There are many people who have to deal with eczema throughout their lives. It is popular at many points in life, and everyone from infants to senior citizens can have eczema. Flare-ups of this common skin condition are also popular for reasons including weather, stress, or uses of harsh soaps. However, when looking at eczema and particularly painful flare-ups, it could be helpful to consider allergy testing as a treatment method.
How allergy testing can help eczema
There is a connection between eczema and allergies. While eczema is thought to be a skin condition — which it is — it can sometimes also be a symptom of a food allergy that is still forming or one that hasn’t been consumed yet (for example, many infants who have severe eczema can develop food allergies to dairy or peanuts later on).
In cases where eczema is severe enough to cause pain or interruption in quality of life — at any age — allergy testing can help determine what the cause of eczema is. This is especially the case in situations where someone with eczema is doing everything right to deal with it, but are still experiencing painful flare-ups.
The most common test is still the skin prick test. This test will introduce a series of allergens to a small prick in the skin that is filled with tiny amounts of allergens. A bump or welt will rise up in response to an ingredient that is causing an allergy. The results can be helpful in understanding what is causing the skin to flare up in eczema.
While food allergies aren’t thought to be as accurate with a skin prick test, there is a lot more support in this kind of test for topical products such as detergents or soaps. It seems strange that something as simple as your preferred soap brand could cause a flare-up of eczema, but it is true.
In that case, you could actually have an allergy to a popular additive to soaps or cleansers. Once avoided, the flare-ups will become reduced and may even disappear entirely. It’s important to note that allergy testing (and following the elimination instructions it provides) is not a cure for eczema, but it certainly can help manage the flare-ups and even reduce their severity so that it doesn’t impact your life as much as it does now.
Allergy testing for eczema is most helpful in infants, as mentioned. Having frequent flare-ups and especially painful long-term symptoms from eczema is a sign that there is something more serious going on underneath the surface. Whether the allergen is topical and can be resolved by avoiding chemicals in the soaps, or it’s a potential warning for a food allergy down the road when a baby starts to experiment with food products.
While allergy testing may not be a cure for eczema, it can help with painful, frequent flare-ups so that those suffering from it can enjoy some relief in the form of information and potential changes to their routines.