Allergic reactions occur when you encounter substances that your body mistakenly perceives as threats. Exposure to allergens may occur through skin contact, inhalation, ingestion or injection. Some allergies may cause sneezing or abdominal cramps, while others can lead to itching of your hands and feet. Identifying and eliminating the allergen can help minimize the risk of further attacks.
Dermatitis refers to skin conditions that involve inflammation and irritation. Contact dermatitis occurs from direct contact with specific substances. This common type of allergy may cause itching in the affected areas. Substances that frequently cause contact dermatitis in susceptible individuals include metals, cosmetics, detergents, fabrics, rubber, latex, adhesives, solvents and poisonous plants, such as poison sumac and poison ivy. Some airborne allergens, such as insecticides and ragweed, may lead to an allergic reaction that affects your skin.
Angioedema is the medical term for one type of skin disorder caused by an allergy. Angioedema causes welts that may feel itchy and painful. Although this allergic reaction frequently causes reactions in the skin around your eyes and lips, it can also affect your hands and feet. Animal dander, shellfish, berries, eggs, insect bites, pollen and antibiotics, as well as other substances, may cause angioedema in people with allergies to these substances. Exposure to temperature extremes or sunlight may also lead to an outbreak of itching. Other symptoms of angioedema include abdominal cramping and difficulty breathing.
Dyshidrotic eczema most frequently affects women, although men may also experience symptoms of this condition. The exact cause of this type of eczema is unknown, although people who have allergies are more likely to develop this condition. One of the main symptoms of dyshidrotic eczema involves the appearance of blisters along your fingers, hands and feet. These small blisters contain fluid and can cause intense itching. The affected skin may appear red and flakey. Scratching can make the itching worse and may lead to infection.
See your doctor if you have symptoms of an undiagnosed allergy. Your doctor may perform a skin test to help determine the cause of your allergic reaction. Avoid scratching your itchy hands and feet. People with skin allergies may also experience breathing difficulties that can be life-threatening. Seek immediate medical care if you have difficulty breathing or feel faint.