Skin allergies are on the rise, but knowing your triggers can help to prevent them. Here are some common causes and how to soothe your reactive skin.

When we think of allergies, most people think of the seasonal, bee or food variety. But, ever since the late ‘90s, there has been an increase in skin allergies as well. An online survey conducted in 2020 showed that around 41% of Americans suffer from at least one. It also revealed that they were seven times more likely to have sensitive skin and twice as likely to react badly to certain skincare products.

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In reality, these numbers could be even higher. This is because many people struggle to differentiate between skin allergies and other skin conditions, such as eczema or perioral dermatitis.

There are a number of things that can trigger an allergic reaction on your skin. These include:

  • Plants
  • Insects
  • Certain foods
  • Latex
  • Metal
  • The sun (photosensitivity)
  • Cosmetic ingredients

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When coming into contact with an allergen, it can result in a rash, hives or contact dermatitis.

Hives Also known as urticaria, this condition can be acute or chronic and causes uncomfortable red bumps or welts on the skin.

Contact dermatitis As the name suggests, contact dermatitis is when you develop blisters or an itchy, burning rash after touching an allergen.

Photoallergic contact dermatitis is when an allergen on the skin’s surface combines with sun exposure and causes a negative reaction.

Most skin allergies will go away within a few hours or days. But in more severe cases, it might be worth visiting a dermatologist. They can then assess the situation and prescribe antihistamines or hydrocortisone cream to bring on some much-needed relief.

Tips to prevent skin allergies

  1. Identify what you are allergic to. This can be done by having a skin allergy test or can be from your own lived experience when exposed to certain things.
  2. Invest in some soothing solutions. Aloe vera gel has been shown to provide relief to those showing symptoms of various forms of dermatitis.
  3. Go through your skincare and makeup products regularly and throw away anything that has expired.