Do you have a prolonged rash or patch of irritated skin? Do you get unexplained blisters, scaling, or areas of tenderness that are difficult to soothe or are unresponsive to your usual moisturizer? If so, you may be experiencing the effects of Allergic Contact Dermatitis.
What is Allergic Contact Dermatitis?
Allergic Contact Dermatitis (ACD) is a form of eczema caused by physical exposure to a chemical irritant. When a substance you are allergic to makes contact with your skin, your body’s natural immune response causes a rash at the contact site.
While the symptoms of ACD can come and go depending on exposure, patients likely spend the remainder of their lives with this condition. The good news is that a life spent with Allergic Contact Dermatitis does not mean a life spent showing or feeling symptoms. In many cases, the best way to prevent the irritation, flaking, and redness associated with ACD is by simply recognizing and avoiding the chemicals that cause those reactions in your skin.
Determining Triggers Through Patch Testing
If you have been experiencing any sort of prolonged rash or skin irritation, the best way to determine the source of your discomfort is through patch testing. This painless, needle-free process is performed over the course of two office visits and is customized based on your medical history, your daily activities, and your immediate environmental surroundings.
Your patch testing will pinpoint the cause of your Allergic Contact Dermatitis so you know which substances are responsible for the allergic reactions in your skin. You can then plan to adjust your daily activities or routines to avoid these irritants in the future.
While most dermatology offices provide patch testing for 30-40 allergens, Vanguard employs a comprehensive panel of patch testing, allowing us to customize the patch testing allergens to each patient to more accurately pinpoint the right allergens.
This 8-minute video explains the process for patch testing at Vanguard.
Common Treatments for Allergic Contact Dermatitis
As mentioned earlier, the best way to ensure your skin remains free of the effects of ACD is to simply avoid the substances that cause your allergic reaction. Following patch testing, we provide counseling and a list of allergens to avoid.
Your dermatology provider may prescribe topical medications to calm inflammation and help repair your skin. In severe cases, oral medications are prescribed for widespread dermatitis.
In addition to abstaining from the source of your allergens, choose mild soaps and lotions that are fragrance-free to help calm irritated skin.
Fragrances are chemical additives often included in skincare to attract consumers and mask strange odors otherwise apparent in creams, lotions, serums, cleansers, and other topical products. While these fragrances can smell nice, they are also a big contributor in causing skin irritation, worsening chronic conditions, and weakening the skin’s natural defenses.
Whether you have Allergic Contact Dermatitis or not, it is crucial to the health, look, and function of your skin that you avoid all products with the word fragrance in their ingredient listing. To help ensure the safety of our patients, we always recommend using our Clara, Focus, and Vanguard products available at Shopclara.com, as they are all 100% free of fragrances and other harmful additives, such as parabens.
Our Patch Testing Experts
Vanguard Skin Specialists offers patch testing in the Castle Rock, Colorado Springs and Pueblo offices. Read more about our patch testing experts.
Contact Vanguard Skin Specialists today at (719) 355-1585 to schedule your patch testing consultation.