Chronic Hives and/or Swelling (chronic urticaria and/or angioedema)
Occurs more commonly in adults than children. This condition is seldom caused by food or environmental allergens, so allergy testing is not often indicated. That is also why your first appointment with us is typically for consultation only, meaning no testing of any sort would be planned for that visit. Although hives/swelling usually ends up resolving as mysteriously as it first came on, there are some lab tests that are appropriate based on one’s history. In 2014 the FDA approved a new therapy for this condition, Xolair injections; the first new therapy for hives in many decades.
Contact Rashes (or dermatitis)
Can be caused either by irritants or allergens. It is often difficult to distinguish these based on the appearance of the rash. Contact allergy can be assessed with a commercially prepared panel of patch tests that are placed on one’s back for 48 hours. The test sites are assessed when the patches come off and again 2-3 days later. Common contact allergens include active ingredients, preservatives and fragrances found in many topical creams and lotions; metals found in jewelry and joint replacement implants; adhesives, glues, and dyes found in hair colorants.
Atopic Dermatitis (or atopic eczema)
The source of great discomfort, especially in young children, where almost half of afflicted kids have one or more food allergens contributing to the skin disorder. Seldom are such food allergens apparent based on simple observation. Food allergy testing allows us to zero in on foods that should be removed from the diet on a trial basis. To flip the coin, allergy test-negative foods seldom are truly triggers and can remain in the diet. Environmental allergens, especially furred pets and dust mites, can be major contributors, too. Like food allergens, this is seldom obvious on observation alone. Topical therapy is essential and is individualized based on severity of the condition.