Could It Be an Allergy?
Telling the difference between an allergic reaction and something else can be tricky.
When You Can't Figure It Out on Your Own
Sometimes it's nearly impossible to tell if you're having an allergy short
of being examined by a doctor. The prime example: a skin allergy from contact
with a substance.
"For the person who is having the symptoms, there is probably no defining
difference between allergic contact dermatitis and irritant contact dermatitis
– both are going to irritate the skin the same way," Goldsobel says. Unless
you're tested, it's not really possible to tell if you're having an immune
response or not. But in the end, the solution is usually the same – avoid
contact with whatever is causing the irritation.
If allergy symptoms continue to bother you and at-home treatments (including
avoidance of symptom triggers) fail to work, or if you're still unable to tell
if you're having an allergy or something else, then it's time to talk to your
primary physician or see an allergist for a full evaluation.