You're likely to start by seeing your primary care doctor. He or she might refer you to a doctor who specializes in skin disorders (dermatologist).
Because appointments can be brief, it's a good idea to be well-prepared for your appointment.
What you can do
- List your signs and symptoms, including when they began and how long they've lasted.
- Avoid any substances that you think may have caused the rash.
- Make notes about any new products you've started using and any substances that regularly come in contact with your affected skin areas.
- Make a list of all the medications and supplements you take. Even better, take along the original bottles and a list of the dosages and directions. Include any creams or lotions you're using.
- List questions to ask your doctor.
For contact dermatitis, some basic questions you could ask your doctor include:
- What might be causing my signs and symptoms?
- Are tests needed to confirm the diagnosis?
- What treatments are available, and which do you recommend?
- Is this condition temporary or chronic?
- Can I wait to see if the condition goes away on its own?
- Will scratching spread the rash?
- Will popping the blisters spread the rash?
- What skin care routines do you recommend to improve my condition?
- How can I prevent this in the future?
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you questions such as the following:
Jul. 16, 2014
- When did you begin noticing symptoms?
- How often do you have symptoms?
- Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional? Do they get better over the weekend or during vacation?
- Does anything seem to make your symptoms better or worse?
- Have you started using any new cosmetics or household products?
- Does your work or a hobby involve using products that often come in contact with your skin?
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- Protopic ointment (tacrolimus). U.S. Food and Drug Administration Safety Information. http://www.fda.gov/safety/medwatch/safetyinformation/safetyalertsforhumanmedicalproducts/ucm150742.htm. Accessed March 6, 2014.
- Alani JI, et al. Allergy to cosmetics: A literature review. Dermatitis. 2013;24:283.
- Usatine RP, et al. Diagnosis and management of contact dermatitis. American Academy of Family Physicians. http://www.aafp.org/afp/2010/080http://www.aafp.org/afp/2010/0801/p249.html1/p249.html. Accessed March 6, 2014.
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- McEnery-Stonelake M, et al. Contact allergens in oral antihistamines. Dermatitis. 2014;25:83.
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