Start with patch testing in the Crystal Lake area to curb infections, chronic conditions brought on by inflamed skin

Start with patch testing in the Crystal Lake area to curb infections, chronic conditions brought on by inflamed skin

It’s easy to see why contact dermatitis is assumed to be a type of allergy.

As with allergic reactions, this condition is triggered by exposure to certain substances. This type of skin inflammation is also characterized with red rashes, raised bumps, severe itching (sometimes), cracking and scales, blisters, swelling, and a burning sensation — symptoms often shared by those with allergies to mites, pollen, and mold, and those allergic to some foods, insects and drugs.

Only 20 percent of contact dermatitis cases are considered “allergic.” You may have this type of contact dermatitis should your skin become itchy, red, scaly, or raw, and blister when you encounter common allergens, such as:

  • Topical antibiotics
  • Metals containing nickel (jewelry, zippers, buttons, watch bands)
  • Fragrances
  • Nail polish
  • Hair dye + adhesives for false eyelashes, toupees

“Irritant” contact dermatitis makes up the vast majority of cases. This type isn’t caused by allergen that sets off a hyperactive immune response to a substance it perceives as “foreign.” Instead, this condition happens when the culprit substance actually injures the skin’s outermost layer. Sometimes, a strong irritant can cause symptoms after just one exposure. Other time, even a mild irritant can trigger symptoms after repeated exposures.

A few irritants include:

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Detergents and bleach
  • Solvents like kerosene
  • Personal care products (makeup, deodorant, soaps)
  • Airborne saw or wool dust

Patch testing is the go-to method associated with contact dermatitis. At Advanced Allergy & Asthma Associates and Food Allergy Center of Illinois, we can determine if your inflamed skin is caused by an actual allergy. From there, we can develop a customized treatment plan, which may involve avoiding the culprit substance(s) when possible.

With patch testing, we apply very small amounts of the suspected allergens to gentle, waterproof patches. These patches are then adhered to your skin, where they stay for two days. After 48 hours, you’ll return to our Crystal Lake office, conveniently located just five miles from Crystal Lake, where we can check for a skin reaction. We’ll see you again after 72 hours.

Contact dermatitis can be very uncomfortable. It can lead to chronic itchy, scaly skin. The areas where you frequently scratch can harbor the bacteria that cause infection. The sooner we see you in the Crystal Lake area for patch testing, the sooner you can feel comfortable in your skin again, free of potentially more serious complications.

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Advanced Allergy & Asthma Associates

Meredith Cirrincione | Dr. Noga Askenazi

Amy Schack, a distinguished board-certified Physician Associate, brings a wealth of expertise to patient care. Specializing in allergic rhinitis, sinusitis, asthma, and rashes, Amy is renowned for her commitment to excellence and compassionate approach. With a background in immediate care and orthopedics, she holds a Master's in Physician Assistant studies from Midwestern University and a Bachelor of Science from Northern Illinois University. A member of esteemed professional associations, including the American Academy of Physician Assistants and the Association of PAs in Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, Amy Schack instills confidence, ensuring you can trust her unwavering dedication to your health and well-being.

Meredith Cirrincione is a board certified Physician Assistant and specializes in treating allergies, with a focus on asthma, rashes, environmental allergies, chemical and food allergies. She holds a Masters in Physician Assistant Studies from The Chicago Medical School - Rosalind Franklin University of Health Sciences. She is a Fellow member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants, the Illinois Academy of Physician Assistants, and the Association of PAs in Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. She likes to approach things holistically. She is a strong patient advocate and adored by her patients. She enjoys singing, reading, cooking, and the great outdoors.

Dr. Noga Askenazi is a nationally recognized asthma and allergy specialist who is board certified in pediatric and adult allergy. Her areas of special interest are innovative treatment of rashes, sinusitis, food allergies, asthma and immune disorders. She was past President of the ISAAI (Illinois Society of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology), works on state and national committees for advancement of the allergy field and is a consultant for Advocate, Ascension Health, Northwestern amongst other health care systems. Her joy is helping patients reach their goals after together determining best treatments. Her staff and patients are a chosen family, and she invests in their happiness. She enjoys gardening, biking and cooking to good music.