Scalp Conditions Allergies
Scalp conditions allergies are caused by contact with allergens in the air or by substances actually touched, and the reactions can be anything from a mild rash to serious inflammation, itching, and patchy, temporary, hair loss. The most common sources of allergies of the scalp are hair dyes and permanent solutions. Reactions to allergens are usually swift, so there is little doubt about what is the cause of the burning or itching sensation they cause. However, sometimes the reaction is delayed, so the origin is harder to track. Eczema is the general term for any type of dermatitis or inflammation of the skin. Eczema often begins in childhood, and children suffering with that problem often have asthma and hay fever too.
Skin allergies can, of course, occur anywhere on the body. Sometimes the source of the allergic reaction is difficult to pin down, so a process of elimination is necessary. The causes of skin allergies are many: metals, such as nickel; fragrances in perfumes; cosmetics; medications; preservatives and household products; latex (rubber); bath powders; tape; and poisonous plants, such as poison ivy. Once the substance to which a person reacts is identified, the best treatment thereafter is prevention. Avoid the substances that cause dermatitis, and take good care of the skin by avoiding extreme heat or cold, and even stress. The skin benefits from the use of good moisturizing lotions that contain petroleum. It is recommended that rubbing is better than scratching to relieve any itching, so that the skin is not actually broken open. Breaks in the skin can leave one open to infections that can seriously complicate the treatment of the problem.
Symptoms of skin allergies and scalp conditions allergies take several different forms. There can be a mild redness and swelling, the appearance of blisters, itching, scaling and temporary thickening of the skin. It's easy to spot the site of initial contact because that's where the most severe reaction will be found. Often the reaction spreads over much of the body from that site, but not always. The degree of sensitivity in the individual determines the severity of the reaction. Someone highly allergic to poison ivy, for instance, may have swelling and hives over the entire body that take quite a long time to completely eliminate. Patience is often needed when undergoing treatments, and it's those times when it's good to remember what scripture has to say about that. "being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, ..." (Colossians 1:11)
The effects of severe scalp conditions allergies can be particularly troublesome because of the presence of hair over the lesions that must be cut to properly treat the scalp, or where the hair actually breaks off at the base, leaving bald spots. Most people are somewhat self-conscious about the appearance of their hair. A simple treatment that brings relief for any case of dermatitis is to bathe with a mild soap in cool to lukewarm water to relieve the itch. Sometimes an ultraviolet light, a sunlamp, or cortisone is recommended. In the case of exposure to a plant or perfume, wash clothing and all objects that touched the plant resin or where the fragrance might have been sprayed, to prevent re-exposure. For severe reactions, a physician should always be consulted.
The most common symptom of dermatitis or scalp conditions allergies is the appearance of red, itchy raised areas on the skin called hives that can be very small dots or large splotches. Acute hives arise quickly, and can last up to six weeks. Sometimes they appear in groups that fade as other groups develop. Hives near the eyes, lips, or genitals swell a great deal, and can be alarming, but usually go away in twenty-four hours. The most common causes of acute hives are: foods, medicines, insect bites, and sunlight. Chronic hives are much less common. They may linger as long as six weeks, and the cause may remain unknown.
There non-allergenic and fragrance-free products on the market for those who have skin allergies in general, or scalp conditions allergies in particular, and treatment is usually with over-the-counter antihistamines, such as Benadryl or cortisone. As a general rule, a health provider should be consulted if the home care has not helped, if the reaction gets worse or returns, if the skin is open or there is a possibility of infection, or if the patient is having trouble breathing or swallowing.
Trends seem to occur in many kinds of medical conditions, and skin allergies are no different. Probably because the products made from latex are increasing in number, reactions to latex have become more common. Latex is found in balloons, rubber bands, condoms, elastic bands, bathing suits, underwear, waistbands, and rubber toys. The reactions to these items go beyond contact dermatitis, and may cause asthma, or even anaphylactic shock. If someone is allergic to latex or tape, he or she should be certain to inform any doctor, dentist, or other healthcare workers so they won't use those products in the course of treatment for that patient.