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Skin Allergy: Causes, Symptoms, Home Remedies, And Prevention Tips

Skin Allergy: Causes, Symptoms, Home Remedies, And Prevention Tips May 29, 2018

Did you ever develop inflammation or skin rashes after you touched or ate something? Then, the chances are that you are allergic to whatever you ate or touched. To help combat the skin allergy and soothe the rashes, here are some natural alternatives that can help. Scroll down.

Table Of Contents

What Is A Skin Allergy?

A skin allergy is often a reaction to an allergen or irritant. When a foreign substance touches your skin, your immune system produces antibodies to fight it. This results in an allergic reaction that is often characterized by the onset of rashes.

Given below are the factors that cause a skin allergy.

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What Causes A Skin Allergy?

Some of the most common causes of skin allergies are:

  • Nickel, a metal widely used in jewelry, cosmetics, soaps, shampoos, and lotions
  • Bug sprays and certain sunscreens
  • Medications like anti-itch creams and antibiotics
  • Fragrances
  • Cleaning products
  • Plants like poison ivy
  • The latex used in clothing, condoms, balloons, and gloves
  • Insects
  • Foods

Let us now take a quick look at the symptoms that surface because of skin allergies.

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Signs and Symptoms Of Skin Allergies

The signs and symptoms that accompany skin allergies are:

  • Itchiness
  • Redness
  • Dry and scaly skin
  • The appearance of small fluid-filled blisters
  • Skin infections on wounded areas

These symptoms are common to various allergic reactions. The following are the different types of skin allergies known to mankind.

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Types Of Skin Allergies

  • Atopic dermatitis (Eczema): A childhood disorder that causes red itchy rashes on the elbows and the back of the knees.
  • Seborrheic dermatitis: This type of skin allergy results in red, scaly, and itchy lesions that mostly affect the scalp, forehead, brows, cheeks, and external ears.
  • Contact dermatitis: A skin allergy brought about by contact with an irritant or certain chemicals that an individual may be allergic to.
  • Diaper rash: A type of irritant contact dermatitis that mostly affects infants and some adults who wear diapers soiled with feces and urine for too long.
  • Stasis dermatitis: An oozy skin allergy that occurs on the lower legs of individuals suffering from chronic swelling due to poor blood circulation.
  • Psoriasis: A scaly and bumpy eruption that occurs on the scalp, elbows, and knees.
  • Hives: Sudden onset of red and itchy bumps that usually resolve in about 8 hours and recur frequently.
  • Nummular eczema: An oozy skin allergy that surfaces as coin-shaped plaques on extremely dry skin during winters.
  • Drug eruptions: Certain antibiotics produce allergic reactions as a side effect.
  • Heat rash (Miliaria): A skin allergy caused by the occlusion of sweat ducts during hot and humid weather conditions.

Skin allergies might also be a result of various underlying causes. However, the end result is mostly the same – swelling and itchy rashes on your skin. To help you combat skin allergies, irrespective of the cause, we have come up with the following home remedies.

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Home Remedies For Skin Allergies

  1. Apple Cider Vinegar
  2. Aloe Vera
  3. Baking Soda
  4. Coconut Oil
  5. Essential Oils
  6. Holy Basil (Tulsi)
  7. Honey
  8. Guava Leaves
  9. Ginger
  10. Petroleum Jelly
  11. Lemon Juice
  12. Kalonji Oil
  13. Neem
  14. Vitamins

How To Treat Skin Allergies Naturally

1. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar Pinit

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You Will Need
  • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup of water
  • Cotton pads
What You Have To Do
  1. Add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar (ACV) to a cup of warm water.
  2. Mix well and soak a cotton ball in it.
  3. Apply it to the affected area and allow it to dry.
  4. Wash it off after 15 to 20 minutes.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this twice daily until you notice an improvement in your condition.

Why This Works

Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid, which exhibits amazing anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties (1), (2). These can help in treating skin allergies and protect your skin from infection.

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2. Aloe Vera

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You Will Need

Aloe vera gel

What You Have To Do
  1. Extract the gel from aloe vera leaves.
  2. Apply it directly to the problem areas.
  3. Leave it on for at least 30 minutes before washing it off.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this thrice every day for a couple of days.

Why This Works

Aloe vera gel is well known for its healing properties. It not only speeds up the healing of the affected area but also relieves the itchiness and redness with its anti-inflammatory activities (3), (4).

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3. Baking Soda

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You Will Need
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • Water (as required)
What You Have To Do
  1. Take a teaspoon of baking soda and add a few drops of water to it to make a thick paste.
  2. Apply this paste to the affected skin.
  3. Leave it on for about 10 minutes, after which you can wash it off.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this multiple times daily for quick relief.

