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Food Allergies And The Ways They Affect Our Skin

Aug 17, 2007
Our diet plays a big part in the condition of our skin. If we do not eat properly we risk having dull, tired looking skin, and in some cases more serious problems can arise.

Food allergies can cause dramatic changes in the skin and the scary thing is, sometimes we do not even know that we have an allergy to a certain food before we try it, so an allergy could occur at any time.

How Food Allergies Affect the Skin

When we have food allergies the body is basically thinking that the food which we are allergic to is harming our body. So, the immune system kicks in and creates antibodies to fight off the food allergen. After the body has identified a food as a cause of allergies, it will from then on release chemicals to protect itself.

The chemicals are what trigger allergic reactions and as well as affecting the respiratory system, the cardiovascular system and the gastrointestinal tract, it also affects the skin. Usually food allergies are more common in children but they do affect adults too.

Some of the most common signs of food allergies include itching and the body could come out in a rash. Some common skin conditions which could appear due to food allergies include:

Hives

Hives is one of the most common allergic skin reactions, and it is also known as Urticaria. Usually hives form on any part of the body but they rarely affect the palms and the soles of the feet. The problem can either be mild or severe, depending upon the circumstances.

You will know if you have hives if they are extremely itchy, if you have red, circular lesions which change throughout time. They can basically be any size, though they do tend to only be a few millimeters in length.

Usually to control hives, antihistamines are taken but failing that, oral steroids can also be used. Again, it depends upon the severity of the break out and they should calm down naturally after the cause of the allergy has gone.

Eczema

Eczema is an extremely annoying condition and it constantly itches and makes the skin red, dry and flaky. It can be caused by a number of things and food allergies are one of them. There are various different types of Eczema and the type that is caused by allergies is allergic contact dermatitis. The reaction usually occurs a couple of hours after contact with whatever it were that the person is allergic to. If you do not come into contact with the substance again, the reaction usually tends to calm down after a few days.

Both conditions can be really irritating and can leave the skin looking really dull and unhealthy. Also, another symptom of a food allergy could be sneezing and a runny nose. If you have a runny nose you are constantly blowing it and if your nose is also itchy you will be rubbing it to make the itching stop. This will also damage the sensitive skin around the nose and it could potentially become extremely sore and flaky. The only thing that will really cure this is by keeping the area moisturized as much as possible.

Overall, nothing can cure food allergies but it is important to stay away from some foods if you know you are allergic to them. Food allergies usually occur with foods such as nuts, milk, eggs and fish. It is possible to be allergic to any foods however so just be careful and know that as well as affecting the rest of your body, allergies also affect the skin.
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