Skin Allergy

“Your skin is the fingerprint of what is going on inside your body.”

~ Dr. Georgiana Donadio

You have itchy, red, swollen, bumpy skin…does this mean you have a skin allergy? You probably do, especially if allergy and asthma conditions run in your family.

There are three main types of skin allergy: eczema (atopic dermatitis), allergic contact dermatitis, and hives (urticaria). I have experienced all three and trust me, it’s no fun. I had to avoid going out or contact with people because the sight of my skin eruption would elicit responses like, “Eww!” “What is that?!” “Gross!” “Oh, no!” with a hint of pity and their body language saying, “I gotta get away from you.”

I chose not to include photos of these skin diseases as some of you might not appreciate the images. For example, you may be eating delicious food while viewing and suddenly you may lose appetite or the unpleasant images may linger in your mind and sour your mood….One never knows. Still, for those of you who might want the visuals, you can click on the hyperlinks below. So let’s start with…

Eczema

often appears in young kids and disappears over time but at times can continue into adult life for those with history of allergy. It usually affects the face, chest, knees, and elbows. Here is a video showing various manifestation of eczema. (maybe an overkill but thorough, right?).

Common Causes:

  • Food (dairy products, nuts)
  • Contact with soap or detergent
  • Wool or synthetic fibers
  • Sweating
  • Animal dander
  • House dust, cigarette smoke
  • Excessive Stress

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Treatments/Home Remedies:

  • Find all natural cure remedies in an excellent book entitled ‘Beat Eczemahere.
  • Avoid scratching the affected area.
  • Relieve the itching using cold compress or applying ointment.
  • Apply natural powder Herbomineral that combines herbs and clays. It heals the skin by absorbing toxins and inhibiting germ multiplication. It is safe for use on young children and effective on all skin allergies.
  • Moisturize your skin (Eucerin, Aveeno lotions) which lessens itching and recurrence.
  • Use oral and topical antibiotics.
  • Apply topical corticosteriod cream.
  • Avoid/eliminate the irritants and triggers.
  • Oral antihistamine (Benadryl) relieves itching.
  • Immunosuppressive drugs may be used for severe eczema.
  • Put dampened cotton cloth over affected area to reduce itching and redness.
  • Take short warm baths to hydrate and cool the skin.
  • Apply natural vitamin E and/or zinc to the affected areas.
  • Drinking tomato juice everyday is proven to be effective.
  • Take ginger capsules and/or drink ginger tea to fight inflammation.
  • Try flaxseed oil as it is shown to be beneficial.
  • Wear 100% cotton clothes.
  • Apply Balsam of Tolu to the affected area. Note that it can irritate the skin of people prone to herb/plant allergy. Learn more about this herbal plant with multi-purpose healing properties here.

*Natural and home remedies are popular and, mostly, safe way to treat minor skin conditions. However, there is a need to use caution when we utilize them so that we avoid unnecessary harm and get desired effects. Learn more about the important tips on using natural remedies for skin conditions here.

Allergic Contact Dermatitis(ACD)

occurs when the skin comes in contact with certain substances (allergen or irritant) that cause reactions. You will see redness, blisters, and swelling.


Common Causes:

  • Poison Ivy
  • Perfumes, cosmetics
  • Dry skin or other skin conditions
  • Metals
  • Dyes
  • Latex products
  • Skin medication (e.g., neomycin)

Treatments/Home Remedies:

  • Don’t scratch the affected area. Wear gloves if you must.
  • Wash away the allergens with mild soap and water.
  • Marigold‘s (Calendula) anti-flammatory properties help ease the symptoms. It’s sold over-the-counter.
  • Put cold soaks to reduce inflammation and itching.
  • Apply topical corticosteriod cream.
  • Avoid/eliminate the offending substances.
  • Gently rub on antihistamine, such as Benadryl cream.
  • Take oral steroids for severe dermatitis.
  • Put a damp dressing over affected areas and cover with a dry garment.
  • Oatmeal baths are soothing and help to alleviate the symptoms.
  • Apply soothing lotions (e.g., calamine) to prevent skin from becoming dry and scaly.
  • Eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Apply aloe vera juice to reduce itching and soreness.
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Hives

manifest as raised red areas of skin with pale center and intense itchiness. They are commonly acute cases, which tend to disappear within few days or weeks even without treatment.

Common Causes:

  • Food or drug allergies
  • Viral or bacterial infection (often in children)
  • Direct exposure to sunlight
  • Extreme heat or cold
  • Physical exertion
  • Insect stings
  • Contact with allergens like plants, raw fish, and latex

Treatments/Home Remedies:

  • Use antihistamines to relieve the symptoms.
  • Take oral steroids (prednisone) in worse cases.
  • Avoid triggers and allergens.
  • Apply cold compress to relieve pain and itchiness.
  • Try dabbing milk of magnesia to alleviate itching.
  • Calm your nerves by drinking chamomile, peppermint, or valerian tea.
  • Gently rub on aloe gel or vitamin E oil.
  • Take cayenne pepper capsules. Also take vitamin C, E, and zinc to support the immune system.
  • Green tea is known to be an effective remedy.

Hives is one of the common symptoms of allergic reaction to the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine. HPV is the virus that causes warts. If you have warts and moles you wish to eliminate, check out the natural methods using herbs and supplements as well as effective home remedies passed down from generation to generation.


These skin allergy conditions often share common causes and symptoms. So you will notice that treatments and home remedies overlap. The important thing is finding out what triggers or aggravates your skin problem and take appropriate actions to effect relief and start the healing process.

Most, if not all, of my family members suffer from eczema. We inherited it from our father. I am not sure about others but I have this condition under control primarily through preventive measures. For one, I do my best to avoid and eliminate triggers. I believe that’s the best and simplest first step. It’s always better to prevent a problem rather than try to solve it after it happens, isn’t it? Also, one of the most effective ways to prevent an eczema flare-up is moisturizing the body with a lotion like Aveeno. I do it after every wash (best to apply while still wet) and rarely get the itch or the rash. Additionally, taking various vitamins and supplements to support my immune system and practicing various stress-releasing methods certainly help a lot. I hope what I share with you here proves to be beneficial in addressing your concerns with skin problems.


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