Allergic eczema is a condition that is triggered by allergies. Symptoms may include inflamed, dry, itchy skin and uncomfortable irritated spots.
The treatment for allergic eczema is similar to treatments for both allergies and eczema. Find out how to prevent allergic eczema flare-ups and how to treat your symptoms if you’re already suffering.
Allergic eczema is triggered by allergens. These allergens may be airborne or simply come in contact with your skin to trigger eczema, food allergy is also a trigger for eczema in one-third of cases.
Eczema is a skin condition that is marked by rough, red, itchy rashes. It may be caused by a wide variety of triggers, including stress, irritants, pollution, allergens and more.
Allergies are caused by an overreaction of the immune system. When an unknown (yet traditionally harmless) substance comes in contact with the body, the immune system may overreact and release histamines to fight it.
This may cause inflammation, irritation, itching, reddening and other symptoms related to eczema.
Like eczema, allergies are caused by an overreaction of the immune system.
When the body comes into contact with allergens, such as pet dander, pollen, mold and more, the immune system may release histamines to help protect the body from infection. These histamines cause the main symptoms of allergies, such as itching, inflammation, sneezing, runny nose, reddening and more.
Since allergic eczema is triggered by exposure to allergens, people who suffer from this condition often suffer from symptoms of both eczema and allergies.
People who suffer from allergic eczema often experience symptoms of both allergies and eczema (though, some may not experience severe allergy symptoms or eczema).
Allergic eczema is allergic dermatitis driven by exposure to allergens.
Pretty much any allergen may trigger allergic eczema.
Depending on how severe your allergies and eczema are, your allergic eczema may result in mild, moderate or severe symptoms.
The most common allergies that trigger eczema may include:
Technically, no. Allergic eczema may go away after the allergens that triggered the condition are no longer nearby, but it doesn’t always go away on its own.
If you suffer from allergic eczema, your condition may be triggered whenever you come into contact with allergens.
Before getting treated for this condition, you may want to get tested for allergies. This way, you’ll know exactly which allergens may be triggering your eczema.
There are three types of allergy tests readily available, including skin scratch and blood tests and at-home allergy tests.
Your doctor may not recommend getting a skin scratch test, as this test may trigger your eczema. Instead, you may get a referral for a blood test or order an at-home testing kit.
The symptoms of allergic eczema are similar to eczema inflamed by other triggers. The most common symptom is red rash-like spots on the skin that may itch, burn or become inflamed.
The skin may appear thick, rough or scaly in the affected areas that get irritated recurrently. It may feel warm or hot on or near the rash. The rash may also secrete pus (also known as weeping eczema) which can also possibly indicate that the skin is infected.
Other common allergic eczema symptoms may include:
Since this type of eczema is triggered by allergic reactions to allergens, you may want to manage your symptoms with medications and topical treatments.
To prevent allergy attacks, you may simply want to take medications that may help prevent the release of histamines. There are also topical treatments that may help ease the symptoms of eczema during and after a flare-up.
To prevent allergies, you may simply want to start taking allergy medication, including antihistamines, nasal steroid or saline sprays and drops.
Antihistamines and nasal steroid sprays are available both over the counter and by prescription; while saline sprays are available over the counter.
Nasal sprays are effective at preventing and treating nasal symptoms, and antihistamines block histamine release, preventing the uncomfortable symptoms associated with allergies.
While allergy medications have been proven effective at preventing and managing allergy symptoms, they don’t address the root cause of allergies and may cause some side effects, such as drowsiness, insomnia and gastrointestinal issues.
One of the most uncomfortable symptoms of eczema is itching.
Doctors recommend you avoid itching your skin affected by eczema, but that’s easier said than done! If you want to ease the itching caused by eczema, try some of the below tips.
There is no cure for eczema. But that doesn’t mean you can treat this condition’s symptoms.
If you’re struggling with an allergic eczema flare-up, doctors recommend keeping your skin moisturized, avoiding scratching, taking warm baths and avoiding harsh chemicals and irritants until your eczema clears up.
Since eczema is marked by dry, red, inflamed, itchy spots, one way to ease symptoms is to keep skin moisturized.
Doctors recommend moisturizing your skin at least twice a day with a cream specially formulated for eczema. Moisturizing your skin may help to relieve itchiness, dryness and inflammation.
As with most conditions, you should try to avoid scratching your skin — especially near any rashes or inflammation — if you suffer from eczema.
Itching skin may lead to further inflammation, burning and itching. You may also inadvertently tear your skin or transfer bacteria underneath the top layer of your skin, leading to infection. Scratching may also break pustules, leading to oozing and infection.
Try using a topical cream or keeping the affected areas covered to help prevent the temptation to scratch.
Warm baths may help soothe itchy skin and help moisturize dry patches. Bathing and showering not only help to soothe the skin, but they both improve hygiene and may help prevent bacterial infection.
