Allergies

Allergies

  • About – An allergy is when the immune system reacts to a food or chemical that is taken by mouth or applied on the skin
  • Treatments – Once the cause of the allergy is identified, then it is important to avoid triggers
  • Next step – A skin allergy can be diagnosed after an examination and tests by a Dermatologist

What is an allergy?

An allergy occurs when the body reacts to an external substance. This may be something that is eaten, inhaled or that comes into contact with the skin. Many allergies only develop following repeated exposure the same substance – hence it is possible to become allergic to something that you have been regularly exposed to in the past, especially in relation to skin contact allergies.

What are the types of allergy?

There are two main types of allergy in relation to skin disorders. The first is immediate (or type I) allergy. Here, an immediate reaction occurs when coming into contact with the causative agent. This usually results in hives, but can also lead to swelling wheezing, feeling faint and difficulties in breathing. An example of this form of allergy is peanut or latex allergy.

The second type of allergy is delayed (or type IV) allergy. This is very different as the reaction can take several hours or days to develop and usually causes a rash that is itchy and scaly, much like eczema. The rash can be very red and swollen as well. Common causes of delayed allergy included hair dye, fragrances and preservatives.

Am I allergic to washing powder?

Many individuals suffering from skin disease wonder whether their rash is caused by allergy to washing powder. Its seldom the case that washing powder causing skin rashes. This is because most of the chemicals (except fragrances) are washed out of the clothing. It is best to use a fragrance-free washing powder if you are known to be allergic to fragrances.

How are allergies diagnosed?

Many allergies can be diagnosed from the history alone. However, additional tests may be required. These may take the form of :

  • Blood tests
  • Skin prick tests
  • Patch tests

How are allergies treated?

Following a detailed consultation, our Dermatologists will be able to offer you treatments which are tailored to the type of allergy that you have. Further tests may be required for diagnosis. Simple allergies can be managed by avoidance. More complex allergies may require medication treatments as well.

Allergy treatments at Belgravia Dermatology

  • Detailed consultation and skin analysis by a Dermatologist to design an individualised treatment plan
  • A bespoke skin care regime to suit your skin type
  • Further testing to determine the nature of the allergy – this may be in house or by external referral
  • Advice on avoidance of relevant allergens once identified

How effective are allergy treatments?

Allergy treatments are very effective and almost everyone will derive an improvement or control in their allergy with the treatments which we offer at Belgravia Dermatology.

What should I do next?

If you suffer from a skin allergy or require assessment then please arrange to see one of our Dermatologists who will be happy to help.

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