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Allergic Skin Conditions

The allergy, asthma, and immunology specialists at UPMC in central Pa. provide diagnostic testing and treatment of allergic skin conditions in children and adults.

Why choose UPMC in Central Pa. for treatment of allergic skin conditions?

Our allergy specialists provide comprehensive treatment for allergies that affect the skin, including hives, angioedema, atopic dermatitis (eczema), and allergic contact dermatitis. We offer a full range of diagnostic and treatment services to help you understand and manage your allergic skin condition, including:

Diagnostic Tests for Allergic Skin Conditions

  • Skin testing. Skin testing, also called scratch testing, exposes your skin to small amounts of allergy-causing substances (allergens) and can identify allergy triggers.
  • Patch testing. Patch testing involves applying a suspected allergen to a patch that is placed on your skin. The patch will remain on your skin for 48 hours. Patch testing can help to identify allergic skin conditions that are caused by latex, medications, fragrances, preservatives, hair dyes, metals, and resins.
  • Blood tests. Blood tests measure the amount of immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies in your blood that are specific to certain allergens. Although blood tests are not as exact as skin tests, your doctor may use them in combination with skin tests to diagnose and treat your allergy.

Medications for Allergic Skin Conditions

  • Allergy medications. Some medications may be able to help treat or prevent allergic skin conditions, but may not be suitable if your allergic skin condition is related to a severe or life-threatening allergy. Before you use any allergy medication, you should ask your doctor if it is right for your condition and symptoms.
  • Epinephrine (EpiPen or Auvi-Q). If you are at risk of experiencing a severe or life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis, your doctor may prescribe an injectable emergency medication called epinephrine. Epinephrine is usually given at the first sign of a severe allergic reaction, followed by emergency medical treatment. Your doctor will provide specific information about when and how you should use epinephrine.

Allergen Immunotherapy (Allergy Shots) for Allergic Skin Conditions

  • Allergy shots are injections that contain a small dose of allergens, or substances that trigger allergic reactions. The shots are given at regular intervals to prevent or reduce allergic reactions. With each shot, your health care provider will increase the dose of allergens. This helps your immune system get used to the allergens and may eventually cause your allergy symptoms to decrease.

Patient Education for Allergic Skin Conditions

  • Our specialists provide the education and information you need to manage your allergic skin condition, including training on administering emergency medications, managing medications, and making recommendations for how you can prevent skin irritation and avoid allergy triggers.

What are allergic skin conditions?

Allergic skin conditions are caused by an immune reaction to an allergen, which results in skin irritation. Allergic skin conditions include:

  • Hives (urticaria). Hives are swollen, raised red or skin-colored welts on the skin that often itch.
  • Angioedema. Angioedema is swelling that affects the deeper layers of the skin and commonly occurs on the feet, hands, tongue, lips, and eyelids.
  • Atopic dermatitis (eczema). Eczema causes scaly, itchy, red rashes on the skin and is often associated with allergies or asthma. Eczema is common in children but also can affect adults. It often appears on the face and bends of the elbows, wrists, and knees.
  • Allergic contact dermatitis. Allergic contact dermatitis occurs when you have a skin reaction after your skin comes into direct contact with an allergen. It can cause a variety of symptoms, including red, bumpy, itchy, scaly, or swollen skin at the site of contact with the allergen.

Who is at risk for allergic skin conditions?

People with a personal or family history of allergic skin conditions, asthma, or other allergies may be more likely to develop an allergic skin condition.

How can I prevent allergic skin conditions?

Although there is nothing you can do to prevent the allergic skin condition itself, you may be able to prevent allergic reactions by taking steps to avoid exposure to allergens and following your doctor’s advice regarding allergy treatment.



Specialty Care ENT – UPMC
508 S. Washington Street
Gettysburg, PA 17325

Phone: 717-334-8171
Fax: 717-334-8172

Specialty Care ENT – UPMC
250 Fame Avenue
Suite 201, (Entrance A)
Hanover, PA 17331

Phone: 717-633-9229
Fax: 717-633-5552

UPMC Allergy and Immunology
Located at UPMC Outpatient Center
21 Waterford Drive
Mechanicsburg, PA 17050

Phone: 717-988-9180
Fax: 717-775-5723 


Need more information?

Many of our providers offer video visits. Call the office or schedule via your patient portal.

Phone: 717-988-9180

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