Allergic Contact Rash Treatments

Allergic contact rashes are a common form of eczema that can cause acute or chronic skin inflammation or blistering, triggered by an immune system response from exposure to an allergen. Some people have contact with an allergen for years before experiencing an allergic rash. Some rashes appear immediately, but many appear 2 to 3 days after exposure. If you have a rash, avoid scratching it as that can cause infection. If the rash does not clear within a few days, prompt treatment is important so the skin can heal without worsening the symptoms. The longer an allergic reaction persists, the more time and difficulty is involved in treating it and in healing the skin. Seek medical attention as soon as possible if a rash is painful or infected, appears all over the body, is accompanied by a fever, appears suddenly and spreads rapidly, there are blisters around the eyes or genitals or in many areas in the mouth, or if the blisters become open sores.

Causes: Common contact allergens include chemicals (especially those in fragrances in household cleaners and beauty products, topical antibiotics, and skin, hair and nail cosmetics), plants (especially poison ivy and poison oak), metals (especially nickel in jewelry), latex and dental or joint implants.

Symptoms: Some allergic contact rashes persist whereas others come and go, and they present in many ways. They may appear blotchy or as blisters or welts, and they may be red, dry, scaly, itchy, swollen, cracked or bumpy.

Basic Formula for recovery/healing/improvement: The most important treatment is the removal or avoidance of the allergen. However, some allergens are difficult to determine and require a complete history of exposures to the sun and home, workplace, and social arenas. Sometimes a patch test or spot test may be necessary to reveal the source of irritation. Treatments include emollient and immune-modulating creams, immune-modulating drugs, oral steroids or topical cream corticosteroids, immunosuppressive agents, and phototherapy.

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*Results may vary per patient. Services vary by location.