Why This Works

The alkaline nature of baking soda helps in restoring the lost pH of the affected skin. This, in turn, speeds up the healing of your skin from an allergy (5), (6).

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4. Coconut Oil

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You Will Need

100% virgin coconut oil

What You Have To Do
  1. Take a little virgin coconut oil and warm it by rubbing the oil between your palms.
  2. Apply the oil directly to the affected area and leave it on for 20 to 30 minutes.
  3. Wash it off and pat your skin dry.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this 3 to 4 times daily for a few days.

Why This Works

Coconut oil contains medium-chain fatty acids that have moisturizing properties. It also exhibits analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities, which make it a wonderful remedy for relieving redness and itching caused by skin allergies (7), (8).

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5. Essential Oils

a. Peppermint Oil

Peppermint Oil Pinit

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You Will Need
  • 6-7 drops of peppermint oil
  • 1 teaspoon of any carrier oil (coconut, olive, or jojoba oil)
What You Have To Do
  1. Add six to seven drops of peppermint oil to a teaspoon of any carrier oil.
  2. Mix well and apply this mixture to the affected area.
  3. Leave it on for 30 to 60 minutes and wash it off.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this 3 to 4 times every day for a couple of days.

Why This Works

One of the main components of peppermint oil is menthol. Menthol exhibits anti-inflammatory and numbing effects that offer immediate relief from swelling, redness, and itching (9), (10).

b. Tea Tree Oil

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You Will Need
  • 6-7 drops of tea tree oil
  • 1 teaspoon of any carrier oil
What You Have To Do
  1. Add six to seven drops of tea tree oil to a teaspoon of any carrier oil.
  2. Mix well and apply the mixture topically to the affected skin.
  3. Leave it on for 30 to 60 minutes before washing it off.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this 3 to 4 times daily until you see an improvement in your condition.

Why This Works

Tea tree oil offers multiple benefits when it comes to your skin. Its excellent anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties provide immediate relief from inflammation and itchiness and also prevent further infection (11).

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6. Holy Basil (Tulsi)

Holy Basil (Tulsi) Pinit

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You Will Need
  • A handful of holy basil leaves
  • Grinder
What You Have To Do
  1. Take a handful of holy basil leaves and wash them thoroughly.
  2. Blend the leaves in a grinder and apply the paste to your skin.
  3. Leave it on for 20 to 30 minutes and wash it off.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this multiple times daily for a few days.

Why This Works

Holy basil or tulsi exhibits broad-spectrum antimicrobial activities that can protect your skin from microbial infections (12). The anti-inflammatory action of holy basil can help reduce the redness, swelling, and itchiness associated with a skin allergy.

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7. Manuka Honey

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You Will Need

2-3 teaspoons of manuka honey

What You Have To Do
  1. Apply manuka honey directly to the rashes and leave it on for 20 to 30 minutes.
  2. Wash it off.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this 3 to 4 times every day for a few days or until you notice a difference in your skin.

Why This Works

Manuka honey possesses powerful immunoregulatory and antimicrobial properties that not only accelerate the healing of rashes resulting from an allergy but also provide relief from itching and redness (14).

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8. Guava Leaves

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You Will Need
  • A bunch of guava leaves
  • Water
What You Have To Do
  1. Take a bunch of guava leaves and wash them.
  2. Crush the leaves and add them to a tub filled with water.
  3. Soak in the water for 20 to 30 minutes.
  4. Pat your skin dry.
  5. Alternatively, you can grind the guava leaves and apply the paste directly to the affected skin.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this twice daily.

Why This Works

Guava leaves contain ethanolic extracts that exhibit strong anti-inflammatory and anti-itch properties (15). This can relieve the itchy and red rashes caused by skin allergies.

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9. Ginger

Ginger Pinit

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You Will Need
  • A slice of ginger
  • 1 cup of water
  • Cotton balls
What You Have To Do
  1. Take a slice of ginger and add it to a cup of water.
  2. Bring it to a boil in a saucepan and simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Strain and let it cool.
  4. Dip a cotton ball in this ginger solution and apply it to the affected areas.
  5. Leave it on for 30 to 40 minutes before washing it off.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this 3 to 4 times daily.

Why This Works

Ginger exhibits impressive anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, which can work wonders in treating a skin allergy and soothing the inflammation and itchiness associated with it (16).

