Allergic Dermatitis is an inflammatory reaction of the skin to a specific allergic trigger. This can present in many different forms and can mimic other forms of dermatitis. Contact dermatitis happens when your skin actually comes in contact with the allergen, for example with poison ivy or a reaction on the abdomen from a nickel allergy from the button on pants. It can often be localized reactions at the point of contact.
However with drug or food reactions, the reaction tends to be more generalized, or scattered because the allergen was ingested and thus can be seen in a larger surface area of the body.
Another allergic reaction associated with skin presents as hives, or “urticaria.” Hives can be acute or chronic. Most episodes are acute and last anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks. Chronic urticaria is defined as having episodes of hives lasting greater than six weeks. Determining the cause of chronic hives can be difficult.
Most allergic skin reactions are self-limiting and fairly benign in nature. However, some can become severe and require immediate medical attention. It is important to come in and be evaluated if you think you are having an allergic reaction.