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General Practice 2023

Allergy on the face: what it can be and what to do

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Allergy on the face: what it can be and what to do
Allergy on the face: what it can be and what to do

Facial allergy is characterized by redness, itching and swelling of the skin of the face, which can occur because of several conditions, such as contact dermatitis, which is an inflammatory reaction of the body that arises due to the contact of some substance with the skin, reaction to certain cosmetics, use of medication or ingestion of food, such as shrimp, for example.

The treatment for allergies on the face is indicated by a dermatologist and depends on the cause that leads to the skin reactions in this area of the body, however, in some cases, the use of anti-allergic drugs and corticosteroid ointments.


Thus, the main causes of allergies on the face are:

1. Contact dermatitis

Contact dermatitis is an inflammatory reaction that occurs when a substance comes into contact with the skin of the face..

This type of reaction can happen at any age, including children and can appear immediately at the first skin contact with a product or substance, such as jewelry, soaps or latex, or it can appear after weeks, months or even years after first use. The diagnosis of contact dermatitis is made by a dermatologist through tests such as the prick test, in which substances that could cause allergy are placed on the skin and then observed over time if there has been any reaction of the body. Learn what a prick test is and how it's done.

What to do: the treatment for contact dermatitis is done through the elimination of contact with the agent that causes the allergy on the face, and the dermatologist can indicate remedies such as anti -allergic and corticosteroids and corticosteroid ointments, such as betamethasone, for example.

2. Reaction to cosmetics

Cosmetics cover any product applied to the body, whether animal, plant or made with synthetic chemicals that are used to clean, protect or disguise imperfections and used for beauty, such as makeup. Currently, there are several brands and laboratories that manufacture these types of products and, in most cases, use different substances.

These substances contained in cosmetic products can lead to the appearance of allergy on the face, leading to the appearance of symptoms such as redness, itching, papules and even swelling on the face. These symptoms arise because the body understands that the product is an invasive agent, and therefore causes an exaggerated reaction of the skin of the face.

What to do: The best way to improve allergic reactions to cosmetics is to stop using the product, as this is enough to reduce symptoms. However, if the symptoms persist even after stopping the use of the cosmetic, anti-allergic medication can be used or if the allergic reaction on the face is very strong, it is important to consult a dermatologist to indicate the most appropriate treatment.

3. Atopic dermatitis

Atopic dermatitis is a chronic disease that mainly affects children and arises because of genetic factors and changes in the skin barrier. The symptoms can appear as an allergy on the face and are manifested through excessive dryness of the skin, itching and the presence of eczema, which is a scaly patch on the skin.

This disease is triggered when the body overreacts to certain allergens, this means that skin cells cause a reaction in the skin because of exposure of the mother during pregnancy to certain products, climate change, cigarette smoke or even due to infectious agents such as bacteria and fungi.

What to do: Atopic dermatitis has no cure, but symptoms such as allergies on the face can be controlled by eliminating irritating factors that trigger skin lesions, in addition to skin hydration and control of inflammation and itching with corticosteroids, anti-allergic or immunosuppressive drugs that must be indicated by the dermatologist.


4. Use of medication and food

The use of certain medications, such as aspirin and penicillin-based antibiotics, can cause allergic reactions, including allergy on the face, in which redness and itching of the skin of the face can be perceived. This situation occurs because the immune system overreacts when it recognizes these substances in the body.

Some types of food, such as shrimp and pepper, can also cause an allergy to the face, causing symptoms such as redness, itching, and swelling of the eyes, lips and tongue, shortness of breath and vomiting.

What to do: When an allergy on the face is accompanied by symptoms such as shortness of breath, swelling of the face and tongue, it is important to seek medical attention immediately, as it can cause a anaphylactic shock, which is a severe allergic reaction that can be life-threatening. See what anaphylactic shock is, symptoms and how to treat it.

5. Sun exposure

Sun exposure can generate allergies on the face in some people, as it leads to the emergence of the so-called photosensitivity to ultraviolet rays, which can set in even in a few minutes of exposure to the sun.

This situation occurs because when in contact with ultraviolet rays, the body releases chemicals that cause the immune system to respond immediately, causing rashes, itching and redness on the skin of the face. A skin allergy caused by sun exposure is confirmed by a dermatologist through a history of the person's symptoms and examination of the skin lesions.

What to do: The treatment for facial allergies caused by sun exposure is recommended by the dermatologist and consists mainly of the use of ointments and corticosteroid-based medications to reduce the reaction of the immune system.

6. Cholinergic urticaria

Cholinergic urticaria is characterized by an allergy on the skin, which can appear on the face, which arises due to the increase in body temperature, being very common after physical exercise and bathing with hot water. In some cases, this type of skin reaction arises from perspiration and sweat, in an anxiety crisis, for example.

Redness and itching of the skin usually appears in the face, neck and chest region, it can also spread throughout the body and in some cases excessive salivation, watery eyes and diarrhea can also occur. Check out other symptoms of cholinergic urticaria and how to confirm the diagnosis.

What to do: The treatment for cholinergic urticaria can be done by applying cold water compresses on the face and in the places where the redness appears, but when the symptoms are very intense, the ideal is to consult a dermatologist to indicate the most appropriate treatment.

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