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10. Petroleum Jelly (Vaseline)

Petroleum Jelly (Vaseline) Pinit

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You Will Need

Petroleum jelly or Vaseline (as required)

What You Have To Do
  1. Take some petroleum jelly and apply it directly to the affected areas.
  2. Leave it on and reapply as necessary.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this for a day or two until your symptoms begin to disappear.

Why This Works

Petroleum jelly forms a protective layer on the affected area and prevents further microbial infections. It also helps in keeping your skin moisturized, thereby speeding its recovery (17).

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11. Lemon Juice

Lemon Juice Pinit

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You Will Need
  • ½ lemon
  • 1 cup of warm water
  • Cotton pads
What You Have To Do
  1. Squeeze out the juice from half a lemon into a cup of warm water.
  2. Mix well and soak a cotton ball in this solution.
  3. Apply it directly to the affected area and allow it to dry.
  4. Wash it off.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this multiple times daily for a few days.

Why This Works

The anti-inflammatory nature of lemon juice helps relieve inflammation and redness while its bactericidal properties prevent further infection to the affected area (18), (19).

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12. Black Seed (Kalonji) Oil

Black Seed (Kalonji) Oil Pinit

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You Will Need

Black seed oil (as required)

What You Have To Do
  1. Take some black seed oil in your palms and apply it directly to the affected area.
  2. Leave it on for 30 to 60 minutes before washing it off.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this multiple times daily for a few days.

Why This Works

Kalonji or black seed oil possesses powerful anti-inflammatory, analgesic, as well as antipruritic properties that can be attributed to the presence of thymoquinone (20). These properties are extremely beneficial in the treatment of skin allergies.

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13. Neem

Neem Pinit

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You Will Need
  • A few neem leaves
  • Grinder
What You Have To Do
  1. Take some neem leaves and grind them to make a fine paste.
  2. Apply this paste to the affected areas.
  3. Leave it on for 20 to 30 minutes before washing it off.
How Often You Should Do This

You can follow this remedy 3 to 4 times daily for a couple of days or until you notice an improvement in your skin.

Why This Works

Neem can alleviate itching, redness, and swelling with its anti-inflammatory activities. It is also a natural antihistamine, which explains why it is so effective in treating skin as well as other allergies (21).

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14. Vitamins

Vitamins Pinit

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Vitamins A, C, and E are essential for healthy skin. They are powerful antioxidants that help in repairing damaged skin and also protect your skin from toxic reactions. Additionally, vitamin C boosts your immunity to skin allergies, and vitamin E manages inflammation and swelling with its anti-inflammatory properties.

To get more of these vitamins through your diet, you must consume foods like carrot, broccoli, garlic, sweet potatoes, citrus fruits, spinach, kale, sprouts, nuts, and legumes. If you wish to take additional supplements for these nutrients, do so only after consulting a doctor.

To help these remedies work even better, you can follow the tips mentioned below.

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Prevention Tips

  • Avoid contact with the allergen or irritant that triggers your allergy.
  • Use a cold compress or take a cold shower.
  • Avoid wearing tight clothes. Instead, wear loose or baggy clothing.
  • Stay out of the sun.
  • Use a gentle soap.

Along with keeping the above tips in mind, you also need to pay attention to your diet. Listed below are some of the most common food allergens that are best avoided by those suffering from a skin allergy.

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Foods To Avoid

The eight major food allergens known to cause a skin allergy are:

  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Shellfish
  • Tree nuts
  • Peanuts
  • Wheat
  • Soybeans

Skin allergies can be quite repulsive. One of the first steps towards overcoming them is to steer clear of the allergen(s). And for the rashes that have already surfaced, the above remedies will surely help.

Was this post helpful? Tell us in the comments box below.

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Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

What happens to your body when you have a food allergy?

When you have a food allergy, your immune system reacts by producing antibodies called immunoglobulin E (IgE). They travel to your cells and initiates the release of a chemical, causing an allergic reaction. This release causes symptoms in the nose, lungs, sinuses, throat, ears as well as your skin.

How long does it take for an allergic reaction to go away?

For most allergic reactions, the symptoms begin to fade away within a few hours after the allergen has been removed. They usually clear completely in about two days.

Which medicine works best for skin allergies?

Your doctor might prescribe antihistamines or topical creams containing hydrocortisone to treat skin allergies.

Which is the best cream for a skin allergy?

You can use anti-itch creams containing hydrocortisone or ointments like calamine lotion. If you are looking for natural alternatives, any of the above remedies will do the trick.

Which soap works best for a skin allergy?

Soaps containing oatmeal like Aveeno or even olive oil are great for those with skin allergy. Cetaphil soap is another good option.

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