An allergy-related skin condition is any skin irritation or rash that is the result of an immune system response to allergens. At Columbia Asthma & Allergy Clinic, we both diagnose and manage cases of urticaria, atopic dermatitis, and contact dermatitis using the latest techniques available today.
Columbia Asthma & Allergy Clinic is proud to provide high-quality allergy and asthma management options to patients in California, Oregon, and Washington. If you’d like more information about our practice or are interested in scheduling a consultation appointment with us, contact us today!
Commonly referred to as hives, urticaria is a vascular reaction of the skin that results in smooth, slightly elevated red or white itchy welts. While many people develop hives or urticaria at some point in their lives, chronic idiopathic urticaria (CIU) is characterized by hives that last more than six weeks or recur over months or years.
Anyone can develop urticaria, but women and young adults are more likely to suffer from CIU. Most cases of acute urticaria are caused by an allergic reaction to something one ingested such as food or medication, although urticaria from other causes such as exposure to sun’s UV light, or sting by an insect are well recognized. The cause of CIU is unknown. However, many cases of CIU are associated with certain autoimmune conditions, or a low grade infection.
At Columbia Asthma and Allergy Clinic, we investigate all potential causes of urticaria such as:
- Alcohol, certain foods, or food additives
- Insects or parasites
- Certain pain medications
- Heat or cold
- Exposure to sunlight
- Pressure on the skin
- Autoimmune conditions
Also known as allergic eczema, atopic dermatitis is a common skin condition characterized by the formation of dry, scaly, and itchy patches on the surface of the skin. The vast majority of patients develop atopic dermatitis before the age of five, with about half of them continuing to experience mild signs and symptoms of atopic dermatitis through adulthood.
While investigating the underlying cause of atopic dermatitis and developing a treatment plan for individual patients can be challenging, our physicians at Columbia Asthma & Allergy Clinic take pride in managing some of the toughest cases. After a detailed evaluation, we can provide patients with the individualized lifestyle recommendations, allergen specific treatments, and medications they need to manage their condition.
Contact dermatitis is characterized by a red, itchy rash that forms when irritating substances come into contact with the skin. This rash usually only forms on the areas of the body that have come into direct contact with the irritating substance. This is because the irritating substance penetrates the skin’s outer protective layer, and causes an immune reaction which results in an itchy rash.
Common allergens that can trigger contact dermatitis flare-ups include:
- Certain medications
- Skin tattooing
- Airborne substances
- Plants that contain urushiol, including poison ivy and mango
Contact dermatitis can also develop as the result of exposure to allergens and irritants present in certain occupational settings. Workers in the following positions are at a particularly high risk of developing this condition:
- Healthcare workers
- Construction workers
- Waiters and waitresses
- Gardeners and agricultural workers
Identifying and avoiding the allergen responsible for the patient’s contact dermatitis symptoms is one of the best ways for patients to improve their condition. Topical and oral medications can also be used to repair the skin and correct the body’s immune response.
Relief from allergy-related skin conditions is just a phone call away — contact Columbia Asthma & Allergy today to schedule a consultation appointment. We look forward to hearing from you!