CIGNA members: Please note that you may receive a letter in the mail stating that The Dermatology Center of Indiana is no longer in your network. This communication from CIGNA is incorrect and we would like to reassure you that we are still in network with CIGNA. We look forward to continuing to service you and your family for all your dermatology needs.

5 Top Causes of Skin Allergies

Not only are skin allergies itchy and annoying, but they can also be a cause for concern due to their appearance.Oftentimes it is difficult to figure out what exactly is causing your allergic reaction or if it is even an allergic reaction. When it isn’t clear what the culprit is, it can be very frustrating to try to find the cause.  Skin allergies most commonly appear as hives, eczema, or a general rash (itchy or non-itchy) on your body. In this post, we will go over the 5 top causes of most skin allergies.

  1. Perfumes or Fragrances: Perfumes and fragrances can be added to many products including, laundry detergent, soap, cleaning supplies, and more. This can be the most difficult skin allergy to track down as there are so many products you come in contact with each day.
  1. Plants: Many plants can cause multiple allergic reactions including nasal issues as well as a rash or itchiness. The most common plant for causing an allergic reaction on your skin is poison ivy. Poison ivy is a common plant found in the woods or even your own yard. There is an oil in poison ivy that may cause a reaction to some people. Allergic reactions from poison ivy can appear very severe, as oftentimes you will have extremely itchy skin, hives, and blisters, along with a red rash. A poison ivy reaction is not contagious, but they can be distressing.
  1. Nickel: Usually a nickel allergy is fairly easy to recognize as it would appear as a rash or red area on your skin near the exposure. Nickel is often used in earrings and your earlobe may be red and itchy after wearing the earrings.
  1. Latex: If you have ever worn rubber gloves and had a rash on your hands afterwards, you may have a latex allergy. Latex is a naturally made byproduct of rubber trees and is used to make many things including gloves, condoms, and waistbands in clothing. Your body may react to the protein in the latex and have an allergic reaction if it mistakes the protein as a harmful substance. If you a latex allergy, you should always inform any medical personnel about your allergy.
  1. Clothing: Generally, most people are not allergic to the material (wool, cotton, etc.) itself, but more often to the any additive that was used in making the clothing. Formaldehyde resin is commonly used to help waterproof clothing and prevent wrinkles. It is occasionally used in elastic band, in which you may notice a red rash on your skin where your waistband was touching.

If you believe you have a skin allergy, you should contact your dermatologist or an allergist to schedule an appointment to discuss your treatment options.

Disclaimer: This blog provides general information and discussion about medical, cosmetic, mohs, and surgical dermatology. The words and other content provided in this blog, and in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult with an appropriately-licensed dermatologist or other health care worker.