March 20th marked the first official day of Spring 2017, even though the weather in Onondaga County seems to indicate otherwise. However, once the weather warms up, the snow melts, and grass, flowers, and trees start to bloom, allergy season will be upon us. An allergen is a broad term for a substance that causes an immune response, resulting in itching, sneezing, coughing, redness, and burning. In addition to airborne particles like pollen, allergens can also be solid, liquid, or gas. Let’s take a closer look at the two types of contact dermatitis, or skin allergies.
Irritant dermatitis results from exposure to or extended contact with a particularly acidic or alkaline substance. Examples include pesticides, soaps, laundry detergents, hair products, chemicals, or even extremely hot water.
On the other hand, allergic dermatitis occurs when an individual has an allergic reaction or sensitivity to a specific substance. In many cases, you might not even have an allergic reaction the first time you are exposed, but you will the second time and each successive incident. Common triggers for allergic dermatitis include skin products, mascara, fragrances, fabrics, metals, latex, certain plants, and perhaps even antibiotics.
With both irritant dermatitis and allergic dermatitis, symptoms include rashes, redness, inflammation, itching, burning, and warmth. The symptoms usually present on the area of the skin that was exposed to the allergen, like the face, neck, hands, or feet. As soon as you recognize that you have been exposed to an allergen, you should wash it thoroughly. For more severe cases, your doctor might prescribe a topical ointment or antibiotic.
Most of the time, once you have identified the substance that caused an allergic reaction, it is easy to avoid. Nonetheless, skin conditions have the potential to make people feel self-conscious, especially if they produce rashes or redness. At Syracuse Podiatry, board-certified podiatrist Dr. Ryan L. D’Amico has experience treating a wide variety of skin problems on the feet and ankles, including psoriasis, ulcers, blisters, and more. He welcomes patients of all ages! Please contact us or call us at our Fayetteville office at (315) 446-3668 to schedule an appointment today.