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Contact Dermatitis

Contact Dermatitis

Everything you need to know about
Eczema Contact Dermatitis

Have you ever tried a new skincare product or detergent only to find that it irritates and reddens your skin? If this is the case, you may have had contact dermatitis. When chemicals you come into contact with trigger a response, you get this ailment.

The majority of contact dermatitis reactions are mild, but they can be bothersome until the itching stops.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms of contact dermatitis vary depending on the cause and your sensitivity to the substance.

Allergic contact dermatitis

The following are symptoms of allergic contact dermatitis:

  • Scaly, flaky, dry skin
  • Hives
  • Sores that ooze
  • Skin rashes
  • Skin that appears leathery or browned
  • Skin that is scorched
  • Severe itching
  • Sensitivity to sunshine
  • Oedoema, particularly around the eyes, face, or groyne

Irritant contact dermatitis

Irritant contact dermatitis can cause a variety of symptoms, including:

  • Blistering
  • Severe dryness causes the skin to crack
  • Swelling
  • Skin that is stiff or constrictive
  • Ulcerations
  • Open wounds with crusts

How’s it diagnosed?

If your symptoms are severe or do not improve with time, see your doctor. Your doctor will inspect your skin and acquire a detailed medical history. They may ask you the following questions:

  • When did you discover your symptoms for the first time?
  • What causes your symptoms to improve or deteriorate?
  • Have you gone trekking since the rash began?
  • What skincare products do you use on a daily basis?
  • On a daily basis, what substances do you come into touch with?
  • What do you make a living doing?

To determine the cause of your contact dermatitis, your doctor may recommend you to an allergy expert or dermatologist. A patch test is an allergy test that this professional can perform. It entails the exposure of a small patch of skin to an allergen.

The allergy specialist can evaluate the likely cause of your contact dermatitis if your skin reacts.

Causes

Contact dermatitis is divided into three categories:

  • Allergic contact dermatitis
  • Irritant contact dermatitis
  • Photocontact dermatitis

Photocontact dermatitis is a rare occurrence. It’s an irritation-causing reaction that can happen when the active chemicals in a skin product are exposed to the sun.

Allergic contact dermatitis

When the skin develops an allergic reaction after being exposed to foreign material, this is known as allergic contact dermatitis. This causes the body to generate inflammatory chemicals, which can irritate and itch the skin.

Contact with the following substances is a common cause of allergic contact dermatitis:

  • Nickel or gold-plated jewellery
  • Gloves of latex
  • Cosmetics and skincare items that include fragrances or chemicals
  • Poison oak is also known as poison ivy

Irritant contact dermatitis

The most prevalent type of contact dermatitis is irritant contact dermatitis. It occurs when a harmful substance comes into touch with the skin.

The following toxic chemicals can produce irritating contact dermatitis:

  • Acids
  • Some drain cleaners
  • Urine, saliva, or other body fluids
  • Certain plants, such as poinsettias and peppers
  • Hair dyes
  • Nail polish remover
  • Paints and varnishes
  • Harsh soaps or detergents
  • Resins, plastics, and epoxies

Irritant contact dermatitis can also develop when the skin is repeatedly exposed to less irritating compounds, such as soap or even water.

Hairdressers, bartenders, and healthcare workers, for example, routinely expose their hands to water and suffer from irritating contact dermatitis of the hands.

Treatment

When the material in touch with the skin is removed, most cases of contact dermatitis resolve on their own.

Home remedies

You may be able to treat your contact dermatitis at home, or you may need to see a doctor, depending on the severity of your symptoms.

You can use these home treatments to help soothe your skin:

  • Immediately wash your skin with gentle soap and cool water.
  • The allergen or irritant that caused the rash should be removed or avoided.
  • Over minor spots, apply hydrocortisone cream.
  • Apply a cold damp compress on blisters three times a day for 30 minutes.
  • To help repair the protective layer, apply moisturisers to injured skin several times a day.
  • For itching, take oral histamine.

Antihistamine lotion should only be used if your doctor recommends it, as it can cause skin irritation or an allergic reaction.

OTC treatment

Here are some OTC suggestions for you:

It’s best not to scratch irritated skin. Scratching can aggravate the irritation or potentially lead to an antibiotic-resistant skin illness.

  • To soothe the region, use a plain petroleum lotion like Vaseline.
  • Use calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream as anti-itch therapies (Cortisone-10).
  • If necessary, take an antihistamine such as diphenhydramine to relieve itching and lessen your allergic reaction.

These goods are available from pharmacists or online.

Medical treatment

Contact dermatitis is usually not a cause for worry. If your rash is close to your eyes or lips, covers a big region of your body, or does not improve with home therapy, you should consult a doctor.

If home therapies don’t work, your doctor may prescribe a stronger steroid cream.

How can I prevent it?

Contact dermatitis can be avoided by avoiding first exposure to irritants. Consider the following suggestions:

Look for “hypoallergenic” or “unscented” items.

If you have a latex allergy, avoid wearing latex gloves. Instead, use plastic gloves.

Hiking in the outdoors requires long-sleeved shirts and pants.

If a new product causes irritation, stop using it right away.

If you have sensitive skin, test new products on a small area first. You should only use the new product on one area of your forearm. Cover the area and keep it away from water and soap. At 48 and 96 hours following application, look for any reactions. Use the product only if there is no redness or irritation.

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