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Medical Dermatology

Allergic Contact Rashes

What does an allergic contact rash (dermatitis) look like?

Dermatitis creates redness, swelling and blistering on the skin. If blisters form and crack, the result may be crusts and scales. This condition is often difficult to differentiate from other types of rashes.

What causes dermatitis?

This condition can be caused by a wide variety of substances that come in contact with the skin known as allergens. Some of the most common allergens are rubber, hair dyes, nickel, chromium, perfumes and cosmetics, poison oak and ivy. It is important to note that most people do not react to the substances.

In order to effectively conquer dermatitis, the physician and patient work together to determine which materials are used at home and work that may be causing the problem. In some cases, patch tests may be performed to identify the allergen that is creating the onset of symptoms.

What is the treatment for allergic contact rashes?

Immediate treatment for this condition would include:

  • Topical soothing agents
  • Topical or oral steroids
  • Identification of the allergen*
  • Avoidance of the allergen

*North Valley Dermatology Center offers the availability of patch tests for the 20 most common allergens.

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