Rashes and Hives
Hives and Contact Rashes
Urticaria, which is commonly referred to as hives, is a kind of skin rash notable for pale red, raised, itchy bumps. Hives result from an inflammation of the skin triggered when the immune system releases histamine. This causes small blood vessels to leak, which leads to swelling in the skin. There are two kinds of urticaria: acute (occurs for 6 weeks and less) and chronic (more than 2 or more months). Acute urticaria may occur after Hives or urticaria can also be triggered by other causes, such as heat, cold or exercise. Chronic urticaria (hives lasting more than six weeks) is rarely caused by specific allergy triggers and so allergy tests are usually not helpful. Chronic urticaria can last for many months, and or be recurrent for longer periods of time. Although they are often uncomfortable and sometimes painful, hives are not contagious.
Allergic contact dermatitis occurs when your skin comes in direct contact with an allergen. For instance, if you have a nickel allergy and your skin comes in contact with jewelry made with even a very small amount of nickel, you may develop red, bumpy, scaly, itchy or swollen skin at the point of contact.
Coming in contact with poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac can also cause allergic contact dermatitis. The red, itchy rash is caused by an oily coating covering these plants. The allergic reaction can come from actually touching them, or by touching clothing, pets or even gardening tools that have come in contact with the oil.
We offer diagnostic tests to help determine the cause of a skin allergy, also known as allergic contact dermatitis. These diagnostic tests, known as skin patch testing, requires two to three visits during a 48-72 hour period. These patch tests can help determine if you have any skin allergies to dozens of possible chemical, metal, or fragrance allergens. Depending on the outcome of these tests, alternative products and materials can be recommended to avoid unnecessary allergic reactions.