Contact Dermatitis Treatment

Contact dermatitis is the clinical name given to a localized skin rash or irritation that develops due to an allergic reaction. The affected area may appear inflamed or red and is often itchy or uncomfortable. For our contact dermatitis patients, we use a 50-panel patch test approved by the North American Contact Dermatitis Group to identify the most common allergens and perform additional testing as necessary. Expanded testing is undertaken using specific allergy panels based on occupational and recreational risks factors. Our comprehensive Occupational Dermatology Center led by Dr. Marc Abbate is equipped to test hundreds of custom allergens based on exposure risk factors. The center is also well prepared to review strategies for allergen avoidance and management of chronic contact dermatitis.

For patients with contact dermatitis questions, The Derm Group is here to help. If you have additional questions or would like to speak with one of our board-certified dermatologists, call (973) 571-2121.

Understanding Your Treatment

Allergic contact dermatitis is caused when the skin comes in contact with substances that cause immune-mediated reactions on the skin, resulting in itchiness, redness, or blistering. At The Derm Group, our physicians will perform a series of tests to identify the causative allergen. If the allergen is not identified through history and physical examination, then comprehensive patch testing can be undertaken.

What is “patch testing”?

Patch testing is a safe and effective way to diagnose chronic allergies. This test is a comprehensive collection of commonly used substances found in daily life that cause the majority of skin allergies in North America. The samples of common allergens are applied with adhesive to the patient’s back and then removed in 2 days. Allergic reactions present as red swollen patches. Based on the allergen, our physicians can recommend products which must be avoided as well as products that do not contain the offending agent.

When should I expect to see results?

Successful treatment is a result of accurate diagnosis. Generally, once the allergen has been identified, you are asked to avoid contact with that substance. Strategies for avoidance of target allergens are reviewed and substitute products are recommended. Improvements should take place over the next few weeks, with the rash resolving in about 2-4 weeks. Additional measures such as anti-itch creams may be used to alleviate discomfort during the healing process.

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