Why do you mysteriously break out in hives on your face? Where did the red rash on your back come from? Why does your skin itch like crazy? All these symptoms are common skin allergic reactions. Skin allergies develop when the skin comes into contact with a foreign substance and becomes sensitive to the foreign substance. According to Dr. Roger Freidman, clinical professor of allergy, immunology and pediatrics at the Ohio State University College of Medicine and Nationwide Children’s Hospital, 10 to 15 percent of people will experience skin allergies. Here are the five most common skin allergies. Laundry Detergent – Our skin can become extra sensitive to fragrances used to scent our laundry detergents. Clothes that are washed with the scented detergent can irritant the skin once put on. If your skin breaks out in an itchy red rash only where the clothing comes into contact with the skin, chances are it is the scented detergent you are using. Switching to an unscented or anti-allergen detergent will eliminate uncomfortable skin rashes.
- Textile Dyes – the dyes used to add color to our fabrics can cause a flare up of textile allergic contact dermatitis. When unbound dyes from the clothing bleed into our skin, our skin will break out in an instant allergic reaction. People should be careful when buying wraps, scarves and t-shirts from street vendors especially in developing countries where the dying process may be more rudimentary without finishing agents added in to set the dye and keep it from bleeding.
- Antibiotics – not all medicines work the same on everyone. A common cause of skin allergies is taking antibiotics. A skin rash usually develops a few days after taking antibiotics. If a skin rash develops on your body while on antibiotics, you should immediately stop taking the antibiotics and consult your doctor about taking an alternative treatment.
- Jewelry – Can you believe that some women don’t like jewelry? It may be hard to fathom, but some women (and men) are highly sensitive to metals used to make jewelry. People have been known to be allergic to gold and silver, but the most common metal skin allergy is caused from wearing nickel. Anywhere these metals touch the skin can cause hives, welts and red skin rashes on the body.
- Makeup – The last of the top five common skin allergies is caused by the makeup we wear. Makeup containing parabens such as Methyl, Propyl, Butyl and Ethyl are highly toxic and as such cause skin allergies. These chemicals are used in some makeup products as preservatives so that makeup companies can extend their product’s shelf life. However, many makeup manufacturers are moving away from using these parabens to appease the demands of their customers with sensitive skin.