Dermatology Services

Allergic Skin Diseases

warning sign Poison IvyAn allergy is a physiologic reaction caused when the immune system mistakenly identifies a normally harmless substance as a substance that is damaging to the body.

Typically, the human immune system is utilized to defend itself against harmful substances such as viruses or bacteria, but sometimes it aggressively attacks normally harmless substances that the body is exposed to and considers them "foreign". These immune/allergic reactions occur in two varieties: delayed, and immediate reactions. Delayed reactions, or allergic contact dermatitis is the most common allergic presentations on the skin, and occurs when various substances get on the skin and a persistent itchy rash develops a day or two later. A poison ivy rash is typical for a delayed allergy, but a similar type of reaction can occur after contact with shampoos, cosmetics, creams, earrings, and many other chemicals. Immediate immune reactions are those in which substances such as mold, dust, pollen, or animal dander cause swelling of the nose or sinuses, asthma, or itchiness of the eyes within minutes of exposure. This is the reaction with typical seasonal allergies.

Delayed Reactions (allergic contact dermatitis) may result in:

  • A rash that can be red, itchy, rough, scaly, crusty
  • A blistering reaction
  • Swelling of the skin
  • Redness and swelling in the mouth

Immediate Reactions may result in:

  • Rhinitus (nasal stuffiness, sneezing, nasal itching, nasal discharge)
  • Allergic conjunctivitis (red, itchy, watery eyes)
  • A flare of atopic dermatitis (red, itchy, dry skin)
  • Asthma

Cutaneous Allergy - How it is diagnosed

Delayed allergies are evaluated through patch testing. This is a process in which various allergens are applied to the back with tape and left in place for two days at which time they are removed. The patient is brought back another two days later to evaluate for delayed reactions on the skin which present as red, swollen areas.

Immediate-type allergies are evaluated through either making a small scratch or prick in the skin through diluted allergens that are applied to the back. The evaluation/reading of this type of testing is done about 30 minutes later. Also, various blood tests can also be utilized to evaluate for this type of allergy as well.

At the University of Utah, Department of Dermatology, a thorough evaluation can be performed for both delayed, and immediate type allergies.

Locations


University Hospital: Clinic 28

50 North Medical Drive
Salt Lake City, UT 84132
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Appointments:
(801) 581-2955

Dermatology Murray Clinics

6095 S. Fashion Blvd.
(300 East) Suite 160, 250 & 270
Murray, UT 84107
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Appointments:
(801) 581-2955

Primary Children’s Hospital

100 North Mario Capecchi Drive
Salt Lake City, UT 84113
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Appointments:
(801) 581-2955

Primary Children’s Hospital, Riverton

3741 West 12600 South
Riverton, UT 84065
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Appointments:
(801) 581-2955

George E. Wahlen Department of
Veterans Affairs Medical Center

500 Foothill Drive
Salt Lake city, UT 84148
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Appointments:
(801) 581-2955

Parkway Health Center

145 W. University Parkway
Orem, UT 84058
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Appointments:
(801) 581-2955

Redstone Health Center

1743 W. Redstone Center Drive #115
Park City, UT 84098
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Appointments:
(801) 581-2955

South Jordan Health Center

5126 W. Daybreak Parkway
South Jordan, UT 84095
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Appointments:
(801) 581-2955

Stansbury Park Health Center

220 Millpond Road,
Suite 100
Stansbury Park, UT 84074
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Appointments:
(801) 581-2955

Westridge Health Center

3730 West 4700 South
West Valley City, UT 84118
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Appointments:
(801) 581-2955