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Allergies Health Center

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Skin Allergies and Contact Dermatitis: The Basics

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Treatment continued...

Talk to your doctor about what's best for your specific rash. For example, corticosteroids are good for poison ivy, oak, and sumac. He can prescribe stronger medicines if needed, too.

The rash will often clear up within a few weeks. But you'll still be allergic, and the redness and itching could come back if your skin touches the wrong thing.

Most skin allergies aren't life-threatening. But in some rare cases, a severe reaction called anaphylaxis might quickly spread throughout your body and make it hard to breathe. Call 911 if your lips start to swell or itch or you feel short of breath.

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