Contact allergies are indiscriminate, thus they can start at any age and affect anyone, but they aren’t contagious. The only way to develop a contact allergy rash is to touch something that causes a reaction in the skin.
What causes contact allergies?
Contact allergies, commonly referred to as contact dermatitis, occur when skin touches an allergen. The body reacts immediately, and symptoms can last up to four weeks. There are two main types of contact allergies: allergic contact dermatitis and irritant contact dermatitis.
Allergic contact dermatitis occurs when the body has an allergic reaction to a substance, such as poison ivy, metals, latex, and henna.
Irritant contact dermatitis occurs when someone is exposed to toxin-based detergents and chemicals or has prolonged exposure to non-toxic substances.
Dr. Hajee uses industry-leading skin testing methods to identify what causes a skin condition. Call her practice to find out more about this procedure.
What symptoms come with contact allergies?
Symptoms vary depending on the type of contact dermatitis someone has, but can include:
Dr. Hajee uses a combination of antihistamine or corticosteroids and alternative methods to treat painful, uncomfortable symptoms.
How does an allergist test for contact allergies?
When a doctor needs to know more about their patient’s condition, they do a skin test. Testing procedures include:
A skin-prick test uses a small instrument made up of lots of tiny needles, each carrying an allergen, to painlessly pinprick an adult’s arm. After a few days, if any pinpricks are red, it indicates a response to that allergen. Doctors can test up to 40 substances at once.
When testing for insect venom or penicillin allergies, a doctor uses a needle to inject a small amount of the allergen into the arm. After 15 minutes, they’ll examine the site of the injection to see if there has been a reaction.
A doctor applies allergens to small patches that they place directly onto the skin. Their patient wears the patches for 48 hours before returning to the office to have them removed, and the patch sites examined for a reaction.
Dr. Hajee can diagnose up to 80 different skin allergens using the North American Patch Test. With the right treatment, you can say goodbye to itchy, painful rashes. Use the online schedule tool to make an appointment, or call the practice today.
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