Contact Allergies Specialist

South Bay Allergy and Asthma Group -  - Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology Specialist

South Bay Allergy and Asthma Group

Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology Physicians located in San Jose, Los Gatos, Mountain View, and Redwood City

If you develop a red, itchy rash that takes weeks to go away after contact with various skin irritants and allergens, such as detergents or cosmetics, then you may have contact allergies. To identify the substance responsible for your allergic reaction, we are able to perform a specialized type of allergy testing called patch testing. The doctors at South Bay Allergy and Asthma Group are national experts in contact allergy, and they can perform patch testing that is more comprehensive than most of the practices in the Bay Area. The allergy, asthma, and immunology specialists at South Bay Allergy and Asthma Group are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of contact allergies and can develop a plan that alleviates your uncomfortable symptoms and prevents a recurrence. To schedule an evaluation, call our offices in San Jose, Los Gatos, Mountain View, or Redwood City, California, or use the online booking tool.

Contact Allergies Q & A

What are contact allergies?

Contact allergies, also called allergic contact dermatitis, is a type of contact dermatitis caused by an allergic reaction. 

Unlike other types of contact dermatitis, it may take up to three days before your skin reacts to the allergen. Once your allergic reaction starts, it may take 2-4 weeks to clear up, even with treatment.  

Allergies develop when your immune system reacts abnormally to an environmental substance that’s harmless to most people. 

The first time you come in contact with a “harmful” substance, called an allergen, your immune system analyzes the substance and stores the information without causing a reaction.

If your skin is repeatedly exposed to the contact allergen, your immune system develops an itchy response. However, it can take a few days for your skin to recognize the substance as an allergen, which is why there’s a delay in the reaction. 

What are contact allergy symptoms?

Contact allergies affect the skin. However, the severity of your symptoms can vary. Common symptoms of contact allergies include:

  • Itching
  • Red and irritated skin
  • Hot, tender skin
  • Formation of blisters or bumps
  • Weeping
  • Pain
  • Swelling

Though your rash may be limited to the skin that came in contact with your allergen, it’s not uncommon with contact allergies for the rash to spread. 

How are contact allergies diagnosed?

South Bay Allergy and Asthma Group conducts comprehensive evaluations when you come to the office with symptoms that may indicate contact allergies. 

During an evaluation, your doctor spends a lot of time reviewing your symptoms and daily routine to help narrow down the source of your allergies, as well as your medical and family history.

To identify the substance responsible for your allergic reaction, they may first recommend blood testing to narrow down the potential allergen. Then, skin testing to identify the specific allergen responsible for your symptoms. 

How are contact allergies treated?

Treatment for contact allergies focuses on alleviating your skin symptoms, as well as preventing a recurrence of your rash. To relieve the itching and promote healing, your doctor prescribes topical or oral medications. They may also recommend antihistamines.

Your doctor also recommends avoiding the allergen responsible for your contact allergies. They work closely with you to identify the sources of your allergen and offer recommendations on how you can protect your skin if you’re unable to avoid contact.

To get relief from your contact allergies, call South Bay Allergy and Asthma Group, or request an appointment online today.