BOARD CERTIFIED & FELLOWSHIP TRAINED Medical Dermatology

Allergic Reactions

Allergic reactions to foods or medications may cause full body skin rashes. The key to treating these rashes is stopping consumption of the food or medication causing the rash. Once this occurs, the rash often dissipates. Sometimes resolution of the rash can be accelerated by use of topical or oral medications. However, some rashes may be so severe that they require immediate medical attention. If you develop an associated fever, chills, throat swelling, difficulty breathing, or headache with your rash, it is important that you seek medical care immediately.

Allergic reaction might also result from direct contact with an allergen. Certain plants like poison ivy, metals like nickel, or other preservatives, fragrances, and chemicals can cause allergic reactions when these substances touch the skin. The skin becomes red, swollen, itchy, and blisters may form. Sometimes it is easy to identify the culprit allergen but other times specialized “patch testing” can be used to determine the problem allergen. Symptoms can be treated with topical or oral medications, but resolution and cure require stopping and avoiding future contact with the identified allergen.

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