eczema treatment

Skin Allergy Treatment in Mission Viejo, CA

Skin problems are a common reason for patients to visit a physician and oftentimes these issues are allergy related. It is thus important to understand the different common skin allergies that affect the population and to review treatments available for proper management. 

Types of Skin Allergies

The three most common skin allergies include eczema, hives/angioedema, and contact dermatitis.


Eczema is a chronic skin condition that causes red, scaly, and itchy rashes. It usually affects the face, elbows, and knees, and is more common in infants and people with a history of allergies or asthma. Triggers for eczema include allergens, overheating, sweating, emotional stress, food, and contact with irritants such as wool, pets, or soaps.

The main goal of eczema treatment is to prevent itching and moisturize the skin. Cold compresses and topical steroid and calcineurin inhibitor creams are the most effective treatments. Antihistamines are often recommended to help relieve itchiness, and an injectable medication called Dupixent can provide long-term relief.

Hives and Angioedema

Hives are red, itchy, raised areas that can be triggered by food, environmental allergies, latex, or drug allergies. Hives can also result from non-allergic sources such as rubbing of the skin, cold, heat, physical exertion or exercise, pressure, and sunlight. They usually go away within a few days, but chronic hives can linger for months to years.

Angioedema is a swelling of the deeper skin layers that sometimes occurs with hives. It appears on the eyelids, lips, tongue, hands, and feet.

Treatment for hives and angioedema may include antihistamines or steroids in severe cases. Other tips for symptom relief include cool showers, applying a cool compress, or wearing loose/light clothing. An injectable medication called Xolair can also provide relief.

Contact Dermatitis

Contact dermatitis is characterized by an itchy, red, blistered reaction and is commonly caused by poison ivy, nickel, perfumes, dyes, latex products, or cosmetics. Allergic contact dermatitis reactions can happen 24 to 48 hours after contact.

Treatment for contact dermatitis includes scrubbing the skin with soap and water after exposure and using prescribed antihistamine and cortisone medications. Calamine lotion, oatmeal baths/milk soaks, and cool compresses can also offer relief.

Diagnosis and Testing

The diagnosis of skin allergies is made through a detailed history, including hobbies, work exposures, cosmetic/fragrance/hair dye/nail polish exposures, exposure to jewelry and other metals, as well as a physical exam and testing.

The patch test is commonly used to diagnose contact dermatitis. At Pacific Allergy & Asthma, Dr. Basen performs a comprehensive and accurate patch panel which includes 80 different allergens. The patches are worn on the skin for 48 hours to allow for a delayed response. An additional reading is then performed at 72 hours. Testing allows for identification of chemicals in your everyday products such as cosmetics and jewelry.

Skin Allergy Treatment in Mission Viejo, CA

If you or a loved one is suffering from eczema, contact dermatitis, or other skin allergies and looking for long-term relief, contact Pacific Allergy & Asthma in Mission Viejo, CA today to schedule a consultation with double-board certified Allergy and Immunologist Dr. Tyler Basen.