In the present scenario, we observe a steep increase in the incidence of skin allergies in children. Skin allergies can affects children in all age groups right from infancy to adolescents. In this article we will discuss the basic facts about skin allergies in children.
Q1: When to suspect skin allergy in a child?
When a child develops recurrent episodes of itchy rashes involving either face, body or limbs one should consider the possibility of skin allergy in the child. However, if the same child also has other symptoms of allergy such as early morning sneezing, wheezing, food allergy etc., or any of the family members (Parents / grandparents) also suffer from allergic symptoms then allergy should be strongly suspected in the child.
Q2: What are the common presentations of skin allergy in children?
The common presentation includes
1.Urticaria – Characterised by multiple wheals / hives affecting all parts of the body and often associated with intense itching.
2.Insect bite allergy – Here itchy red lesion usually occurs only in the exposed areas of upper and lower limbs, which often leaves a black pigmentation on healing.
3.Eczema – In infants eczema presents as dry itchy red lesions on cheek, scalp, body and extremities whereas in older children it usually involves, the skin behind the joints such as knees, elbows.
4.Angioedema – Characterised by swelling of eyelids or lips or hands / feet often associated severe with pain.
5.Contact dermatitis – Occurs due to contact of the skin with various cosmetics, nickel, dyes , detergents etc.
Q3.What are the causes of skin allergy in child?
Food allergy can present as allergic skin rashes in young children. The common food causing allergy symptom include milk, egg, nuts, prawn, crab, shrimp etc. Sometimes house dust-mite allergy can also cause allergy skin rashes in children. Rarely autoimmune phenomenon has also been observed in children with skin allergy particularly with urticaria and angioedema .
Q4.Diagnosis of skin allergy
Diagnosis skin allergy is clinical and usually done by the appropriate history and clinical examination. However, the identification of allergen responsible for the allergy is very important and is usually done by Allergy skin testing and sometimes by Allergy Blood test. Allergy skin testing is the gold standard test in allergy diagnosis and is a simple and safe test done routinely done in the allergic clinics by Allergist as outpatient basis.
Q5.How to treat skin allergy?
The treatment in skin allergy is a two step approach
Conclusion : In children with skin allergies 3A approach is the need of the hour
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