Most people will get some kind of allergic reaction on their skin at some point in their lives. When something like this happens, naturally, the first question that arises is – how long to these allergic reactions last on skin? When will I be able to get on with my life and stop worrying about the redness, itching, rashes, and other unpleasantries that come with allergies?
Well, unfortunately, there is no “magic” answer to this question. Since there are so many varieties of allergic reactions on the skin, the time that takes for them to go away will vary. So, let us go through the most common allergic skin conditions and the time it takes for them to go away.
Angioedema and Hives
Hives, or urticaria, are the red, raised, and itchy areas on the skin which can range in size. In most cases, the hives will go away in a few days or weeks, but for some people things are a bit more complicated. Of course, we are talking about the cases of chronic hives that can come and go as they please for several months.
Angioedema is the swelling which occurs in the deeper layers of the skin, and is not red or itchy. It can most commonly appear on the lips, hands, feet, eyelids, and tongue. As for the time it takes for angioedema to disappear, the case is pretty much the same as with hives.
Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is common in babies and children, and can often be triggered by food, animal dander, dust mites, sweat, or cosmetic products such as soaps and shampoos. Bad news is, that eczema is a chronic condition that will never go away completely and can be triggered later in life, but most commonly, eczema flare ups can last for weaks, or even months!
Contact dermatitis happens when your skin comes into contact with the substance that damages the skin particles, or if you are allergic to a chemical in a plant such as poison ivy, a chemical in a hair dye, perfume, cosmetic product, fragrance, or something else. Treatment and healing time depend on the type of chemical you came into contact with. Most commonly, a majority of people will have clear skin after about one to three weeks, but a rash can last for over six weeks in more severe cases.
To speed up the healing time, you can do several things. Keep your skin clean and use petroleum jelly or lanolin if you are not allergic to it. Lanolin, also known as wool grease, is a wax that comes from wooly animals, most commonly sheep.
You can also take antihistamines or use steroid creams that you can find over the counter, but do not go overboard with these as this is just a temporary solution. If possible, your doctor can prescribe medication to you to help with the situation.
Above all, avoid the substance that triggered the allergic reaction. If it is a cosmetic product, stop using it immediately and find an alternative. If you got the allergic reaction to a hair dye, stop coloring your hair or opt for a natural hair dye without the harmful chemicals. If the allergy was food related, immediately cut that food out of your diet and be wary of dishes that contain the food that caused you trouble.
Visit your doctor and let him or her know what happened. Together, you can think of the next steps of prevention and treatment. Additionally, go to an immunologist who will set the accurate diagnosis and a treatment plan, and who will also educate you on the matter of your allergies and give you tips that will help you manage your skin rashes.
Being informed about your health and invested in your treatment is the best way to speed up the healing process. Being aware of what triggered your allergy will help with the prevention of future reactions and other more serious symptoms, so make sure you pay attention to what caused the predicament so you can be prepared to fight it. Either way, you will have to suffer for several days or weeks, but later you will be prepared and ready to tackle any future outbursts.