4 Questions to Ask Skin Allergist
Our professional allergists at The Allergy & Asthma Center offer comprehensive treatment for your skin allergy. For more information, call us or book an appointment online. We have convenient locations to serve you in Lawrenceville GA, Atlanta GA and Conyers, GA.
Table of Contents:
What causes a skin allergy?
When do I need allergy testing?
How do you manage skin allergies?
Can I prepare for an allergy skin test?
You may have broken out in a rash after you put on latex gloves or wore some jewelry made out of nickel. It is possible that you have a skin allergy. Many things can trigger an allergic reaction like a plant, poison ivy, or a chemical in make-up or soap. Poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac release an oil called urushiol when parts of the leaves of these plants are damaged or bruised. If the oil gets on your skin, it usually causes an itchy red rash with bumps or blisters. Nickel is the leading cause of skin allergies and is used in almost everything people come in contact with every day, like jewelry, belts, eyeglass frames and even paper clips. There is no treatment for a nickel allergy, and you’ll likely need to stop wearing or using anything with it. Latex or rubber is made from the sap from rubber trees and mixed with a chemical and is used to make products. Your reaction could be mild, like a rash on your hands when you take off gloves, or it could even possibly be a severe reaction, called anaphylaxis, which could quickly spread, making it hard to breathe. Dyes or other chemicals used to process the fabric to make clothing could be a trigger, like the chemical used to make clothes wrinkle-resistant, or possibly the fibers of the clothing. It is always a good idea to wash your new clothes before wearing them or you may need to switch to cotton or organic cotton blends or avoid wool or mohair.
Preservatives and chemicals called formaldehyde releasers and parabens are used in beauty products. These chemicals commonly cause allergies, and are usually identified on labels with names like, bromonitropropane, Diazolidinyl urea, isothiazolinone, PABA, and quaternium-15, which are most often found in:
– Shampoos and conditioners
– Lotions and moisturizers
– Hair dye
– Fake tattoos
The trick is to use milder soaps, or eliminate anything that may cause a rash. Also, it is a smart idea to visit a doctor who specializes in allergies so that you can pinpoint the problems and follow the right treatments.
Your healthcare provider will perform an allergy test if you are displaying allergy symptoms. Your doctor may also perform allergy tests if you show signs of asthma. The test they use can identify the allergy triggers that may worsen asthma symptoms, or bring on an attack.
Skin allergies commonly display as an itchy rash, and it is recommended to speak with your doctor about what treatment might be best for your specific rash. For example, corticosteroids work well for poison ivy, oak, and sumac, or they may prescribe stronger medicines if necessary, like:
– Hydrocortisone cream
– Ointments like calamine lotion
– Cold compresses.
– Oatmeal baths
Your allergist will need to know about any and all medicines you’re taking, including any over-the-counter medicines. You are also likely to be advised not to take antihistamines for 3 to 7 days before the test. Always ask your allergist when you should stop taking any medications, and as a general rule, all oral cold and sinus medications need to be stopped 5 days prior to skin testing. Medications that may interfere with skin testing include:
– Sleep medications
– Tricyclic Anti-depressants
– Anti-anxiety medications
– Stomach acid medications
– Prednisone (chronic use)
At The Allergy & Asthma Center, located in Metro Atlanta, our highly skilled and professional team of physicians and allergy specialists, are proud to provide our community with all types of allergy testing and treatments to have you breathing and living better. Call one of our locations to set up an appointment, or visit our website for more information, or for directions. We serve patients from Lawrenceville GA, Atlanta GA, Conyers GA, Suwanee GA, Duluth GA, Grayson GA, Decatur GA, Brookhaven GA, Lithonia GA and Covington GA.
Additional Allergy & Asthma Services
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▸ Nasal/Sinus Allergies
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▸ Skin Allergy
▸ Spring Allergies