It’s quite common for babies and children to get rashes on their skin. But if the rash doesn’t go away in a couple of days then it is important to find out if it could be the symptom of an allergy.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) defines an allergy as a condition where there is “a hypersensitivity disorder in which the immune system reacts to substances in the environment that are normally considered harmless.” The CDC also says that allergies are most common in infants, toddlers and young children and decreases in occurrence with age. Over 10.7 percent of children below the age of 18 suffer from some form of skin allergy.
As you may know, allergies not only affect a child’s physical and emotional health, but can also make everyday activities such as sleeping, eating and playing very difficult. Skin allergies, although usually not life threatning, can be very painful and debilitating. Some of the most common skin allergies are:
- Allergic rash from skin contact/touching
- Hives and swelling
Allergies vary in severity according to the child/person’s sensitivity and can be caused by a myriad of substances but the most common allergens are:
- Dust mites
- Pet Dander
Find out if that rash is caused by an allergy
Finding out if your child has a skin allergy can take some detective work. Use the list above to identify the common allergens and try to eliminate them. For instance, if you have a pet, then take your child away from the house for a couple of days to see if their allergy abates. If it does, great! If it doesn’t then your pet might not be the problem and you can reunite your child with his/her best non-human buddy! But keep in mind that some pet’s dander can stay in your child’s system for up to a year. So, this is might not be the most accurate way of delineating the cause of an allergy.
This is where more technical medical help can come to the rescue. Go seek your doctor’s help. He/she can help you figure out if your child has a skin allergy or if it’s something else. If it is an allergy then he can recommend you to an allergy specialist or suggest a blood test to measure the levels of IgE (allergy) in your child’s blood.
A blood test will show whether there are allergens in your child’s bloodstream. Blood tests only show whether your child has an allergy or not, and they are usually not specific or as accurate as the skin prick test. So, if the blood test results are positive, then get a skin prick test. You might have to see an allergist for this.
Skin Prick Test
The most common method of testing and diagnosing skin allergies is patch testing or skin prick test. In this process, a small amount of the irritant is introduced into the skin. If this triggers a negative reaction, then that is an indication that your child is allergic to that particular substance.
Elimination Diet (for food triggered allergies)
Food allergies can cause hives and other skin rashes. The best way to determine whether a particular food is causing these allergies is by going on an elimination diet. By removing suspicious foods for a while (2 weeks to a month) then methodically reintroducing it into your diet, you can find out if a particular food is the culprit. Keeping a food diary during this time and being hyper vigilant about what you eat is helpful. It’s best to go on a whole foods diet and eliminate all processed food from you diet during this diet. Here is a helpful guide to going on an elimination diet specifically for allergies.
If you child has skin allergies then it is imperative that you use the gentlest soap and skin care products. Organic soap, organic skin care products and paraben free products are all ideal choices. Check out some of our products, which are made from USDA certified materials and are completely paraben free. Our line was created due to a child with severe eczema. So, we have a good understanding of what is best for sensitive skin.
A recent study by the CDC indicated that the number of children suffering from skin allergies has increased in the recent years. Is it genetics, our lifestyles, the nature of the products we use on our skin or the environment that has caused this increase? Honestly, we don’t know. But we believe that prevention, which in this case is exposure to harmful chemicals, is the best policy. Which is why our products are the perfect choice, not just for someone with skin allergies but also for everyone else.