Could That Rash Be A Contact Allergy?

Allergic contact dermatitis is a skin condition in which direct contact with an allergen triggers a cell mediated allergic response and the development of localised itchy, red rashes on the skin.


This can often occur in people who already have existing eczema or dermatitis. The skin allergy rashes typically present a few days after contact with the allergen and persist for as long as there is contact with the allergen. It can take several weeks for rashes to disappear and the skin to heal after contact with the allergen ceases.

Common causes of contact dermatitis:

  • nickel eg. from jewelry
  • chemicals in self care products, industrial products or cleaning products
  • plants eg.  English Ivy, tomato, grevillea
  • cosmetics
  • perfumes
  • ointments

Contact Patch Testing

Contact Patch Testing is commonly used to aid in the diagnosis of allergic contact dermatitis. The patch contains a number of allergens or haptogens which is placed in contact with the skin for 48 hours and then interpreted based on the degree of reaction.

If you are concerned you have a skin condition but are unsure of the source of irritation, book in to see our new doctor who specialises in skin conditions.

Dr Avril Elachi is running our new Allergy Clinic on Tuesdays. She will use the Australian Baseline Series (ABS 60) with chemotechnique diagnostics patch testing which can test for a large array of potential allergens. Following diagnose she can tailor an Allergy Action plan for you including follow-up assessments if required.

Learn more about our NEW Allergy Clinic HERE


Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy [ASCIA]. 2015. Contact dermatitis. <Accessed 1 December, 2015:>
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