Comprehensive Health Care Information And Resources
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Contact dermatitis basically means the skin’s allergic reaction due to contact to everyday objects. Contact dermatitis is one of the most common types of eczema.
Contact dermatitis can be called irritant contact dermatitis if just initial contact to a particular substance or chemical irritates the skin. It can be called allergic contact dermatitis is an allergic reaction develops after the skin is exposed to the irritating chemical.
Allergic contact dermatitis develops after several hours of exposure to the irritating substance or object and is characterized by:
• Reddish swollen skin which is very itchy and can develop into bumps.
• Development of blisters can also happen especially if the allergic reaction is severe. These blisters may break and may be fluid filled. When dry, blisters from crusts and dry scales.
• There are several occasions when a person is exposed to the irritating substance continuously and the affected skin area becomes thick and leathery.
Irritant contact dermatitis on the other hand develops after a brief exposure to an irritating substance or object.
• Mild irritants such as soaps, chemical based cleaners and perfume can cause mild irritation. Skin appears red, swollen, can burn or sting when touched and patches of lesions or blisters may develop. These blisters may be fluid filled and may rupture or crack.
• Strong irritants such as exposure to battery acid can cause severe redness, inflammation, scaling and blister formation.
Almost anyone can develop contact dermatitis. Exposure to harmful chemicals and irritating substances can increase anybody’s risk in developing contact dermatitis. Allergic contact dermatitis on the other hand develops only to people who are allergic or hypersensitive to a particular substance or object.
There are about 3,000 and more allergens that can cause contact dermatitis and here are the most common ones:
• Fragrances like perfumes, lotions, hair care products, makeup, etc can cause contact dermatitis.
• Clothing and footwear can also cause this skin condition. Wool can irritate skin while leather in footwear can irritate soles and skin of the feet.
• Medicines like topical antibiotics can cause allergic reactions so it is best to consult a dermatologist with the ideal product to use.
• Exposure to things made of rubber can also cause contact dermatitis.
• Plants like poison ivy and other plants can also cause an allergic skin reaction.
• Direct contact to the irritating substance or object must be totally avoided. If it is inevitable to avoid contact, wear appropriate safety clothing like aprons, gowns, gloves and boots.
• Moisturizers can help increase skin moisture and lessen inflammation and skin itching.
• Dermatologists often prescribe oral antihistamines as an emergency treatment for acute contact dermatitis.
• Applying topical corticosteroid treatments to your skin can help reduce the inflammation and itch.
• Topical antibiotics may be applied to prevent skin infection.
• Cool compresses may also be applied on the affected area to subside infection and itching.
Prevention of contact dermatitis starts with knowing what triggers your allergic contact dermatitis. Knowing what can cause your allergic skin reaction can help you avoid these substances or objects.
Prevent skin complications by moisturizing skin daily. Use a moisturizer after a bath to lock in skin moisture. Increase room moisture content by using a humidifier. Eat a well balanced meal and take dietary supplements to increase your body’s resistance in fighting infections. Consult your doctor in any treatment that you would like to start.