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    Chemical Allergies: Shampoo, Cleaners, and More

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    Diagnosis continued...

    Sometimes, he may suggest you see an allergist for a skin test, also called a patch test. The allergist places small samples of chemicals on your back and checks to see if you get a rash.

    Keep track of your symptoms. It will help your doctor make a diagnosis. Note details such as:

    • What you were doing in the 24 to 48 hours before your outbreak
    • Any products you were using before the reaction
    • How much of the product you were using and how often
    • Where it touched your skin (even places with no symptoms)
    • Symptoms you have or had
    • Any previous skin reactions


    You'll want to identify and avoid the chemical that seems to cause your allergic reaction.

    If you do come into contact with it, wash your skin with soap and water as soon as possible. If you have the allergen on your hands, don't touch other parts of your body until you've washed your hands.

    It may help to take off and wash any clothes or jewelry that might have come in contact with the irritating chemical.

    If you use nail care products, make sure the product has dried before you touch your skin.

    Got a mild reaction? You can sometimes treat symptoms yourself with over-the-counter medications such as calamine lotion, antihistamines, or cortisone ointments.

    See your doctor if you have frequent or severe outbreaks. He can help you find out why it happens and give you prescription medications if you need them.

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson, MD on November 08, 2014
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