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Allergy in the face: understand the main causes

Allergy in the face: understand the main causes

Allergies in the face can have several causes, such as contact dermatitis, insect bites, contact urticaria or atopic dermatitis. They usually manifest in different ways. See more about each cause:

Face allergy due to contact dermatitis

It is defined as an inflammatory response in the skin resulting from the topical exposure of external substances, which are foreign to the body. Contact dermatitis produced on the skin by primary irritants (such as soaps and detergents) involves non-allergic mechanisms and constitute non-allergic contact dermatitis (represent 80% of contact dermatitis).

The main sensitizers are:

  • Face in general: cosmetics, saline protectors, moisturizers, creams, creams, and other cosmetic products, such as dermatitis, perfumes, shaving lotions, acne medications, ointments, perfumes, razor or barbers, depilatory wax and line used for depilation, enamel, musical instruments, rubber latex, piercing, jewelry
  • Eyelids: cosmetic (eyelash mascara, eyeliner, primer), contact lens solution, paints and varnishes
  • Scalp and ear: shampoo, hair dye, glasses, earrings, perfume, hat and hearing aid
  • Neck: necklaces, perfumes, shaving lotions and clothes

Although nail polishes are volatile, they cause allergy to the face, especially on the eyelids, with eczema formation, with peeling, crusty and symptoms of itching and discomfort, which can lead to injury to other sites of the face.

Face allergy from insect bites

Face allergies may be due to insect bites such as mosquito, wasp, bee or ants , and may cause mild reactions or even anaphylactic reactions (learn more about the anaphylactic condition).

Allergies in the face due to atopic dermatitis

Face allergies may also occur as a manifestation of a hereditary allergic disease called dermatitis atopic, which is related to asthma, allergic rhinitis and / or allergic conjunctivitis.

Face involvement is common in young children, but it may occur in adolescent or adults involving upper eyelids, with scaling and / or lesions with small crusts.

Allergy to the face from contact urticaria

Contact urticaria can happen on the face, representing an allergy with formation of red plaques through a immediate reaction

What to do when a face allergy arises?

Seeking a doctor is always important! When the patient arrives with a face allergy, the first step is to remove it from the acute stage, treat the injury and stabilize the patient through the administration of antihistamines, moisturizers and ointments or creams based on corticosteroids or immunomodulants.

After this period, if you are convinced that it is a contact allergy, you should investigate the cause by performing the allergy contact test or patch test. The patient to be submitted to this test should present his dermatosis in an inactive phase.

This is a provocation test, in which the contenders are placed in the dorsal region (back) of the patient. Each container contains 10 substances housed inside chambers of paper, aluminum or plastic, arranged in adhesive tapes. The standard battery contains 30 substances, recommended by the Brazilian Society of Dermatology, but there are other baths that can be used according to the patient's profession and the location of the dermatosis (dentists, hospital workers, hairdressers, bakers). Examples of extra batteries are:

  • Battery series
  • Battery pack series
  • Battery series capillary (especially for those who had reaction with progressive brush)
  • The first reading is performed in 48 hours without wetting the back. In this day are removed the restraints and re-reading is performed 96 hours after. The presence of erythema, papules and vesicles indicate the positivity of the test up to 96 hours. When photosensitizing substances are suspected, the test can be done with ultraviolet radiation.
  • Once a positive result of a substance is established, the treatment is to avoid the patient's contact with it or to replace it. In the case of enamels, for example, they should be replaced with hypoallergenic products.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for these allergies. Medications may help improve the condition, but if the patient comes in contact with the substance that causes allergy again, the process resumes.


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