What Is Chemical Allergy? What Are Its Causes, Symptoms And Treatment
Since the dawn of industrialization and mass production, the incidence of chemical allergies and subsequent dermatitis has increased tenfold and so is the number of allergy specialists to treat it. Chemical allergies are unique in the sense that they may be caused by natural or synthetic chemicals or by products. While some people may be affected by occupational chemical exposure overtime, others may become a victim by everyday mundane items such as perfumes and deodorants.
In this blog, we will be discussing about everything that is to be known about chemical allergies, possible causes and triggers, ways to identify a chemical allergy and possible management options to keep the disease at bay.
What Causes A Chemical Allergy?
Chemical allergies can have vague and seamlessly harmless products and substances as a potential trigger. Amongst the many identifies possible triggers, here are a few enlisted:
- Fragrant tissues, deodorants, roll on perfumes, body creams and even tissues.
- Antibacterial medications
- Substances used to thicken the consistency of a product.
- Colored synthetic .dyes and artificial coloring preservatives.
- Formaldehyde resins, a common ingredient in many nail varnishes.
- Sunscreens, body lotions, foundations and body butters containing scents or synthetic chemicals.
How Soon Can Symptoms Appear?
Symptoms can appear as early as within minutes of the deadly chemical exposure. These allergy symptoms are usually noticed on the skin in the form of redness, scaly patches, oozing blisters, burning sensation, darkening or leathery feel of the skin, eruptions and violaceous lesions later on. Sometimes the response may be delayed for up to 48 hours, in others, it may stay delayed till after a week of the inciting exposure.
Can the Allergy Worsen?
Symptoms get worse if you keep touching the affected area more so often. In cases of chemical exposure, if the chemical agent is transferred to another part of your body, it may cause the same reaction on that part.
How Is A Chemical Allergy Diagnosed?
Your doctor can diagnose the condition by a thorough history taking and examination. He/she may ask about any chemicals or product exposure within the last 48 hours.
Moreover, your physician may recommend a patch test or allergic testing to pinpoint the root cause of the allergy. This is usually done by testing a small area of the skin by placing samples of the inciting agent, and checking for any redness or reaction against it.
Which Details Can Help the Doctor in Diagnosing the Condition?
Some of the most important details include:
- Details of the complete event
- What was the patient doing in the last 24-48 hours before the onset of symptoms?
- Any skin care or beauty product usage before the onset of symptoms?
- What was the amount of product applied on the body?
- Any other symptoms noted by the patient?
- Any previous skin reactions in the past?
Industrial Chemical Allergies to Look Out For
Nickel: A popular metal notorious for allergic reactions due to its mass usage in the jewelry industry. Examples include earrings, necklaces, bangles and rings made out of nickel.
Chromium: Popular agent used in the leather industry for making daily to wear goods.
Methylenediphenyl diisocyanate (MDI): Used in spray paints and liquid roof coatings
Treatment of Chemical Allergy
In the event of an exposure, make sure that you do not touch any other surface of your body or aid any other transfer of the product to other body parts.
If the chemical is an irritant, thorough washing under running water is helpful to rid the skin of the harmful substance.
In the event of a mild reaction, over the counter antihistamines, pain medications, calamine lotion and cortisone local applications can aid the healing process.
If serious symptoms occur, it is recommended to take the patient to the nearest emergency department for quick diagnosis and management to commence.
How Find a Good Allergy Doctor?
You wouldn’t want to visit a doctor who is just new and can’t detect common things without a test. New doctors recommend test to find the problem whereas experienced physicians let you do tests to confirm their diagnosis.
The easiest way to choose a good allergy clinic Manassas is to ask the people your trust. Moreover, you can also use social media but be careful and because every praise you see on social media is not meant to be organic. Good luck!