Danger of fire ants

Skin bumps: What are responsible allergies?

Various types of allergies can trigger the development of skin bumps often from allergic contact dermatitis. Direct exposure to an allergen causes the area to become inflamed. A whole-body reaction can also trigger hives on the skin. A doctor should be consulted so that proper diagnosis can be given and treatment for the skin bumps can be started.

Close look on allergic skin bumps

The skin bumps that develop due to an allergic reaction manifest as lesions that ooze, crust or become scaly. The affected area is usually reddened, tender and oftentimes warm to the touch.

The rash becomes itchy and appears within 48 hours of exposure to the allergen. The skin bumps tend to vary in size and eventually settle within 24 hours but new bumps can form as rapidly as the old bumps fade.

Skin bumps
The rash becomes itchy and appears within 48 hours of exposure to the allergen. The skin bumps tend to vary in size and eventually settle within 24 hours but new bumps can form as rapidly as the old bumps fade.

What are the possible causes?

Initial exposure to a substance or material will not trigger the formation of the skin bumps but the immune system starts to generate antibodies to attack the substance in the future.

Strong allergens such as poison ivy might take a single exposure while other allergens take several exposures before the bumps occur. Some of the common substances that can trigger allergic skin bumps include the following:

  • Metals
  • Cosmetics
  • Plants
  • Latex
  • Perfumes
  • Medications

If antibodies are produced that trigger a reaction to any of these substances, the allergy is considered life-long.

Management

  • Upon exposure to an allergen, the initial step is to thoroughly wash the exposed area as soon as possible using water and mild soap. Carefully rinse all the suds from the skin and pat the area dry. This is the only treatment for the mild cases.
  • An over-the-counter corticosteroid that is applied topically can reduce the inflammation and redness from a reaction.
  • The oral corticosteroids are given for severe cases of hives to minimize the inflammation.
  • Antihistamines are given to alleviate the itchiness linked with allergic contact dermatitis.
  • A cold compress or wet dressing can be used to reduce the itchiness

Prevention

Avoidance of the allergen is the ideal way to prevent skin bumps due to an allergic reaction. A doctor must be consulted so that a skin test is performed to determine the causative allergen.

If the allergen could not be avoided and a reaction is severe, immunotherapy is recommended to minimize the severity of a reaction in the future.

Always use protective clothing and gloves if there is likelihood of exposure to the allergen.

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