Allergic Contact Dermatitis is an allergic reaction that affects you the moment your skin touches something that you’re allergic to. You’ll notice the allergic rash within 48 hours after the first contact. You’ll probably see some common symptoms such as redness, swelling, blistering, itching, and weeping. You can develop an allergic reaction over time, so this condition can come from something that you’ve been using for a long time. It appears on adults more often than children. The type of Allergic Contact Dermatitis we see the most comes from poison ivy and poison oak.
How Do we Develop Allergies?
Your genes determine if you’re allergic to something or not, but it’s possible to develop an allergic reaction to something you’ve used for years. The products you use every day might contain an ingredient that suddenly causes a reaction for your skin. If you touch something with your hands, and then touch your face, your face might break out with an allergic reaction but your hands won’t. Why? Your hands have thicker layers of skin than your face does, especially the area around your eyes.
First, once we offer you an appropriate prescription, we ask you to stop using any other products on the targeted area. You’ll have to come back to us for a follow-up appointment in about 1-2 weeks, the length of the treatment. We want to make sure you don’t overuse the medication since it might permanently thin your skin. During your follow-up, we’ll see if the medication is working, and if it is, we’ll put you on a weaker prescription. Once the reaction has cleared, we’ll wait two weeks and then begin searching for what caused the condition. We’ll reintroduce the products that you were using one at a time, spaced one week apart. We recommend testing a small area first. If the problem continues and we can’t pinpoint the cause, we recommend patch testing. If you’re pretty sure you know what’s causing the allergic reaction, just avoid it in the future and you shouldn’t have more problems.