If you choose to take a bath, you may want to use a product that is designed to soothe eczema, such as a bath soak. Make sure the water is lukewarm and not too hot, as too much heat can further irritate your skin.
After your bath or shower, gently pat your skin dry and try to immediately apply a cream that’s specially formulated for eczema skin.
Body and cleaning products are often loaded with harsh chemicals that may irritate skin or cause eczema flare-ups.
Try to avoid harsh ingredients in your skin and bath products especially, and avoid using harsh cleaning chemicals if you can.
Look for products marketed for people with sensitive skin (and check the labels for harsh perfumes or dyes).
If you can, substitute cleaning products that contain harsh chemicals with all-natural products that omit chlorine, formaldehyde and ammonia.
There are several ways to prevent allergic eczema flare-ups. Most doctors recommend a combination of allergy and eczema treatments, including avoidance and medication. If you want to treat the root cause of allergies, allergy immunotherapy has been proven to be an effective treatment.
One of the most effective ways to avoid uncomfortable allergy symptoms is to avoid allergens altogether.
If you’re not exposed to pollen, dander, dust, grasses and mold, you may not experience uncomfortable allergy symptoms — which may also help prevent allergic eczema flare-ups.
The downside to using allergy avoidance to prevent allergy symptoms is that it’s simply not always possible to do so. Avoiding outdoor allergens may mean missing out on picnics, outdoor weddings and other activities. Avoiding indoor allergens, such as pet dander, may also mean avoiding your beloved pets.
HEPA filters have been proven to catch larger airborne allergens and prevent them from circulating throughout your home or office.
These filters are available for vacuums, air conditioners, fans, ionizers, HVAC systems and more. Any airborne substances that are larger than .01 microns may be captured by HEPA filtration systems — though many studies cite that HEPA filters are most efficient at filtering substances .30 microns and larger. These filters may even be able to reduce the spread of virus particles, such as COVID-19 virus particles that are .125 microns in diameter.
Some of the most common allergens that HEPA filters are used to trap may include pet dander, pollen, dust mites and mold.
There are two types of allergens: indoor and outdoor. Indoor allergens originate inside structures and may include mold, fungus, pet dander, dust and dust mites.
Outdoor allergens originate outdoors and may include pollen, mold, fungus and other organic materials. These microscopic allergens may affix themselves to our skin, hair and clothing — or our pets’ fur. Airborne allergens may travel indoors through open windows or doors.
It’s important to keep outdoor allergens outside. You may want to remove your shoes and clothing in your entryway or mudroom to prevent allergens from entering other areas of your home. You may also want to take a shower or bath to remove outdoor allergens from your skin or hair — especially before going to bed at night.
Keeping pet fur brushed and clean may also help to prevent outdoor allergens from getting tracked around your home.
It’s important to try to eradicate indoor allergens (or at least contain them in certain areas of your home).
Mold and fungus are two major allergens that may cause allergy symptoms. These allergens grow in humid or damp areas, such as bathrooms, kitchens and basements.
Dust and dust mites may also cause allergy symptoms and keeping your home free from dust may help reduce the risk of symptoms.
Indoor allergens may stagnate in the air during colder months (when windows shut and fans and air conditioners turn off and the air is less likely to circulate). Using air purifiers or HEPA filters during these months may help reduce concentrated levels of airborne allergens in your home.
Pet allergies may also flare up more during cooler months, and keeping your pets contained in one area of your home may help to prevent allergies, too. Don’t allow pets on the furniture or in your bedroom, and ask someone else to bathe them if you’re allergic to your furry friends.
Any exposure to organic matter may cause pollen, grass, mold or fungus allergies to flare up.
You may want to avoid doing yard chores when your allergies symptoms are most uncomfortable — especially in the spring, late summer and early fall.
Allergy immunotherapy doesn’t just treat the symptoms of allergies — it also addresses allergies at their root cause.
When allergens enter the body, the immune system recognizes them as unwanted invaders and tries to attack them by releasing histamines. These histamines cause inflammation, redness, itching, watery eyes and nose, sneezing, coughing and more.
Allergy flare-ups may also lead to eczema flare-ups if you suffer from allergic eczema.
Allergy immunotherapy introduces microscopic amounts of allergens to the system; over time, the immune system will stop seeing these allergens as a threat and release less histamine (or stop releasing histamine altogether).
Allergy shots are the most popular form of allergy immunotherapy in the U.S. This treatment is most commonly administered at a doctor’s office weekly during the build-up phase and then monthly during the maintenance phase.
Doctors may require you to be monitored for symptoms of side effects, such as anaphylaxis for up to 45 minutes after your injection.
Sublingual immunotherapy is administered orally, underneath the tongue.
Doses may be self-administered daily (without doctor supervision or after scheduling a telehealth appointment), as anaphylaxis is less likely with this type of immunotherapy.