An allergy rash is the result of an allergic reaction to contact with any type of allergen. An individual develops allergies when the immune system adversely reacts to contact with foreign materials such as bee venom, pollen, pet dander, certain foods, etc.
The immune system manufactures certain substances called antibodies. Most of these antibodies are designed to protect the body from germs and other unwanted foreign substances which could harm the body, cause an infection, or make you sick. In individuals with allergies, the immune system incorrectly recognizes a particular allergen as being harmful for the body and produces antibodies to counter the effect of such allergens. Any contact with the allergens prompts a reaction of the immune system, which then results in inflammation of the sinuses, skin, digestive system, or the airways. Inflammation of the skin is what results in an allergy rash.
An allergic reaction to a particular allergen may vary in severity levels, from one affected individual to another. Some people may show minor symptoms such as irritation or a mild case of allergy rash, while other may experience anaphylaxis which is a serious condition that requires emergency care. It may be noted that allergies cannot be cured. However, there are several kinds of treatments which can help in the alleviation of allergy rash and other allergy symptoms.
Symptoms of allergy rash
The signs and symptoms of an allergy are dependent on the type of allergy. In addition to an allergy rash, allergies can affect the sinuses, airways, nasal passages, digestive system, and skin. The symptoms of an allergic reaction can be either mild or very severe. One of the most severe symptoms of an allergic reaction is anaphylaxis, which is a life-threatening condition and requires immediate medical attention.
A few types of allergic reactions which can result in an allergy rash are discussed below.
Atopic dermatitis refers to an allergic skin disorder. It is also known as eczema. In addition to an allergy rash, it can result in:
- Reddish skin
- Itchy skin
- Peeling or flaky skin
Allergic rhinitis, also referred to as Hay Fever, may result in:
- Runny and itchy nose
- Watery, itchy and swollen eyes
In addition to an allergy rash, food allergies may result in:
- The tongue, lips, throat, or face may become swollen
- Tingling sensations in the mouth
Drug allergies may lead to:
- Itchy skin
- An allergy rash
- Swelling of the face
Allergic reaction to an insect sting may result in:
- Hives or itchiness throughout the body
- The sting site may experience an edema or a big area of swelling
- Tightness in the chest, coughing, breathlessness, or wheezing
As stated above, anaphylaxis is a very serious condition which can accompany the development of an allergy rash. The presence of some kinds of allergies like insect stings, food allergies, etc. can increase the risk to developing anaphylaxis. Patients who experience this life-threatening allergic reaction are most likely to go into shock. A few symptoms of anaphylaxis are listed below:
- Loss of consciousness
- Swollen airways which can restrict the breathing process
- Extreme shortness of breath
- An allergy rash on the skin
- A weak, rapid pulse
- Vomiting and nausea
Causes of allergy rash
An allergy rash is a symptom of an allergic reaction. An allergic reaction is caused when the immune system mistakenly recognizes a harmless, normal item as a dangerous invader. This leads to the production of antibodies by the immune system, which are always ready to tackle the intrusion by allergens. Future exposures to that particular allergen cause the antibodies to secrete numerous types of immune system chemicals, including histamine, which is what leads to the development of an allergy rash and other allergy symptoms.
Some of the common allergens which trigger an allergic reaction, leading to development of an allergy rash are listed below:
- Mold, pollen, dust mites, animal dander and other such airborne allergens
- Contact with different kinds of substances such as latex, etc. which result in an allergy rash and other allergic skin reactions.
- Wasp stings, bee stings, and other kinds of insect bites
- Certain types of food items, particularly tree nuts, soy, peanuts, wheat, eggs, fish, milk, and shellfish.
- Some types of drugs, particularly penicillin and penicillin like medications
The below listed risk factors can increase the risk to the development of an allergy rash and other allergy symptoms:
- A family history of allergies like hives, hay fever, eczema, etc., or the presence of asthma among family members increases the vulnerability to developing an allergy rash
- The presence of asthma or some types of allergic conditions can also increase the risk
- Children are more susceptible to developing allergy rash and other allergy symptoms. The allergy tends to resolve as the child grows older. However, it is possible for an allergy to come back during adulthood.
Treatment of allergy rash
- Development of an allergy rash can be prevented by avoiding the causal allergens
- Medications like antihistamines, corticosteroids, etc. can help alleviate the symptoms
- Immunotherapy is recommended for patients with severe allergies
- An emergency epinephrine shot should be carried at all times by patients who suffer extreme allergic reactions.
Allergy Rash Pictures