Rash

Columbia Asthma & Allergy Clinic

Allergists, Asthma Specialists, & Immunologists located in the Pacific Region

An itchy, red, patch of skin is uncomfortable and embarrassing. If you suffer from allergic rashes, the team at Columbia Asthma & Allergy Clinic provides expert allergy testing and treatments to heal your skin and reduce your risk of future outbreaks. Call or schedule an appointment online at any of their 13 convenient locations in the Pacific Region: in Fremont, Oakland, Redwood City, Sunnyvale, San Mateo, and San Leandro, California; Clackamas and Gresham, Oregon; Bellevue, Fishers Landing, Longview, and Salmon Creek, Washington; and Eagle, Idaho.

Rash Q & A

What are allergic rashes?

A rash is a temporary skin condition characterized by redness, swelling, and itchiness. Rashes are also common allergic symptoms that occur when you come into contact with an allergen. There are several types of allergic rashes, including eczema (atopic dermatitis), contact dermatitis, and hives.

Eczema

Eczema causes a dry, itchy, red patch on your skin. Your skin may also appear leathery or scaly or cause small blisters or bumps that ooze. Eczema is very itchy, and it’s easy to absentmindedly scratch until your skin breaks, increasing your risk of infection.

Contact dermatitis

Contact dermatitis develops when you touch a substance that irritates your skin such as cosmetics, hair dye, topical medications, latex, or plants like poison ivy. Contact dermatitis looks similar to eczema, but it’s confined to the area of your skin that touched the allergen.

Hives

Hives, also known as urticaria, are itchy, raised, red welts that form on your skin. Hives vary in size and usually last for a few hours. However, depending on your allergic reaction, you may develop new hives as the old ones fade. Hives are frequently accompanied by angioedema — allergic swelling. 

What causes allergic rashes?

A wide range of allergens can trigger rashes. For example, you may break out in an allergic rash if you come into contact with:

  • Certain foods
  • Nickel, gold, and other metals used in jewelry and zippers
  • Medicines that you put on your skin 
  • Foods such as peanuts, shellfish, and dairy
  • Plants like poison ivy
  • Pet dander
  • Cleaning products
  • Latex 

If you break out in hives or other rashes, contact Columbia Asthma & Allergy Clinic for allergy testing and customized treatments.

How are allergic rashes treated?

The first step in treating allergic rashes is to identify the substance causing your rash. The team at Columbia Asthma & Allergy Clinic uses a variety of allergy tests, including skin prick tests, patch tests, oral challenges, and intradermal tests. 

When your doctor diagnoses your allergy, they help you create avoidance strategies to limit your exposure to the substance and provide immunotherapy to desensitize your immune system to the allergen. 

Additionally, they can prescribe topical treatments and other options such as light therapy to soothe your rash. 

If you’re concerned about an allergic rash, call Columbia Asthma & Allergy Clinic or make an appointment online today.