If a skin condition is caused by an allergy, the area affected will be linked to that allergy, for example someone who is allergic to a certain type of food will have a reaction when eating it or a very fast reaction around the mouth and throat.
Food allergy can be linked to around 7% of patients with eczema. It mostly affects infants and young children under the age of three years old. A cow’s milk allergy is amongst the most common foods that cause type 1 reactions – you can find more information about this on the PCDS website. 1
Allergic contact dermatitis is a skin condition triggered by an allergy. It can be caused by an allergic reaction to a material in contact with the skin. First contact doesn’t always lead to an allergy, sometimes a patient can touch the same thing for many months or years without having a reaction. 2
- Primary Care Dermatology Society (PCDS). (2016). Food allergy (including cow's milk protein allergy). [accessed April 2017] via http://www.pcds.org.uk/clinical-guidance/food-allergy
- Primary Care Dermatology Society (PCDS). (2014). Eczema: contact allergic dermatitis (including latex and rubber allergy). [accessed April 2017] via http://www.pcds.org.uk/clinical-guidance/eczema-contact-allergic-dermatitis-including-latex-and-rubber-allergy
Some common dry and itchy skin conditions, such as eczema or psoriasis aren’t contagious, so they won't be passed on by being in contact with other people.
Some skin conditions do tend to run in families, this can help explain why some people are more prone to them than others.
It’s very hard to predict if skin conditions will be passed onto children, because we can’t control which genes we pass onto our children. 4
- Cole G. (2016). MedicineNet. Dry Skin. [accessed April 2017] via http://www.medicinenet.com/dry_skin/page2.htm