Allergic Contact Dermatitis
The skin comes in contact with many chemicals in products and in the natural environment. Some of these chemicals have the ability to cause skin allergy after repetitive contact with these substances. This skin allergy can result in a persistent skin rash developing days after contact with a causative chemical allergen. Allergic Contact Dermatitis describes a condition of a persistent inflamed skin rash, with raised bumps and sometimes blisters. The most common example of Allergic Contact Dermatitis is a bad case of "poison ivy".
To diagnose a cause of Allergic Contact Dermatitis, it is often necessary to perform special skin patch tests with a panel of standard test agents representing most of the known causes. These tests are routinely performed at the Bernstein Allergy clinics. Tests are applied directly to the skin and are secured with tape. Patient then returns and the tests are read after 48 to 96 hours and interpreted by the physician. Often the actual cause is not apparent until the patch tests results are in and patients learn for the first time that there is indeed a cause for a very annoying dermatitis.
The primary treatment for this condition is to avoid causative chemicals or other agents in commercial products coming in contact with the skin. Treating the skin inflammation of allergic contact dermatitis patients may require application of topical steroids as well.Back