Perhaps you have awoken to find a rash on your leg and wonder how it got there. As you start scratching, you go through your previous day’s activities or the clothes you wore, trying to determine the possible cause. Could it be the new detergent you used? Maybe the cat that rubbed up against you? These may be potential sources of your problem, but if you have allergic contact dermatitis, you can most likely blame your immune system.
What is allergic contact dermatitis (ACD)?
Contact allergic dermatitis (ACD) occurs when something you come in contact with causes an allergic reaction in your skin.
ACD may look like a red rash where there may be red patches of skin. You may also notice skin that is dry and scaly, blistered, or having the appearance of hives. The skin may be very itchy. There also may be no visible skin disruption though there may be a burning sensation on the skin.
There are certain substances that commonly cause an allergic skin reaction.
- Nickel (or other metals)
- Poison ivy/poison oak
- Preservatives, such as formaldehyde
- Rubber products, such as latex
- Tattoo ink
- Black henna (which may be used for tattoos or in hair dye)
How is the diagnosis made?
A dermatologist, or allergist, can perform a patch test on your skin. The doctor will place a patch on your skin that contains common allergens. After wearing the patch for 48 hours, you will revisit the doctor so that he can check for possible reactions. The doctor will prescribe a treatment based on what is causing your specific allergy.
My office is qualified to diagnose and treat various types of skin conditions. If you suspect that you may have an allergy to a specific substance, contact me to find out more and to get a confirmatory test.Previous Post Next Post