The 10 Most Common Skin Allergies

· November 26, 2014

Allergies can complicate your life in many ways, which is why it is important to pay attention to any outbreaks on your skin. Learn about the 10 most common skin allergies, how to identify them, and the proper medication to prevent them from affecting you.

Perfumes and Fragrances

Perfumes and fragrances are one of the most common causes of allergies in adults and they continue growing in number. These products include a large quantity of options: soaps, body lotions, shampoos, household cleaning items, wet towelettes, etc. It is also possible that even those products that are labeled as “fragrance free” can cause dermatitis on contact. If you notice that a fragranced product causes you allergic reactions, switch to products with natural oils or unscented products.


Another allergy that dermatologists treat the most is nickel allergy. This metal is used to make costume jewelry, jewelry with gold, and piercings. The most common reactions are in your ears because of nickel earrings and can appear after the first contact or after wearing them a lot. There is a wide range of products that use nickel: watches, glasses frames, clasps, buttons, belts, cuff links, etc.


It is more and more common to have allergies caused by latex because the amount of products that use it as a base has grown considerably. This material is used to make gloves, balloons, clothing, hair ties, condoms, and many other products. Latex allergy symptoms range from small welts or skin redness to difficulty in breathing and vomiting.

Hair Dye


Allergies from contact with hair dye is caused by sensitivity to p-Phenylenediamine (PPD), a common chemical in dyes that should be mixed with other substances before applying. To prevent discomfort from this allergy, you should do a sensitivity test like the package suggests. PPD can also be found in other dyes, like temporary black henna. Symptoms can include itchiness, pain, and swelling.

Poison Ivy

Poison ivy is a very common herb that contains urushiol, an oil that causes allergy in most people. This allergy appears as outbreaks, blisters, redness, hives, and itchiness in your skin. Urushiol is a sticky substance, a characteristic that helps it spread. The discomfort can be treated at home by washing the affected area with plenty of cold water and using non-prescription antihistamines.

Cloth and Fabric

Although many people think they are allergic to wool, this material, in its pure form, doesn’t cause allergies. In this case what happens is that the texture causes discomfort that can be confused with an allergy. On the other hand, textile materials that cause allergies are from formaldehyde resin. This material is one of the basic components of elastic articles of clothing, evident from water, creases, and shrinking.

The symptoms of formaldehyde allergy are burns, welts, and swelling. If you experience these symptoms, try to buy clothing made of cotton, polyester, nylon, and acrylics that are free of formaldehyde. Sometimes, when the allergy is light, the symptoms will lessen or disappear after washing the piece of clothing a few times.



Makeup allergies can be caused due to fragrances, although they tend to be caused by added conservatives. Skin irritation is a common problem that can be experienced by anyone and at any time if your makeup is expired or poor quality. However, if you constantly experience reddening, swelling, or outbreaks, you probably have an allergy to certain elements like formaldehyde, parabens, or thimerosal. If you experience any makeup allergies, you should stop using them. Over time, you can try some products gradually, until you find makeup that is good for your skin.

Topical Medications

Antibiotic creams and ointments that tend to be used to treat cuts and other pains contain neomycin, an ingredient that can cause light to severe allergies. Medications that contain it can cause irritation or dryness to even welts to the area it was in contact with. If you think that you are allergic to neomycin, you should see an allergist so that they can do an allergy test and confirm it. Once you are sure that you have this allergy, it is important to tell your doctor and dentist so that they don’t use these products when they treat you.


The sunscreen that you use can cause the opposite effects of what you want if you are allergic to them and expose yourself to the sun. It may sound strange, but some chemicals used in these products negatively turn into allergens when they come in contact with the sun. The chemicals that cause these allergies are benzoic acid, benzophenones, oxybenzone, salicylates, and cyclohexanol. Some skin types are more resistant and may not cause any discomfort or just slight pain. In any case, in order to avoid any risks, look for sunscreen that is free of these elements.

Household Products

Household products that normally cause allergies are the ones that contain solvents and adhesives, mainly the types of adhesives that are very strong and long lasting. Some examples of these products are paint thinner, nail polish remover, and lighter fuel. The majority of these products are characterized for causing irritation, but sensitive skin can develop allergies if it is in constant contact with these products.

Learn to Identify the First Symptoms of Allergies


It is important to be aware of the first symptoms of allergies. These tend to be reddening, itchiness, burning, and small welts. If you see these symptoms, clean the area with water and neutral soap. You should also avoid any contact with what causes your allergies. If the symptoms are very serious, you should see a dermatologist or allergist.