Allergic Skin Conditions

What are Allergic Skin Conditions – Allergic Contact Dermatitis

BestAllergistNYC2Allergic contact dermatitis is a skin condition that appears in people who are hypersensitive to certain substances. When these people come in contact with those substances, an allergic reaction appears on their skin. The initial contact with a substance that is an allergen is not usually followed by a break-out of symptoms; the symptoms appear on the second and subsequent exposures. After the contact, the immune system overreacts in its response to what is perceived to be an attack.

With the allergic process, a number of chemicals are released, including histamines, which cause an inflammation. Allergic contact dermatitis is not a life-threatening condition, however, a visit to an allergy doctor may be needed to determine the allergen and get advice on the treatment.

Causes of allergic contact dermatitis

Allergic contact dermatitis can be caused by coming in contact with a number of allergens, some of which are:

  • Nickel, gold, and chromium
  • Balsam of Peru, used in production of lotions and perfumes
  • Neomycin and bacitracin, topical antibiotics
  • Allergens that trigger allergic contact dermatitis found in cosmetic products and jewelry
  • Citrus fruit, the peel especially
  • Other plants, such as poison ivy or poison oak

Symptoms of allergic contact dermatitis

Symptoms of allergic contact dermatitis include:

  • A rash on the skin in the area that came into contact with the allergen
  • Itchy skin
  • Skin redness, and possible oozing, drainage, or scaly skin

Allergic dermatitis symptoms usually appear sometime after coming into contact with the allergen. The area that came into contact with the allergen is usually the area where the symptoms appear and they usually start off with an itchy rash, this may ooze or drain. The skin on the area may become scaly. Sometimes it will only be a little red or it can be blistery. The area can swell and feel warm.

Treatment of allergic dermatitis

Allergic contact dermatitis is an incurable condition. After the first exposure to the allergen, the person will have an allergic reaction after every subsequent contact for the rest of their life. The treatment options are aimed at managing the symptoms. An allergist may prescribe the following courses of treatment:

  • Topical corticosteroids – These are the most commonly used treatment for mild to moderate cases.
  • Oral steroids and antihistamines – These are used in more severe cases.

The mildest cases of allergic contact dermatitis usually don’t require any medical treatment. The area should be gently wiped with a damp cloth to make sure all of the allergen is removed from the skin. Topical corticosteroids are used to reduce inflammation in mild to moderate cases, but they should be applied with caution because of their side-effects. Severe cases require steroid and antihistamines to be introduced orally.

The most important thing is to determine the allergen and remove it from your environment. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with the best Allergy Doctor in NYC.

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