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Understanding Skin Allergies

March 31st, 2017 | 2 min. read

By Patricia Leonard, MD

Thousands upon thousands of people suffer from some form of skin allergy, and if you’re one of them, you know how frustrating it can be to come in contact with an allergen. As your allergy clinic in Katy, Houston ENT & Allergy has treated countless patients who were suffering from itchy, dry, or irritated skin. Your skin is your first defense against allergens or irritants, and it’s important to understand why it reacts the way it does to certain stimulants. In this blog, we’ll look at a few skin allergies and hopefully by the end, you’ll better understand their causes and how to prevent them.

Allergens vs Irritants

Before we dive into certain types of skin allergies, it’s important to understand the difference between a reaction caused by an allergen and one caused by an irritant. An allergen will create allergic contact dermatitis, while an irritant that is harsh or caustic will cause irritant contact dermatitis. You may not be allergic to the certain irritant, but the chemicals it contains can cause your skin to have an adverse reaction.


Hives affect many people and they appear as red bumps or welts on the body. They can be caused by a number of allergens, and usually disappear after a few days or weeks. Acute urticaria should only last five or six weeks, and if the hives persist, it’s important to see an allergist as soon as possible. Chronic urticaria can be very serious and may require intensive treatment to cure.


Those who suffer from eczema may have a family history of allergies, and the most common symptom of the condition is dry, itchy skin. Also known as atopic dermatitis, eczema can be a very frustrating condition, and if the skin becomes infected, a person could experience small bumps that secrete a clear liquid. Contact with pollen, pet fur, and other allergens can trigger eczema, as can ingesting certain foods.

Avoiding Allergens

It may seem impossible to avoid all allergens that cause your skin to react, but after speaking with one of our certified allergists, you should be able to better understand what’s causing your condition. Certain soaps or laundry detergents could be causing a reaction, and it may be necessary to switch to a natural alternative to avoid itchy or irritated skin. A lack or excess of water on your skin could also be the cause, as can certain lotions or perfumes.

If you’re constantly battling rashes and other skin outbreaks, please make an appointment with our clinic in Katy right away. Our doctors and staff will do whatever they can to help you find the solution to your allergies, work with you to avoid chronic reactions, and get you back to doing what you love. You may feel shy about showing your arms or shoulder because of eczema, or you might be embarrassed by hives on your hands or feet, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop doing the things you love.

Stop by our clinic today or use the form below to schedule your initial appointment.


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By Patricia Leonard MD

Patricia Leonard, MD

Patricia A Leonard, MD is Board Certified in Allergy and Immunology, and has been practicing allergy treatments in the Houston community for 10 years.