If you find yourself suffering from a painful rash or have broken out in hives, it may be your body’s way of telling you that you are allergic to something you have come in contact with.
Known as allergic contact dermatitis, signs and symptoms don’t emerge right away. Often, it can take anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks for symptoms to appear.
At Pinnacle Dermatology in Birmingham, Michigan, our medical team can help you determine if you are having an allergic reaction and then offer treatments to ease your symptoms. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, contact Pinnacle Dermatology today.
Some symptoms of allergic contact dermatitis can include:
- Intensely itchy skin.
- A rash that makes skin appear red and swollen. Skin also can feel hot.
- Dry skin.
Many symptoms are identical to what people experience when they have a skin reaction to poison ivy, poison oak or sumac.
At Pinnacle Dermatology, our experienced doctors rely on testing that can determine if you are allergic to common items such as:
- Ingredients in personal care products.
- Nail polishes.
Unlike the allergy testing that many people are familiar with, at Pinnacle Dermatology we use no needles. Instead, tape with chambers containing each substance is applied to your skin on the back, upper arms, and in some cases, your thighs.
This tape remains in place for 48 hours. Patients then return to Pinnacle Dermatology so results can be read – once on the day of tape removal and again from 72 to 96 hours later.
Pinnacle Dermatology does not test for food allergies.
Treatments at Pinnacle Dermatology for allergic contact dermatitis may include topical medications, oral medications, and injectable medications. The type of treatment depends on the individual patient and the severity of his or her symptoms.
Some other common allergens that you may not immediately think of as the cause of your rash include:
- Adhesives used to apply false eyelashes or toupees.
- Some antibiotics.
- Balsam of Peru.
- Fragrances in perfumes, soaps and moisturizers.
- Hair dyes or permanent wave solutions.
- Nickel, which can be found in watch straps, metal zippers, bra hooks, pocketknives, lipstick holders and even powder compacts.
- Rubber or latex shoes and gloves.
Remember, you may not have an adverse reaction to the substance you are allergic to immediately after your first exposure. And some products cause reactions only when your skin is also exposed to the sun.
These can include:
- Shaving lotions.
- Sulfa ointments.
- Oil from lime skins.
In some cases airborne allergens, including ragweed and some insecticides, also can lead to contact dermatitis.
At Pinnacle Dermatology, our doctors will take the time to meet with you individually to review your medical history, discuss possible exposures that could be the cause of your hives or rash, and then offer the most effective testing and treatment to help ease your symptoms.
If painful hives and rashes are impacting your daily routine, causing you pain or leaving you self-conscious about your appearance, it’s time to see a dermatologist. Contact Pinnacle Dermatology today to learn how we can help you fight allergic contact dermatitis.