At Partners in Allergy and Asthma Care, we diagnose and treat allergic skin disorders including eczema, urticaria (hives), and contact dermatitis.

Eczema often develops early in life and seems to be associated with allergic conditions including asthma, food allergy, and nasal allergy; however it is not necessarily caused by the food allergy.  Major food allergens cause anaphylaxis. Managing eczema, especially if it is severe, requires a comprehensive approach with much of the burden of care upon the parent or the patient. The good news is that if eczema starts in childhood, it usually gets a lot better as the child grows older.  We have experience with a new biologic medication for severe eczema, Dupixent (dupilumab), which is an injection given every two weeks and can be administered by the patient at home.  The results have been amazing.
Urticaria, or hives, has become increasingly more common over the last few years, without any explanation.  Dermatographia (skin writing) is a very common condition. In this condition, simply scratching the skin produces hives and lines, even to the point that one can write words on the skin. Urticaria can also be associated with spontaneous breakouts occurring  with fever, overheating, exercise, cold water, hot water, and during treatment of infections. Sometimes medications taken to treat an infection are blamed mistakenly for the urticaria.  Aspirin and other NSAID medications can be associated with urticaria/hives. Much of the time, the diagnosis is what is known as idiopathic urticaria, meaning no evident cause.  Some of these are autoimmune in nature, meaning that the immune system is reacting to our own body in some way, producing the hives.

Contact dermatitis results when a sensitized person comes in contact with an allergen on the skin. The rash, or dermatitis, does not occur immediately, but develops over a day or two after exposure. This can make diagnosis difficult.  Common contact allergens are nickel from jewelry, neomycin and other topical antibiotics, rubber compounds, cosmetics and hair products, fragrances, industrial products, cleaning products, and even topical cortisone, as well as many other substances. The diagnosis is made by a careful examination of the patient's history, supported by contact allergen patch testing.