Skin Allergy

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Skin Allergies

A skin allergy, or allergic contact dermatitis, is a reaction of the skin to certain substances it considers irritating or allergenic. Symptoms often present as redness, itchiness, swelling or blisters. Triggers often include metals, scents and preservatives. Recognising and pinpointing the exact allergens is a fundamental part of effectively treating and managing skin allergies. Steering clear of these triggers and adhering to the right medical guidance can drastically lessen symptoms and boost one’s quality of life.


Indicators of skin allergies can vary but typically include:

  • Red and inflamed skin: The affected area may show redness and signs of inflammation.
  • Constant itching: There may be a persistent urge to itch the affected area.
  • Skin swelling: Puffiness and swelling can occur.
  • Development of blisters: Fluid-filled blisters may form on the skin.
  • Appearance of rash: Visible rashes, often appearing as tiny bumps or welts, may develop.
  • Dryness and cracking of skin: The skin might become dry, flaky and may even crack.
  • Burning or stinging sensation: Some individuals may feel a stinging or burning sensation in the affected area.

These symptoms can appear shortly after exposure to the allergen or may take a few days to manifest.


Skin allergies occur when the skin reacts to certain substances. Common causes include:

  • Metals: Nickel, found in jewelry, belts and zippers, is a common allergen.
  • Fragrances: Perfumes and scented products can trigger allergic reactions.
  • Preservatives: Chemicals used to preserve cosmetics, lotions and other personal care products.
  • Rubber: Latex and other rubber products, including gloves and balloons.
  • Plants: Certain plants, such as poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac, can cause allergic reactions.
  • Dyes: Dyes used in clothing, hair products and cosmetics.
  • Medications: Topical medications, such as antibiotic ointments, can cause skin allergies.
  • Cleaning Products: Detergents, soaps and household cleaners may contain allergens.
  • Cosmetics: Makeup, lotions and skincare products can contain ingredients that cause allergies.
  • Industrial Chemicals: Substances used in manufacturing or construction can be allergens.

Identifying and avoiding the specific allergen is crucial for managing and preventing skin allergy symptoms.


Experiencing a skin allergy can be different for everyone. The length of time it takes for the allergy to subside can be influenced by many factors, such as the severity of the reaction and the presence of the allergen. Generally, minor skin allergies can resolve within a few days to a week. Once the cause of the allergy is detected and removed, a noticeable improvement in symptoms often takes place within a few days. However, in case of severe reactions, healing might take longer, possibly extending to several weeks. Remember, adhering to medical instructions and prescribed treatments is crucial in efficiently managing symptoms and accelerating recovery.


Patch testing stands as a powerful tool in the diagnosis of skin allergies. It works by detecting precise substances that prompt allergic reactions. Small doses of possible allergens are applied to the skin, with the subsequent reaction observed over several days. This method allows healthcare experts to determine the specific cause of dermatitis or other allergic reactions. With this detailed information, personalised care plans can be crafted, enabling patients to more effectively avoid allergens and manage their symptoms. Patch testing is a non-invasive procedure that boasts high accuracy, making it a dependable technique for enhancing the lives of individuals suffering from constant skin allergies.

skin allergy patch test London


Treating skin allergies comprises of several proven strategies aimed at reducing symptoms and averting future reactions. The starting point is to identify and steer clear of allergens, achieved through tests like patch testing. Topical corticosteroids are useful in diminishing inflammation, itching and redness. Additionally, antihistamines, which can be taken orally or applied topically, are effective in easing itching and allergic responses. Sustained usage of hypoallergenic moisturisers bolster the skin barrier and counteract dryness and irritation. Using cold compresses can relieve itching and lessen swelling while avoiding scratching is key to prevent exacerbating the condition or potential infections. Medicated baths, for example, oatmeal baths, can offer respite and calm irritated skin. In extreme scenarios, a doctor might prescribe potent medications such as oral corticosteroids or immunosuppressants. Upholding an appropriate skincare regimen with gentle, unscented soaps and skincare products can aid in preventing flare-ups. Should the conditions persist or worsen, it is vital to seek the services of a dermatologist for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.
Unexpected skin allergies can derive from numerous sources. Often, heightened exposure to unfamiliar allergens in your surroundings can be the culprit — such as alterations in hygiene products, cleaning agents, or makeup. Moreover, continuous or repetitive contact with specific materials can gradually sensitize your skin, sparking an allergic outbreak. Alterations in your domicile or occupational environment, like relocating or commencing a different job, can likewise bring new allergens into your life. Stress and hormonal fluctuations can impair your immunity, rendering your skin more vulnerable to allergies. Lastly, certain medications or pre-existing health problems may instigate or intensify skin allergies. Recognizing and avoiding potential allergens, coupled with consulting a healthcare expert, can be beneficial in controlling and mitigating these responses.



The Harley Street Dermatology Clinic specialises in conditions affecting the skin, hair and nails. Our goal is to provide all the care that you need when you’re experiencing these kinds of problems. We want to make it easy for you to access the best quality hair loss treatment in London.

Our hair loss clinic in London is conveniently located in Central London, so it’s easy to visit us if you need to see a dermatologist. You will find yourself in a very comfortable and welcoming environment. We have created a relaxing space where you will receive the highest quality of care. We are regulated by the Care Quality Commission, are part of the British Association of Dermatologists and are top rated by patients of Doctify so you can be sure of safe and effective treatment with us.



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