More than 50 walk-in locations

People can be allergic to all sorts of things, including grass, pet dander, and certain medications. These allergies can cause skin rashes and other reactions. The most common causes for allergic skin conditions include shampoo, jewelry metal, soaps, and some food. Learn more about other allergy causes and how you can treat them.

10 Most Common Causes of Allergic Skin Rashes

In a study conducted by the Mayo Clinic, researchers discovered that some allergens more commonly cause skin reactions than others. The top 10 skin allergens they found are:

image of a person with a skin rash

  • Formaldehyde — Preservative commonly found in medications, household cleaners, and cosmetic products
  • Nickel — Metal commonly found in jewelry
  • Gold — Precious metal that is often found in jewelry, especially rings and bracelets
  • Balsamof Peru — Fragrance that is commonly used in perfumes and lotions
  • Cobalt chloride — Metal commonly found in antiperspirant and hair dye
  • Bacitracin — Topical antibiotic ointment
  • Quaternium 15 — Preservative commonly found in shampoo, sunscreen, nail polishes, paints, and more
  • Thimerosal — Mercury compound commonly used in antiseptics
  • Neomycinsulfate — Topical antibiotic commonly found in first aid ointments
  • Fragrance mix — Common name for the eight most common fragrance allergens found in things like perfumes, soaps, and food

Types of Allergic Skin Reactions

Allergies can cause a variety skin reactions, from itching and redness to eczema and hives. Some of the most common allergic skin reactions include:

Atopic dermatitis

  • Atopic dermatitis is common in people who have a family history of allergies and is the most common form of eczema. Atopic dermatitis typically causes dry, red, irritated, and itchy skin.


  • Hives are red welts that appear on the body, typically clustered together, and can occur when a person is exposed to an allergen.

Contact dermatitis

  • Contact dermatitis can cause a rash, blisters, itching, and burning, and often happens when the skin is exposed to an irritant or allergen.

When to See a Medical Professional for Skin Allergies

If you are experiencing a skin reaction and aren’t sure what caused it, you should see a dermatologist or allergist to determine the cause. They may suggest allergy testing that can pinpoint the exact cause of your reactions and help you prevent coming into contact with that allergen in the future.

If you are experiencing a severe skin reaction along with swelling of the lips, tongue or throat, shortness of breath, dizziness, or stomach pain, you should call 911 immediately.

If you are experiencing a non life-threatening allergic reaction but want treatment from a medical professional, visit your local FastMed Urgent Care for fast and friendly care. Our walk-in clinics are open seven days a week with extended hours, making it easy for you to get the treatment you need, whenever you need it.

Find out more about FastMed in your community by liking us on Facebook or following us on Twitter!

fastmed clinic location




Web MD:

Web MD:

Kids With Food Allergies:

Sign up for email offers

Sign up to receive coupons, health tips, and more–directly to your inbox.