Allergic Skin Disease

At the Arizona Asthma and Allergy Institute our physicians routinely evaluate patients with a wide variety of skin symptoms.Our physicians use the most current methods for evaluation, diagnosing and management of these skin conditions.

Some of the common skin conditions seen at Arizona Asthma and Allergy Institute:

ALLERGIC CONTACT DERMATITIS

Allergic rash characterized by redness, itchiness and occasionally blisters. The rash can occur anywhere on the body from your eyelids and scalp, to your arms, legs and feet. Common culprits of the rash are cosmetics, sunscreens, soaps and detergents.

Diagnostic tests employed: Testing to over 60 of the most common chemical and metal allergies (NASP test) including home products, skin biopsy when necessary

Treatment modalities: Guidance on avoidance of chemical triggers (handouts given),Topical remedies, Nutritional advice when indicated (eg nickel free diet)

URTICARIA (HIVES)

Common skin condition characterized by red bumps or welts that itch. Individual lesions last for less than 24 hours. May be either acute (6 weeks) and caused by a wide variety of external triggers or autoimmune disease.

Diagnostic tests employed: Hives panel (ie blood testing to evaluate for other illnesses or autoimmune causes of the hives) environmental allergen and food skin testing

Treatment modalities: Step-wise approach including histamine blockade (H1,H2 blockers), immune modulators (eg prednisone, dapsone, plaquenil etc) and Xolair for chronic hives.

ANGIOEDEMA

Swelling of tissues caused by either allergic factors, genetic deficiencies or autoimmune causes. The swelling may affect any particular area including the throat and has potential to cause fatality.

Diagnostic tests employed: Thorough evaluation of the complement cascade including functional and quantitative C1 ester

Treatment modalities: C1 esterase inhibitor replacement, Bradykinin receptor blockade, Immune modulation, Xolair, Medication removal, Guidance for trigger avoidance

ATOPIC DERMATITIS (aka ECZEMA)

Most common chronic skin condition in childhood. In individuals over the age of 2 it is usually associated with itchy skin in the flexural areas and/or other associated allergic diseases (ie asthma or allergic rhinitis).

Diagnostic tests employed: Skin testing to foods and environmental allergens, Patch testing for chemical sensitivities. Did you know: Up to a third of eczema in kids can be related to a food allergy!

Treatment modalities: Intense education, registered dietician on staff, allergen immunotherapy (allergy shots), topical therapies, wet to dry wraps in severe cases

DRUG ERUPTIONS

Rashes or skin changes caused by a wide variety of mechanisms the may be mild, moderate or severe. Did you know: 90% of people who had a suspected allergic reaction to Penicillin are later found to be negative on skin testing and no longer have to avoid!

Diagnostic tests employed: Drug Skin testing, Oral challenges, Skin biopsy

SYSTEMIC PRURITUS

Particularly distressful and sometimes debilitating skin condition characterized by intense itch with or without rash. The differential for the cause of systemic pruritus is broad and may include renal, hepatic, endocrine, hematologic, pharmacologic or psychogenic dysfunction.

While evaluating for these conditions we will work closely with the primary care physician and other specialists to extend the workup and treatment as indicated.

If you believe that you are suffering from a treatable skin allergy, please contact our nearest office to get more information.