Allergic skin reactions can come across as red, bumpy, and/or itchy skin. Skin allergies can be irritating, painful and even embarrassing. Exposure to different allergens or irritants, such as fragrances, preservatives, poison ivy, various medications, or food, can cause rashes. 

Some illnesses can also cause rashes. Two of the most common types of rashes are eczema and hives. If an allergic skin reaction causes a rash or discoloration, you can see a Skin Care Provider or Allergist to get to the bottom of what’s causing the issue. They can also run allergy tests. 

Common Skin Allergy Reactions

Some common skin reactions treated include:


Eczema is also called atopic dermatitis. Patients experiencing eczema often have dry, sensitive skin and may also experience red, itchy patches on their skin. Eczema can flare-up and go away and depending on the severity may crack, ooze, and itch. Learn more about eczema here.


Hives are also known as urticaria. They are itchy bumps that are raised up and often are reddish in color. They may also turn white in the center when pressure is put on them. 

Contact Dermatitis

This is a term for an allergic reaction that happens when an irritant or allergen comes into contact with the skin. Symptoms can include a rash, itching, blisters, or even a burning sensation in more severe cases.

Testing for Skin Allergies

At Skin Cancer & Dermatology Institute, we use patch allergy testing, which is a trusted and non-invasive allergy testing method. With patch testing, your skin is exposed to allergens and is then observed for signs of an allergic reaction. These results paired with your medical history can help confirm whether or not a particular substance is causing allergic symptoms (whether it’s something you’re touching, breathing in, or eating).

We use the American Standard Series to test for allergies, which includes 80 of the most common allergens affecting patients in the United States. We also have a Dental Series, which is a more restricted selection of allergens that we may use for reactions involving the oral mucosa (the mucous membrane lining the inside of the mouth) or perioral area (the area immediately surrounding your mouth). Patch testing does not test for nasal, sinus, or respiratory allergies.

What to Expect With Patch Allergy Testing

Our team will walk you through the process so you know what to expect and are informed along the way. Your testing includes four appointments: a consultation, application of allergens, removal of patch chambers and an initial reading, and final reading. 

Understanding Your Allergy Test Results

At Skin Cancer & Dermatology Institute, we make sure that our patients and their referring physicians (if applicable) get immediate test results as well as any supporting information to help ensure the best quality of life and make an action plan. 

Dealing with Skin Allergies

The American Contact Dermatitis Society (ACDS) is an organization dedicated to cultivating advancements in the diagnosis and care of dermatitis, which is itchy, dry skin, or a rash on swollen, reddened skin. 

The ACDS has a database called CAMP (contact allergy management program). It is designed to help patients with skin allergies, also known as allergic contact dermatitis, find personal care products that are free of the ingredients that are causing their allergic reactions. Each list generated is personalized for the patient. While the list is not exhaustive, it is a solid starting point for patients to find products that can quell their allergic reactions. 

There’s an app for that, too. The CAMP database is available via an app on iTunes and Google Play. Your Skin Cancer & Dermatology Institute Provider will walk you through understanding your test allergy patch results and how to use the app.

Is Allergy Testing Covered By My Insurance?

Yes, it is covered by most major insurance companies and Medicare. You’ll need to check with your individual insurance provider to confirm your coverage, though.

How to Treat Your Allergic Skin Reactions

If you’re experiencing rashes or think you may have skin allergies, you can see an experienced Provider to get an allergy test at one of our Greater Reno-Tahoe locations.