Skin Allergies Facts and Statistics: What You Need to Know
February 20, 2023
Allergies are a prevalent issue, ranking as the sixth leading cause of chronic illness in the United States. Approximately 50 million people suffer from allergies annually. This reaction occurs when the immune system reacts to substances that are consumed, touched, injected, or inhaled.
Different types of allergies exist, with varying reactions to allergens from person to person. The severity of allergies can fluctuate, especially during specific seasons of the year. Some individuals suffer from seasonal allergies, such as environmental allergies, which can peak during spring when pollen from trees and grass are prevalent in the air.
What is an Allergy?
Allergies occur when the immune system reacts to substances that are consumed. There are various types of allergies, including dust mites, pollen, food, medications, and insect bites. These can be treated by creating antibodies, such as immunoglobulin E (IgE).
The human body recognizes allergens as foreign invaders and triggers immune cells to release specific chemicals. This process also leads to the release of histamine, which has multiple effects on the body and can result in various health issues, including throat irritation, skin reactions, ear problems, stomach lining inflammation, sinus irritation, and more.
Are Skin Allergies Common?
Approximately 9.2 million individuals suffer from skin allergies, with 2.6% of these being children. Skin allergies, such as eczema, are among the most prevalent skin conditions. In some cases, they are referred to as atopic dermatitis.
Skin allergies are prevalent in infants, with one in five potentially experiencing eczema. Additionally, eczema affects some adults, with the estimated incidence ranging from 1% to 3%.
Hives, also known as urticaria, are a common skin condition related to allergies. They typically present as red, itchy bumps on the skin that can be acute or chronic in nature. Acute hives generally last less than 24 hours, while chronic hives persist for over 6 weeks, with new outbreaks occurring.
(Pro tip): - If you experience swelling under the skin along with hives, seek medical attention immediately. In some cases, swelling may also occur in the throat and mouth, leading to difficulty breathing. In such instances, it is crucial to contact medical professionals to prevent potential severe consequences.
Crucial Aspects to Know About Skin Allergy
It's essential to acknowledge that skin allergies can affect individuals of any age and gender, with a higher incidence observed in infants and young children compared to adults.
Age and Prevalence of Skin Allergy:
0-4 years: 14.3% prevalence
5-11 years: 12.3% prevalence
12-17 years: 11.4% prevalence
Gender does not have any impact on the occurrence of skin allergies. The prevalence of skin allergies affects both cisgender men and women equally, with a prevalence of 12.2% for men and 12.9% for women.
The Common Causes and Risk Factors of Skin Allergies
Determining the cause of skin allergies or skin irritations can be challenging. If you are unsure of the cause, it is advisable to seek medical attention to undergo tests. A healthcare provider can help identify the root cause. However, some common substances associated with skin allergies include:
Plants like poison ivy
Drugs (side effects and severe reactions)
It's important to note that skin allergies can occur for various reasons, including:
Side effects of medication
Disorders of the immune system.
It may be difficult to determine the exact cause of skin allergies or irritation, so if you're unsure, it's recommended to seek medical attention and have tests run by experts to identify the root cause.
The potential factors that may contribute to the development of skin allergies include:
Exposure to environmental irritants
Use of fragrances, such as perfumes.
Unravel the Mortality Rates Related to Skin Allergies
Anaphylactic shock is a rare, but potentially life-threatening skin reaction. It involves a drop in blood pressure and swelling of the throat, making breathing difficult. According to data, the risk of fatal anaphylaxis is less than 1%.
If you are aware of someone experiencing anaphylactic shock, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. An epinephrine injection is crucial in stopping this reaction and alleviating the swelling in the throat or airways, returning the individual to a stable state.
Furthermore, fatalities from drug allergies are relatively common among humans. These can be caused by factors such as advanced age or previous heart health issues. Additionally, there are various risk factors associated with fatal venom anaphylaxis, including male gender, middle age, cardiovascular disease, and Caucasian ethnicity.
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