sensation
- dry and red skin
How is allergic asthma diagnosed?
You will be examined by your doctor to see if you have allergic eczema.
If he/she suspects that you actually do have it, he will carry out more examinations on you. He will use one of the very common tests, a patch test.
In a patch test, parts containing the allergen will be scraped and then put on your back. This patch will be allowed to stay for 48 hours after which that spot on your back where it was placed will be checked for possible reactions. It will be checked once more after two days for delayed reaction.
There are times that the patch test won’t give an accurate diagnosis. In that case, your doctor will use a biopsy test on you. This test will find out if what is actually wrong with you is allergic eczema or whether there is another illness present. To do this, some parts of the affected skin will be scraped and taken to the laboratory for a test.
How is allergic eczema treated?
An allergic eczema can vary in its severity. This is what will determine its mode of treatment.
You should wash off the affected parts with large quantity of water to get rid of any trace of the allergen.
If you have got the mild form of allergic eczema, you might not need any serious treatment. You can get your skin hydrated by getting a moisturizing cream. You might also want to get some corticosteroids over the counter. They will ease your itching and put inflammations at bay.
In severe cases, prescription corticosteroids drugs will be combined with prescription ointments.
What’s the long-term outlook for allergic asthma?
When well treated, you should expect to say goodbye to allergic eczema in a matter of two weeks. That doesn’t guarantee that it won’t ‘check in’ if you get the same exposure to the allergen that caused it. If you identify what triggered it, you can avoid its subsequent contact with your skin. This way, you can help yourself not to have more of this reaction.
Tonika Bruce, MSN, RN, MBA. is an accomplished nurse leader, published author, and personal development expert passionate about advancing healthcare management and quality patient outcomes.
She taps into the years of experience in healthcare management to produce credible and easy-to-understand health and leadership content. Her exceptional work has been featured in reputable publications, including Forbes, Recruiter, Inc, and the Color of Wellness magazine.