Allergy Rash

If you have developed a rash, then it is probable that it is as a result of a skin contact allergy. When allergens come into contact with sensitive or susceptible skin, a reaction can occur causing redness, itching and raised and/or inflamed skin.

Different people experience different forms of allergy rash:

Contact dermatitis

This is a form of allergy rash and occurs, if you are susceptible, when your skin comes into contact with an allergen. This symptom can also occur as a result of too much hand washing, for example, which can irritate the skin. Typical allergens that cause this reaction include poison ivy, poison oak and some jewellery, usually nickel-based. The reaction should be confined to the area of the skin that has been in contact with the specific allergen.


This is characterised by usually itchy red, pink or white weals on your skin, perhaps surrounded by redness. When they slowly flatten, you are usually left with a patch of redness where they were for approximately 24 hours. If you think that you have urticaria you should make an appointment with your doctor, as there are different types of urticaria. Contact urticaria occurs as a result of a reaction with an allergen when it touches your skin. Physical or vasculitic urticaria have different causes, which are usually nothing to do with an allergic reaction. 


This is also known as atopic dermatitis and, as the name suggests, is actually not usually as a result of an allergy but more likely to be an inherited skin condition. It may therefore be that what you thought was an allergy rash is actually not. Differentiating these is important when seeking treatment. Symptoms of eczema are having itchy and inflamed patches of skin, which can become swollen, red, cracked and sometimes crust and weep. Psoriasis is another skin condition which is hereditary and therefore not a symptom of an allergy. As these are general skin conditions, and not brought on by a particular substance, any area of the skin can be affected.

Seek medical advice

It is therefore important to be aware that not all rashes are indicative of an allergy or allergic reaction. If you do have a rash and are unsure as to its cause or are unaware of a pre-existing skin condition then you should go and see your doctor for a diagnosis. 

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