Eczema is an inflammatory condition frequently associated with allergic illnesses like asthma or allergic rhinitis (hay fever). It can range from being a nuisance, to a severe, debilitating condition.
Eczema can be exacerbated by exposure to allergens, particularly food and dust mites. Any food can be an issue, but milk, wheat, eggs, soy, seafood, peanuts, nuts and tomatoes are the most common factors. An allergy elimination diet may be necessary if skin testing or the patient’s history suggest a particular food is causing the problem.
Urticaria, or hives, is another common skin ailment that is often related to allergies. Urticaria presents as wheals that are often a pinky-red (but may have a paler center) that can migrate. Wheals can range in size from a few millimeters to a few centimeters, and are usually circular, although they sometimes fuse with neighboring wheals to form different irregular shapes. These wheals can be itchy, and relief often comes in the form of rubbing rather than scratching. Usually, they last only a few hours, but in the case of chronic urticaria, recurring outbreaks can last for years.
Contact dermatitis is a red, itchy rash resulting from direct contact with a substance, or an allergic reaction to it.