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Many patients suffer from allergic skin diseases. These diseases often go years without diagnosis. The Stanford Contact Dermatitis clinic offers a full spectrum of patch testing in order to determine what contactants our patients are allergic to. We are able to specialize the patch testing based on individual hobbies, occupations and practices, and we have the capability to test patients to their own products. Thus, we hope to help patients discover and avoid those items that may be causing their rash.
Care and Treatment of Skin Allergies and Contact Dermatitis
What Are Skin Allergies?
An allergic skin condition (skin allergy) is when an allergen (a substance that causes an allergic reaction) triggers an immune system response, resulting in irritated skin. Many times, patients suffer from skin allergies for years before receiving a diagnosis.
Common products that cause skin allergies may include:
Nickel and metal products
Skin care products
What is contact dermatitis?
Contact dermatitis is when your skin comes in direct contact with another substance and results in an inflammation and rash at the area of contact.
Diagnosing a skin allergy
To confirm a diagnosis of contact dermatitis, we will first ask you about your medical history, occupation and symptoms. To help us during the diagnosis:
Take note of when your symptoms appear, get worse or improve
Take note where the symptoms occur on your body
Describe your work in detail to your doctor, because workers in certain occupations are more likely to develop contact dermatitis
If you handle chemicals, make a list of these or find their Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)
Patch testing for diagnosing skin allergies
We use patch testing to determine what contactants (substances that cause a contact allergy) are causing your allergic reaction. To perform a patch test, we place a number of different allergens on the skin of your back and check for an allergic response. This is not the same as prick testing. Talk to our allergists to decide if patch testing is appropriate for you.
We determine which allergens to check for based on your:
Treating contact dermatitis
The goal of patch testing is to determine which allergens are causing your allergic reaction so you can avoid those items. The main treatment for these allergies is to avoid contact with the substances that cause the symptoms.
Rash is a general term for an outbreak of bumps on the body that changes the way the skin looks and feels. This talk reviews common rashes and their treatments.
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Please confirm the location of your appointment during scheduling as our doctors and staff see patients in multiple locations.
PREPARE FOR YOUR APPOINTMENT
New patients should bring their medical records to their first appointment.
Make sure your primary care provider sends any physician notes, laboratory results, X-ray films and other studies or bring them with you to your first visit.
Bring your insurance card and the name and telephone number of your referring doctor.
Stanford Health Care provides comprehensive services to refer and track patients, as well as the latest information and news for physicians and office staff. For help with all referral needs and questions, visit Referring Physicians.
When you refer one of your patients to a Stanford Health Care's Dermatology Clinic, we want to assure you that we’ll provide him or her with the same level of personal care you give them.
HOW TO REFER
To refer a new patient, fax the patient referral form with any supporting documentation to 650-721-3476. A Patient Care Coordinator will fax a confirmation of receipt to your office. We will contact the patient and schedule an evaluation appointment upon insurance clearance.