02-11-2017 | Dermatologist | Facial Care , Specific Care , Skin

Looking after your skin if you have an allergic reaction

You've probably noticed the skin on your face go red or become irritated after contact with a particular substance or product. It’s often also very itchy and causes an annoying rash if scratched. If this has happened to you, it could be an allergic reaction which will require specific care to get your skin back to its natural state.

What’s happening to me?

Some components of the facial treatment products we use on a daily basis may irritate our skin. You may get an allergic reaction from them which sees your skin try to defend itself through tissue inflammation to prevent the absorption of the component and minimise the damage it can cause.

However, it's important to note that allergic reactions depend on the individual and their immune system rather than the product used. Each person can respond differently.

Steps to treat a skin allergy

If you come out in an allergy on your face, the first thing to do is not get alarmed. Most skin allergies or cases of contact dermatitis involve symptoms that don't last long and are easy to treat:

  • Identify the trigger or allergen: It's very important to know what caused the allergy. Try to recall what products you used recently because allergic reactions will always appear within 24 hours. If you have any suspicions, stop using the product.
  • Take note of signs and symptoms: Allergic reactions can manifest very differently. You need to be careful about symptoms worsening quickly, particularly if there is inflammation around the neck or tongue, because of the risk of respiratory complications.
  • Reduce itchiness and scratching: We recommend against scratching, although we know it isn’t easy. In less serious cases, you can try to alleviate symptoms using thermal water-based products as thermal water has a calming and decongestant effect. Then there are products containing plant-based, natural sedatives like chamomile, calendula, calamine, Aloe Vera and rosemary, which are also decongestants, particularly if associated with the use of localised cold packs. Don't apply ice or frozen products directly to the skin because it could burn and make the allergy more complicated.
  • Use soothing moisturisers: Use moisturisers with an anti-inflammatory or antihistamine base that having a soothing function. Emollients must be able to restore moisturisation lost through the inflammatory effects of the allergic reaction.
  • Specific treatment: If itching or inflammation persists even after using a cold pack, creams or natural remedies, you should see your doctor. The body is sometimes unable to know that it shouldn't continue to react defensively and so the inflammation persists, along with its uncomfortable symptoms. Treatments include anti-inflammatory drugs, antihistamines, corticosteroids and chemical or biological immunomodulators like vaccines.

The best cure of all: prevention

  • Use duly tested hypoallergenic products in your everyday life and when your skin looks red or inflamed.
  • Avoid products that contain parabens, fragrances or colourants because they can cause irritation.
  • Check the storage conditions and durability of the products you use as elements can react to environmental conditions and harm your skin.
  • Avoid a cold or humid living environment. Dry skin can aggravate the problem.
  • Change your diet. Make sure you get the right concentration of vitamins A, C and E and in particular drink plenty of water.

But above all, we recommend you keep up a daily skincare routine to keep your skin hydrated and clean. Skin that is not properly cleansed is more susceptible to suffering an inflammatory or allergic reaction.


autor
DermatologistExpert in skin care

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