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What Is This Itchy Rash?

Posted on Mar 18, 2020 11:31:17 AM

Have you ever wondered what may be causing your itchy rash?

Diagnosing a rash can be a tricky – it takes a lot of investigative work between the provider and the patient.

There are many causes of an itchy rash but one possible culprit is contact dermatitis, a skin condition that occurs in about 15% to 20% of the population.

Symptoms Of Contact Dermatitis

Symptoms of contact dermatitis can include:

  • Redness
  • Rash
  • Itching
  • Flaking of the skin
  • Burning sensation
  • Swelling

The contact dermatitis rash might stick around for days or weeks and might come and go over time.

Possible Triggers Of Contact Dermatitis

Shampoo or other hair products can be common triggers. Often with hair products, affected areas can include:

  • Your eyelids
  • Scalp
  • Head
  • Neck

Symptoms can occur after a few hours of exposure, making it difficult to diagnose. The reaction can even happen from products you have been using safely for a number of years.

Some of the main culprits in shampoo are:

  • Fragrance
  • Propylene glycol
  • Cocamidopropyl betaine
  • Methylisothiazlinone
  • Parabens
  • Iodopropynyl butylcarbamate


Learn More About Another Common Skin Issue!


How Can I Confirm The Cause?

It is helpful to get evaluated by an allergist and consider patch testing for further evaluation of potential triggers.

Patch testing involves small amounts of diluted test allergens applied to the skin under a patch and covered with tape. The patches are applied to your back and must stay on the back for 48 hours.

After the initial 48 hours, patches are taken off and observed for any reaction and then looked at again at 72-96 hours after initial placement.

It is important to note, that this testing is different than skin prick testing which is used to identify things like foods or environmental allergens.

Once patch testing is complete, avoidance of any positive triggers is crucial.

It can take 3-4 weeks of avoidance to see improvement. This can take some work on your part and often means reading labels closely to make sure you are avoiding triggers completely.

Where Can I Go To Get Tested?

We are happy to work with you to help your identify the cause of your itchy rash.

It’s never too soon to seek help.  Contact Dakota Allergy & Asthma by calling 605-336-6385.


About The Author

Lindsey R. Peterson, CNP is a certified Nurse Practitioner with specialized training in Allergy and Asthma care. She cares for both children and adults with allergy and asthma problems and is a Certified Asthma Educator.  Ms. Peterson has a special interest in skin issues and food allergies.

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