Skin allergies and reactions will change as you get older. Something that you were once fine about touching could become an issue for your immune system, and vice versa. There are various reasons for these changes in life, and researchers aren’t aware of them all just yet. To look after your health, you just need to know as much as possible.
When it comes to the health of your skin, you need to break down allergies and reactions over the course of decades. This won’t just protect you, but help you protect your child’s skin; especially the skin of an infant.
Here’s a look at a breakdown of skin allergies and reactions age by age. While it’s not extensive—as the research isn’t extensive yet—it will give you all the information you need to know right now.
Allergies in Babies and Infants
Infants and children do suffer from allergies, but these allergies can be outgrown. However, it’s worth noting that allergy disorders are one of the main reasons for chronic illnesses later in life. Researchers don’t quite understand why children have allergies, whether they’re skin or food. There are various suggestions, including food exposed to in the mother’s womb, genetic conditions, and pollution in the air.
Hay fever is the most common allergy in children, with up to 25% of children and infants suffering from it. The next most common are asthma, with up to 10% of children dealing with it. Food allergies are common, but not as common as the other two. Hundreds of thousands of children miss school throughout the year because of their allergies.
Skin allergies aren’t as common as other types of allergies. However, a baby’s skin is highly sensitive. It hasn’t developed the protective layers that adult skin has over the years. This can mean even something like your laundry detergent can cause some reactions and rashes that appear as allergic reactions.
Skin allergies in babies and children are often referred to as a hypersensitive skin. These reactions can be immediate or delayed, making it harder for parents to get an idea of the reason for some rashes and skin conditions to form. There are tests that doctors can perform to help determine the exact issue.
Rashes and hives are common symptoms of all types of allergies and not just skin allergies. They can also be symptoms of other conditions. The tumbler test is important, which is when you place a clear glass tumbler over the rash to make sure it fades. If it doesn’t, there is a risk of it being something far more serious.
Children can develop rashes for all sorts of reasons. They can have dry skin conditions or may react to the change in the weather, especially as it gets colder. You should pay attention to the length of time the rash remains and whether it changes in size.
The most common triggers of allergies in children:
Insect bites, stings, and pollen are the most common outdoor irritants for children. Pet fur/hair, mold, and dust mites are the most common indoor reasons for allergies.
Peanuts, milk/dairy, and eggs are among the most common food allergies, and they can lead to some rashes and hives. Smoke, perfumes, and cigarettes are extremely common pollutants that cause allergic reactions and irritation.
Laundry detergents can be extremely common if you don’t get non-bio options. Fabric softeners can also be common irritants for babies, but as children get older, they will start to grow out of this sensitivity. Changing the laundry detergent can bring up rashes and irritations, as the body needs to get used to the new mixture.
Skin Conditions Change from the Age of 12
When children reach the age of 12, their skin allergies and rashes can start to change. Healthy skin will have a barrier by this point that helps to prevent environmental agents, pollution, and irritants from causing an issue. Most rashes are minor issues later in life, and they tend to go away on their own. It’s only in small cases that rashes will usually need medical care unless the skin has an underlying condition.
Most rashes will start around 48 hours after being in contact with an irritant. This is known as contact dermatitis and can lead to some redness and small bumps. It is possible to soothe the rashes with some ointment or moisturizing cream, helping to keep the skin hydrated and avoid flaking or blisters.
In some cases, the rash will be more severe, and large blisters can form. However, the treatments are the same, unless the irritation doesn’t disappear on its own.
As you get older, you’ll start to learn more about your skin and the type of products that cause the allergy and irritations. Sometimes you won’t see the irritation the first time. It’s only after prolonged exposure to the same irritant that the rashes can start to form.
The most annoying symptom is the itchiness on the skin. Scratching can make the rash worse, so you’ll need to find a soothing treatment. A good natural treatment is aloe vera for the vitamin E that helps with the healing and soothing process.
Common causes of contact dermatitis:
There are some poisonous plants that cause itchiness and rashes rather than other more serious issues. Oak, poison ivy, and other similar items are the most common.
Detergents, soaps, and cosmetic items are among the most problematic for teenagers and adults, especially in your earlier adult years. This is when you will spend more time experimenting with different types, meaning you’re more likely to pick up something you’re allergic to.
Some medications can also cause the problem. They can dry out the skin and imbalance the hormones, leading to a reaction from the immune system. Hives are often due to the immune system’s inflammatory response. Once the inflammation disappears, the hives will start to disappear.
