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Allergies Health Center

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Chemical Allergies

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    Sometimes your doctor 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 develop a rash.

    Keeping track of your symptoms helps your doctor make a diagnosis. You should include details such as:

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

    Treatment for Chemical Allergies

    You'll want to identify and avoid the chemical that may have caused 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 have washed your hands.

    If you use nail care products, make sure the product has dried before touching your skin. It may help to take off and wash any clothes or jewelry that might have come in contact with the irritating chemical.

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

    If you have frequent or severe outbreaks, see your doctor. He can help you identify what's causing the problems 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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