What are allergic rashes?
Allergic rashes are a specific type of contact dermatitis. When you touch an allergen, your immune system begins fighting by making antibodies and then releasing them in the form of chemicals to block the invader. These chemicals create a reaction in your skin that causes itchy bumps, blisters, and raw patches. Your allergic rash is actually an external response to your body fighting allergies.
What are common triggers for allergic rashes?
Each person is allergic to different things. Some people may have a long list of triggers, while others may only have a few or none at all. Some of the most common allergies that cause allergic rashes include:
- Hair products and hair dyes
- Makeup and cosmetic products
- Nickel, a metal found in jewelry and belt buckles
- Specifically, chemicals used to tan leather
- Certain types of rubber
- Citrus fruit, especially the peel
- Grass and plants
- Formaldehyde, often found in adhesives, solvents, nail polish, polish remover
- Fragrances in soaps, shampoos, lotions, perfumes
- Laundry detergents
- Craft supplies such as paint, wax, ink, and clay
I’m itchy! Can I scratch my rash?
Never scratch your rash, no matter how itchy it becomes. If you break open the lesions by scratching, you run the risk of contracting a painful bacterial infection within your rash. Scratching can also cause intense damage to the inner layers of skin, which will not only lengthen your healing time, but will also make your condition harder to treat.
What types of treatment are available for allergic rashes?
Treatment for allergic rashes depends entirely on the trigger, so it greatly varies from patient to patient. Topically applied steroid creams and ointments may help soothe your rash. In severe cases, your doctor may prescribe oral corticosteroids to reduce inflammation, antihistamines to relieve itching, or antibiotics to fight a bacterial infection. In milder cases, your doctor may recommend an over the counter anti-itch cream as well as oatmeal or baking soda based bath products.
How long do allergic rashes last?
Allergic rashes are easy to treat. They usually heal within a few days to a few weeks after contact with an allergen.