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Skin Diseases

As human beings, we are blessed with five senses – sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch. An organ of the body which response to external stFood Allergyli by conveying impulses to the central nervous system is called a sense organ. The meaning of touch is distributed throughout the body with the nerve endings in the skin transmitting the sensations to the brain.

Skin being the body's protective outermost shell, has to bear with the four kinds of sensations – heat, cold, contact and pain. Through the skin, waste is also thrown out in the form of sweat. Hence skin is under the constant onslaught of many harmful elements. When an allergen triggers an immune response from the body, it ends up as allergic skin disease.

There are several types of skin diseases listed below which can show up as mild to severe cases. An immunologist or an allergist can help with the diagnosis and a treatment plan, with or without medications.

1. Eczema – The skin feels dry to touch and becomes prone to allergies. Intolerance to the certain food can be one of the reasons. The redness and itchiness of the skin are seen in these cases. It can appear on infants too. After diagnosis, the doctor may prescribe ointments and moisturisers to reduce the itching and redness of the skin in children. An allergy test can determine the cause, and your doctor will be able to advise treatment. For adults, antihistamines, antibiotics are advised. Also, an elimination diet is advised if a certain food is causing the reactions.

2. Dermatitis – Skin becomes red, scaly, swollen and starts itching. This is caused due to contact with substances to which you are allergic to. For example, metal watches and rings can cause an irritation which can become more pronounced if you do not remove these. Some plants can also cause this reaction from touching them; the skin will be itchy and will have rashes on them. Inflammation of the skin happens when it comes in contact with the offending substance – it can be perfumes, metal, paints and dyes, latex and cosmetics. The longer you are in touch with the content, the more severe the reaction would be.

3. Urticaria or Hives – Skin become inflamed when the immune system in the body releases a substance called histamine. There are two types of Hives – Acute and Chronic – Acute hives occurs after consuming a particular food, from heat or exercise, medications, insect bites or infections. The chronic state is not easily identified and can last for few months to years. But they are not contagious.

4. Angioedema – Where the root layers of the skin become swollen. It can show up in the mouth, eyelids or genitals. Acute cases can result as an allergic reaction to certain foods or medications. In rare cases, heredity also plays a role involving swelling of hands, feet, face and intestinal wall. It responds to treatment with antihistamines.

5. Athlete's Foot – A fungus growth between the toes which is an allergic reaction if a person walks barefoot near swimming pools or in dirty water. The skin becomes itchy, scaly in particular between the toes and is contagious. It can spread through direct and indirect contact. Topical medicines, ointments, oral medication is usually prescribed. The infected foot has to be kept dry for a few weeks, with thorough washing twice a day.

6. Rashes – Some people may experience skin rashes, redness, blisters and itching without being able to assign any reason to them. They may tend to ignore them with home remedies such as ice pack or applying oil and creams on them. If the rashes do not go away, then it is better to see an allergist and get diagnosed. This may lead to complications if not treated in time.