Year-Round Allergies

What are the main skin reactions linked to allergies and what causes them?
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What are the main skin reactions linked to allergies and what causes them?

2013-07-12

By Dr. John Weisnagel

The first skin manifestation, observed in infants, which has always been considered linked to "allergies", is infantile eczema. It has been named "atopic dermatitis" as it occurs early on in the lives of "atopic" children, i.e. allergic children who develop allergic respiratory syndromes such as recurring respiratory tract infections, asthma and food allergies, which arise in the form of urticaria or anaphylactic reactions. This is what has been labelled "the allergy march". The lesions may be generalized, but usually affect the cheeks, cubital fossa (inside of the elbows) and popliteal fossa (back of the knees). Medical publications on this atopic dermatitis emphasize food allergies, though this has not always been proven as a cause – in some cases, food plays an etiological role in the first year of life.

Contact dermatitis presents itself in the form of similar eczematous lesions, but these appear anywhere and are often well localized, raising suspicion of a specific cause. Rubber (latex), adhesive bandages, clothing, any chemical, soaps and detergents, sunscreens, any medication applied to the skin, plants, etc. can cause it.

Urticaria, which appears as lesions resembling "mosquito bites" and sometimes in the form of patches, can be generalized with itching in various degrees and oedema (swelling) particularly localized on the lips and eyelids. Its causes may be: any food (especially peanuts, nuts, fish, seafood, milk, eggs and soy, among others), as well as certain medications such as antibiotics, including penicillin.

The views expressed are solely those of the author based on his knowledge and expertise and do not necessarily represent the views of the manufacturer.

If you think you are experiencing allergy symptoms, please consult your healthcare professional for a definitive diagnosis.

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