Understanding allergic contact dermatitis

Written by
June 15, 2022

Dermatitis on skin, ill allergic rash dermatitis eczemaThe development of a rash, along with itching and redness, may be an indication of an allergic reaction. A common type of rash is known as allergic contact dermatitis and may require the assistance of a medical professional such as a dermatologist to resolve. Dr. Margaret Summerville and her team in Chevy Chase, MD can evaluate you to determine if you are dealing with an allergic reaction, and if so, how to resolve the rash and get your skin back to health.

What is allergic contact dermatitis?

Allergic contact dermatitis is a skin reaction that occurs when you come in contact with an allergen. The allergen can be anything from poison ivy to nickel in jewelry. When the allergen touches your skin, it sets off a chain reaction. Your body releases histamine, and blood vessels swell. The area around the allergen becomes red, itchy, and inflamed. In some cases, the reaction can be severe and even lead to anaphylaxis. Allergic contact dermatitis is different from other types of dermatitis because it is not caused by an infection or irritation. Instead, it is caused by an immune system response to an allergen.

How can I manage allergic contact dermatitis?

If you have allergic contact dermatitis, the first step is to identify the substance that is causing your reaction and avoid coming into contact with it. If you can't avoid exposure, take steps to protect your skin, such as wearing gloves or long sleeves. You may also need to use a corticosteroid cream or ointment to reduce inflammation and itching. If your symptoms are severe, your doctor may prescribe a oral corticosteroid or immunosuppressive drug. In some cases, allergy shots may be recommended. With proper treatment, most people with allergic contact dermatitis can manage their symptoms and enjoy a good quality of life.

Who can I call for a proper diagnosis?

If you suspect allergic contact dermatitis or want to get a better understanding of this and other skin conditions that can become problematic, we welcome you to call Chevy Chase Dermatology to connect with our dermatologist for a full evaluation and definitive diagnosis. Call 301-656-SKIN to request a visit at our facility in Chevy Chase, MD with Dr. Margaret Summerville.


Category: Allergic Contact Dermatitis


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