Remember all those times you had rashes or scaly patches that were itchy and made you uncomfortable? Some of us may have experienced skin conditions, and contrary to what some people may think, this may be due to our allergies.
Allergies refer to conditions that involve changes to your immune system, says the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases1. This then results in a reaction that can include the following: rash, itching, burning, redness, bumps, hives, and swelling. Skin allergy is a symptom of problems in the gut level because the gut microbiota plays such a central role in the body’s immune response. So a skin allergy is just another symptom of inflammation and an unhealthy gut.
A person suffering from eczema as seen on his hands.
Two of the major skin conditions that people usually have are eczema and hives. Eczema, aka atopic dermatitis is a common condition especially in kids. According to the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology2 eczema is due to “leakiness” of the skin barrier which makes it dry out and become prone to irritation and inflammation. Some kids who have eczema also have a food sensitivity. The skin disease is also linked to asthma and allergic rhinitis.
Photo of hives on a person’s back side.
On the other hand, the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology also says that hives are an inflammation of the skin due to the immune system releasing histamine. The small blood vessels leak, causing swelling in the skin. Swelling in deep layers of the skin occurs, which are acute and chronic. Acute swelling can happen after eating a particular food or coming in contact with a particular trigger.
How do you manage and treat a skin allergy? Real, lasting relief is possible through functional medicine.
When it comes to diagnosing and treating skin allergies, Dr. John Zwetchkenbaum of Allergy & Asthma Physicians of Rhode Island3 combines both traditional medicine and functional medicine. “Typically, we first need to get the condition under control, which can involve the use of medication,” he explains. “But once it’s under control, we look for the root cause so we can prevent the problem from coming back.”
Dr. Tricia Manlongat-Malahito, who was hailed as the Doctor of the Year 2020 by Psoriasis Philippines, also explained how they delve into a patient’s condition through thorough testing. “Since the protocol for inflammation control is the 5-R protocol, one of the R’s would be to “Reduce” meaning, triggers found in the comprehensive allergy tests must be identified to reduce triggers and tame down the body’s inflammatory process.”
She added that, “With LifeScience Comprehensive Allergy Test, it is able to test more than 200 environmental and food allergens. This makes the identification of the allergens more vast and specific for the patient, thus treatment principles including avoidance will be specific. Compared to the other IgE testing, the LifeScience Comprehensive Allergy Test has more tested allergens than the others I have encountered.
LifeScience Center’s Comprehensive Allergy Test gets to the triggers of one’s allergies. If you’re suffering from allergic rhinitis, eczema, hives, asthma, diarrhea, food reactions, abdominal pain, or even conjunctivitis, this test can help you figure out the exact root cause of your allergy. The test will detect allergy triggers by identifying the body’s reaction to 295 allergen preparations including animal-based food, plant-based food, mites and insects, pollen from grass, weeds, or trees, animal hair, molds and yeasts, venoms of stinging insects, and latex.
Once you have the results of your test, you can find out which allergens you must avoid so your allergic reactions can improve. This is the most comprehensive way to guide our functional medicine practitioners into knowing the root cause of recurring allergies. With this in mind, you can finally have more control of your life and live it to the fullest without fear of your allergies holding you back.
1 Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Food Allergy in the United States. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. (2011, May)
2 Skin allergy. American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology. (n.d.).
3 Here’s the skinny on skin allergies. Asthma & Allergy Physicians of Rhode Island. (2021, March 26).
A Functional Approach to Asthma and Allergic Sinusitis. Doctor Kara Fitzgerald. (2017, May 3).
A Functional Medicine Approach to Allergies. The Institute for Functional Medicine.