When you have a rash that you suspect is from an allergy, you may wonder what type of specialist you should see, especially since dermatology and allergy medicine have some overlap.
The answer isn’t always straightforward. In fact, you should take into consideration a few different factors when choosing between an allergist and a dermatologist.
Fortunately, our practice in Sarasota offers medical care from both dermatologists and allergists. We even offer advice to help you determine the correct doctor for your healthcare needs.
Scope of Practice
An allergist is a practitioner who specializes in the diagnosis, management, and treatment of allergies and immune disorders. These specialists can address skin, food, and airborne allergies. An allergy doctor also treats patients with asthma.
A dermatologist can diagnose, manage, and treat conditions pertaining to the skin, nails, and hair. This specialist may help with allergic contact dermatitis or atopic dermatitis, both of which may stem from an allergy.
Signs You Should See an Allergist
Generally speaking, you should see an allergy doctor if you have occasional rashes or hives, seasonal nasal congestion, digestive problems, or breathing difficulty that stems from a reaction to an allergen.
You could also benefit from seeing an allergist if you experience frequent asthma attacks or skin issues related to environmental allergens.
Food sensitivity is also a common reason to see an allergist. If you experience symptoms such as digestive problems, hives, itching, rashes, or trouble breathing due to certain foods, an allergist can help. An allergist can give you an accurate diagnosis of exactly what you’re allergic to and provide an effective treatment plan to help you get it under control.
Signs You Should See a Dermatologist
Some of the most common reasons to see a dermatologist include acne, dry skin, oily skin, pigmentation, rashes, psoriasis, eczema, and more. If you develop a skin reaction that doesn’t arise immediately after exposure to a substance and lasts for a few days or longer, a dermatologist is usually the practitioner to visit. This could be a sign you have allergic contact dermatitis or atopic dermatitis.
These types of issues tend to stem from skin coming into direct contact with a substance. Essentially, a dermatologic reaction comes from external exposure to an irritant, while allergies can stem from external or internal exposure.
A dermatologist will best understand the reaction you’re experiencing and be able to determine the appropriate treatment. Dermatologists can help differentiate if you have a skin issue stemming from allergies or another type of issue.
How These Practitioners Can Help
Both of these doctors can provide allergy testing when necessary. For instance, a dermatologist may perform a skin patch test to determine the cause of your skin reaction. An allergist may also perform a skin patch test and more in-depth allergy testing.
A dermatologist can help you choose products that are less likely to irritate your skin. An allergist may provide medications to help you manage your allergies and even provide immunotherapy to reduce your sensitivity to that substance.
Fortunately, you won’t be at a loss regardless of which doctor you choose to see. If you see a dermatologist, and they cannot diagnose or treat the underlying cause of your symptoms, they will simply refer you to an allergist – and vice versa.
Allergist or Dermatologist in Sarasota, Florida
Whether you want to see an allergist or a dermatologist, you can find the care you need at Intercoastal Medical Group. All allergists in our practice are highly skilled and will get to the root of your symptoms. Alternatively, our board-certified dermatologists can diagnose and treat any skin-related problem you are experiencing.
If you need help selecting which physician to see, we are happy to help. We have multiple locations throughout Sarasota and Bradenton to serve you. Call one of them today, or use our convenient online appointment request form.