Allergic dermatitis is a reaction of the skin when it comes in contact to something that it is allergic to. It usually presents as dry, scaling red patch that is usually very itchy. Common areas for an allergic reaction include the neck because of necklaces, wrists because
of watches or bracelets, around eyes or face because of cosmetic products, scalp because of shampoos, and belly button area because of allergy to belt buckles or metal buttons on jeans. Removing the stimulus is imperative and treating the area with topical or even oral steroid
may be necessary to clear the rash.
Dermatitis Allergic Reactions
There are localized and diffuse allergic reactions. In the case of a localized allergic reaction, the patient has come in contact with a topical allergen, which has induced an allergic reaction restricted to a localized area on the body. The most common chemicals in the US that will cause an allergic reaction are Neosporin and nickel. Neosporin is very commonly used to prevent infections and is an over-the-counter medication. Nickel is found in nickel jewelry and metals. These two will
typically result in redness, scaliness and itch.
Examples include developing a rash after using Neosporin on a wound, or wearing an earring or a necklace that is coated with nickel. To treat these allergic reactions, one must use topical steroids. If topical steroids do not help, we typically do an allergy testing to determine
the exact etiology of the rash.
Common areas of an allergic reaction:
- Face: Cosmetic products
- Scalp: Shampoos
- Wrist: Watches or bracelets
- Neck: Necklaces
- Lower eyelid: Under eye concealers
- Belly button: Belly button ring, belt buckles or metal buttons on jeans
- Armpits: Deodorants
How is a TRUE TEST Allergy testing performed?
Allergy testing is performed using a test called the T.R.U.E TEST. There are 3 patches with about 29 common allergens in them. The patch is placed for 3 days and then removed. On the 3rd day, an initial reading is performed. The patient then returns 2 days later and another reading is done. Once the readings are performed, we can conclude to which agent you are allergic to. For an evaluation of possible skin allergies, please see Dr. Behnam so that he can perform the TRUE test.
What are the causes of a diffuse allergic reaction?
Sometimes, allergic reactions can display itself all over the body. Diffuse allergic reactions like this are typically caused by agents that we ingest orally. These may include multi-vitamins, fruits, meat, chicken, seafood (shrimp, salmon), or even medications. For example, Aspirin is a classic example of a medication that can cause a diffuse allergic reaction all over the body. Examples of other common medications include Ibuprofen, Alleve, thiazide diuretics, Ace inhibitors etc. It is sometimes difficult to ascertain the exact etiology of what is causing these diffuse allergic reactions. The treatment for diffuse allergies reactions include removing the oral agent causing the rash, prednison and topical steroids.