Contact Dermatitis Specialist

Consultants in Asthma, Allergy and Immunology

Allergists & Immunologists located in Clark, NJ, Clifton, NJ & Garfield, NJ

Red, itchy rashes from contact dermatitis can be irritating and embarrassing. Expert adult and pediatric allergy and immunology specialists Peter Benincasa, MD, and Richard E. Luka, MD, diagnose and treat contact dermatitis at Consultants in Asthma, Allergy and Immunology in Clark, Clifton, and Garfield, New Jersey. If you have a rash that causes discomfort or dissatisfaction with your appearance, call or book an appointment online today.

Contact Dermatitits Q & A

What is contact dermatitis?

If you’ve ever developed a rash shortly after touching something, applying a skin care product, or wearing specific jewelry, that’s contact dermatitis. This allergic reaction affects your skin, causing redness, itching, and other uncomfortable symptoms.

Although contact dermatitis isn’t contagious or life-threatening, it can negatively affect your quality of life. Drs. Benincasa and Luka will work with you to discover the source of your allergic reaction and develop an individualized treatment plan to relieve symptoms of contact dermatitis.

Where does contact dermatitis appear?

Contact dermatitis typically appears on parts of your body that come into direct contact with an allergen. Common signs and symptoms of contact dermatitis include:

  • Red, irritated skin
  • Itching that may be severe
  • Swelling
  • Bumps or blisters that may ooze
  • Burning
  • Crusty, scaly skin

Most symptoms of contact dermatitis develop 3 day after exposure to the allergen but this interval can vary. Without repeated exposure, most rashes clear up in two to four weeks.

What causes contact dermatitis?

Contact dermatitis happens after exposure to a substance that triggers an allergic reaction. There are more than 3,600 known allergens and irritants capable of causing contact dermatitis. Some of the most common triggers include:

  • Nickel in jewelry, belt buckles, and other wearable items
  • Fragrances in cosmetics and personal care products
  • Poison ivy, poison oak, and other plants
  • Latex

You can touch a substance for years with no problems before an allergy develops. It’s common for nurses and other healthcare workers to form a latex allergy from repeated exposure.

How do you diagnose and treat contact dermatitis?

First, your doctor will perform a physical exam and ask questions to determine the cause of your rash. To pinpoint specific allergens, they may recommend an allergy test, such as a patch test.

Then, they will develop a treatment plan that best addresses your needs. Depending on your situation, treatment for contact dermatitis may include:

  • Avoiding the irritant or allergen whenever possible
  • Steroid creams or ointments to reduce the rash
  • Oral medications to relieve symptoms

If you suspect you or a loved one has contact dermatitis, call Consultants in Asthma, Allergy & Immunology or book an appointment online.