Duke dermatologists diagnose and treat contact dermatitis, a skin inflammation, irritation, or allergic reaction that occurs following exposure to a specific substance. We offer the latest skin testing for routine or complex cases of contact dermatitis.
Caring for complex cases of contact dermatitis
If you’re seeking relief from the uncomfortable symptoms of contact dermatitis, our dermatologists can help. We diagnose and treat allergic contact dermatitis, which may occur following exposure to a substance that triggers an allergic immune response. This allergic reaction can result from exposure to every day items like shampoo, clothing, cosmetics, jewelry and gloves. It can also be work-related as exposures to sensitizers may occur in the workplace. We use the latest techniques to identify the cause of your allergic reaction. We may be able to help even if have undergone testing at another center. Our goal is to determine the cause of your symptoms, and help you prevent future outbreaks.
Choose Duke for your contact dermatitis care because we offer:
- Advanced expertise in identifying work-related contact dermatitis. Our dermatologists are among the select few in the U.S. with advanced specialty training in occupational and environmental medicine. We have the expertise to evaluate and manage care for work-related skin problems.
- Wide range of allergen testing. We use skin patch testing to identify the source of your allergic reaction, and test from a wider range of substances than most medical centers. Our patch tests includes cosmetic additives, fragrances, metals, and other unusual allergens. We tailor the patch test to fit your lifestyle by testing products you are regularly exposed to at home or work.
The most effective treatment for contact dermatitis is to avoid the substances that trigger your skin reaction. Our doctors will talk to you about the substances that irritate your skin or cause an allergic reaction, and help you determine the best steps for avoiding them. We will provide a detailed “safe list” of products you can use.
Skin irritations resulting from contact dermatitis may be treated with:
- Antihistamines control your body’s allergic reaction.
- Anti-itch medicines and moisturizers relieve the itching and allow your skin to heal.
- Prescription cortisone creams alleviate difficult-to-treat rashes.
- Immunosuppressants decrease the allergic response
Checks your skin’s appearance and includes a thorough evaluation of your potential exposure to irritants or allergens at home or work.
Identifies the source of skin reaction, especially if you experience repeated and long lasting occurrences of contact dermatitis. Small amounts of potential allergens are applied to adhesive patches which are placed on your back. Your skin’s reaction to the substances is examined for possible allergies over several days. For your convenience, we usually perform patch testing during your first visit. The week-long patch test process typically involves three visits to our office.