#HealthBytes: Most common causes of facial allergic reactions
An allergy is a sensitive reaction to something that you may have eaten, inhaled, or touched. The body interprets the allergy-causing substance or allergen as foreign or harmful and then attacks it as a defense mechanism. An allergic reaction can occur on any body part. However, the face is one of the most common sites for allergic reactions. Here are some common causes.
Food allergies may cause the mouth to swell
Food allergies are the most common types of allergies and the severity of allergies varies in different cases. When you eat an ingredient or type of food that your body perceives as an allergen, your body's defense may cause a rash or swelling around your lips. In severe cases, anaphylaxis causes the tongue and windpipe to swell and such cases require immediate medical attention.
Hay fever can cause inflammation of the eyes
Seasonal allergies, also known as hay fever, happen when the immune system identifies airborne substances that may be harmless as dangerous. The triggers for these vary from season to season. Common symptoms include sneezing, itchy and swollen eyes, runny nose, itchy sinuses, ear congestion, etc. In severe cases, it may also result in allergic conjunctivitis, an oozing inflammation of the eyes' conjunctiva membranes.
Animal or insect allergies can trigger rashes and hives
A common misconception is that pet allergies are caused by animal's hair or fur. But in reality, they are caused by the animal's saliva, skin cells, or dander. Uncontrolled sneezing is a common reaction to an animal allergy. Hives and rashes on the neck and face are also common symptoms that occur when you are allergic to animals or insects.
Contact dermatitis can cause red rashes
If you touch your face after touching something your body considers an allergen, you might get a red rash or hives on your face. This reaction is called contact dermatitis. The offending substance can range from poison ivy, food substance, or a new laundry detergent. Since most people touch their faces throughout the day, contact dermatitis is usually found near the eyes and mouth.