As you get older, a latex allergy can become common.This is more of an issue for someone who is exposed to rubber on a regular basis. The continued exposure causes the immune system to react.
Knowing the Difference Between a Skin Allergy and Illness
As you get older, it’s common to look at a rash and think of it as something minor. You start looking at the food you’ve eaten, the laundry detergent you’re using, and other external factors. What you may not consider is an illness.
The herpes zoster virus and yeast infection rashes can look very like those of skin allergies. Impetigo and other bacterial infections can also be problematic, along with sexually transmitted infections.Many of these are more popular when you get older, due to the nature of life. Some yeast infections can be common for younger children if they do a lot of sports or if they’ve had a round of antibiotics.
Of course, parasites and insect bites can also cause rashes. These are usually common if you had problems with insect bites when you were a child or baby.
It’s also important not to overlook a heat rash. This can look very like a typical allergic reaction, but will often be larger and burn more. Most heat rashes will form where sweat pools, such as between the thighs and under the arms.
Don’t forget about yeast infections like athlete’s foot or jock itch. They can look like skin allergies, but they tend to be itchier and less burning.
Lastly, not all rashes are caused by an illness or through an allergy. Sometimes they’re caused by an imbalance in your hormones. If your stress levels are abnormally high, your immune system may be accidentally triggered. You end up breaking out in hives, making it look like you’re suffering from an allergic reaction.
Hives due to stress are highly common in adults, especially those in high-stress jobs. They’re not as common in younger children or retirees.
New Skin Allergies in the Elderly Are Uncommon
By the time you reach your 60s, your skin has been through a range of pollutants and irritants. Unless you have had a similar allergy in the past, you are less likely to develop new skin allergies in your later years. However, that doesn’t mean your skin won’t suffer.
This is the time in your life that your collagen production reduces. You’ll find you have fewer natural oils being produced, so your skin becomes drier. You’re more at risk of developing dry skin conditions and suffering from some skin ailments, like eczema and psoriasis. This can lead to issues of skin irritation and rashes.
Your medication may cause a problem. You may never have noticed the issue in the past because you didn’t have the ingredient or medication. It’s only as you start to take it regularly that you start to break out in rashes and hives. Your doctor will help to diagnose this by tracking when you see breakouts and testing other forms of medication.
Illnesses that you suffer from can also lead to some skin irritation and problems. If you have kidney or liver diseases, your body can find it harder to get rid of toxins. They build up in ways that you never experienced earlier in your life, meaning that you break out in skin allergies. They’re technically not new problems, but they seem it because of the way your body has stopped working effectively.
Risk of Skin Allergies Decrease by Age
The great news about skin allergies is that the risk of them decreases by age. The skin gains a protective layer that will help to prevent biological or pollutant irritants affecting the skin. However, that doesn’t mean everyone will avoid allergic reactions the older they get.
It is important to address any skin rashes and irritations early in life. This will help to determine any possible problems for the skin and help children to avoid the issues later in life.
However, it can look like you have new conditions. This is often because you didn’t experience the reasons for the skin allergies and issues earlier in your life.
When to Contact Your Doctor
Do you need to see your doctor about all the different skin rashes you’re getting? Well, this can depend on the reason and the severity. If you know that the breakout of a rash is due to something you’ve eaten and the symptoms aren’t life threatening, you may want to hold off speaking to your doctor. You can cut out the food and not experience the rash again. When you know it’s due to a certain beauty product; you can get rid of it and replace it with something your skin isn’t affected by.
It’s when the rashes don’t go away that you want to speak to your doctor. If you have the same rash for at least a week and the symptoms either haven’t disappeared or are getting worse, you will want to discuss this with your doctor. It could be something more serious.
If your rash is linked to an allergy, you may want to discuss it with your doctor anyway. Allergies will get worse over time, especially with repeated exposure. Even if you don’t want your doctor to do anything at first, you’ll want to make sure the allergy is noted on your records for the future. This can help a quicker diagnosis in the future when it gets worse.
Everyone is different. We all react to foods and irritants differently. Some people will not react to an insect bite, whereas others will swell up immediately. The discussion to talk to your doctor will rest with you.
Children are more likely to break out in skin allergies and issues. This is especially the case for babies and younger children. They don’t have the protective barrier on their skin as adults. They also have softer and fairer skin compared to adults. Babies and children’s skin are more susceptible to pollutants and irritants, and their bodies are more susceptible to food and other allergies leading to rash breakouts.