What is an allergy?
An allergy is an immune hypersensitivity that can sometimes manifest in the skin, resulting in redness, itching, warmth, swelling, cracking, and crusting.  This is known as allergic contact dermatitis.  Severe dermatitis can cause skin to crack, ooze and bleed.

Why does contact dermatitis happen?
Immune responses occur as a result of skin coming into contact with something that it is sensitive to, such as:

An allergic reaction can develop hours or even days after exposure to the irritant.

Can I be tested for allergies?
Allergy testing is an important part of finding relief from skin symptoms of allergic contact dermatitis. Orentreich Medical Group now offers the T.R.U.E.TEST patch test, which identifies tests for sensitivity to 36 common allergens.

How do we effectively treat allergic contact dermatitis? Once we have identified an allergen that you are allergic to, you will discontinue any contact with that chemical.  This may include adjusting your skin care regimen.

What can I expect?
After an initial consultation about your medical history and a thorough skin and lifestyle assessment, your practitioner may recommend the T.R.U.E. patch test if allergic contact dermatitis is suspected. Three test patch strips will be applied to your upper back and you will then return to the office after 48 hours (2 days) to have the strips removed and results analyzed. You will return again after 72 hours (3 days) and again at 96 hours (4 days) for evaluation of any reactions take may take longer to develop.

If you test positive to one or more allergens you will be advised regarding how to avoid contact with this irritant. If you test negative, based on your symptoms, health history and occupation, your doctor may decide to patch test you with additional allergens.  

Have a question about your treatment?
We have a dedicated triage nurse (RN) who answers patient questions during office hours. If you have a problem or question about a procedure or a prescribed medication, please call our office and ask to speak to our nurse. If she is unable to answer your question, she will consult with your practitioner and return your call.