Allergic contact dermatitis is caused by a reaction to substances, known as allergens, that cause itching, redness, and blisters on skin contact. It can be a very annoying rash that affects a patient’s quality of life. With long-term exposure, the skin becomes thick and often cracks with painful fissures. It commonly affects the hands, but may involve any part of the body.
The patient history and distribution of the rash are often helpful clues to the potential allergen. The most common allergens include rubber, nickel, dyes, fragrances and preservatives in skin care products, poison ivy/poison oak, and chromates.
If the exact cause is still unclear, your provider may perform patch testing. This involves taping small amounts of the common allergens on the skin and evaluating for an allergic or irritant reaction two days later. A third reading occurs after another two days has passed. We offer a comprehensive approach to contact dermatitis diagnosis and treatment. It is important to avoid allergens that cause the rash, as well as the common cross reacting allergens. After completion of the patch testing, you will be provided a personalized, detailed analysis with recommendations on products that are safe to use.
Common treatment options may include:
- Mild Personal Care Products
- Topical Creams or Ointments
- Oral or Injectable Steroids