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Signs And Types Of Allergic Rashes

Updated on March 10, 2010
One example of an allergic rash
One example of an allergic rash

An allergy is an abnormal reaction or a hypersensitivity to an allergen which your body has previously encountered. They can manifest themselves in several different ways, including airway constriction, increased mucus production, sneezing, coughing, and of course, as allergic rashes.

An allergic rash is basically like any other rash you might get, with symptoms including swelling, itchiness and possibly some form of dermatitis. They are not generally life threatening, as some other allergic reactions can be, but they can be quite uncomfortable and can potentially develop into other health complications.

One of the types of allergic rashes is called urticaria. This type is more commonly referred to as hives, which are bumps and red spots that develop in the skin which can have quite varied shapes and sizes. Although this can also be quite itchy, there is less risk of breaking the skin when scratching these as opposed to other allergic rashes as they are often not highly raised bumps.

Some of the common causes of hives include exposure to animal dander, insect bites, stings, and food allergies. Additionally, they could be caused by exposure to latex, certain medications and even some illnesses. These allergic rashes are generally controlled using antihistamines. Although it may be possible to avoid the allergens, it can be very difficult to do so completely, especially during the warmer months.

Another kind of allergic rash, contact dermatitis, is a condition wherein the skin reacts to elements or substances that you come into contact with. The most common of the allergens that can cause allergic contact dermatitis include certain metals, rubber materials, cosmetic ingredients, certain plants (like poison ivy) and other substances.

Allergic rashes caused by contact dermatitis can be very itchy and can also appear swollen and irritated. Clothes and some accessories can carry the allergen and continue to be the sources of these kinds of allergic rashes.

Antihistamines and some topical creams can have a positive effect to these kinds of allergic rashes. In severe cases, a doctor may even prescribe corticosteroids to help reduce inflammation. The best treatment for these, unlike urticaria, is avoiding the substances and elements that causes the allergic rashes.

Eczema is another type of these allergic rashes. This is a common occurrence for those individuals with atopic dermatitis, a chronic skin disease often associated with hay fever, asthma, and conjunctivitis. These kinds of allergic rashes often occur in creases of the skin for older children and some adults. Infants and younger children tend to have them occur in the face and eyes.

Treating eczema can be as simple as not scratching the areas where the allergic rashes occur, although antihistamine and some common moisturizers can also help alleviate the itchiness and redness.

Even though these and other allergic rashes are generally not life threatening, as with any medical condition, you should consult a medical practitioner to properly diagnose the condition and prescribe appropriate treatment.

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