Contact dermatitis is an itchy rash that is caused by coming into direct contact with a particular substance, like poison ivy when walking through the Enoree Passage. While it is rarely serious and often clears up on its own within a few days, it can be painful and unpleasant. Thankfully, there are several ways to relieve irritation and improve symptoms.
Types of Contact Dermatitis
Contact dermatitis can be split into two categories: irritant contact dermatitis and allergic dermatitis.
Irritant contact dermatitis is most common. It’s a nonallergic skin reaction that happens when you come into direct contact with an irritant such as bleach and detergents, solvents and plants.
Allergic contact dermatitis happens when you are allergic to a certain substance that triggers a reaction in your skin. It is usually caused by touching a substance directly but can sometimes occur after ingesting certain foods or medicine.
While initially thought to be rare, data indicates that allergic contact dermatitis affects close to 20% of children.
Preventing Contact Dermatitis
The best way to find relief from symptoms of contact dermatitis is to avoid exposure to the irritant or allergen in the first place. However, some people might not be sure what is triggering their symptoms. In that case, it may be wise to visit an allergist so that they can perform an evaluation, along with allergy testing to identify your triggers.
Your provider can give you a list of products that contain the substances you are reactive to in order to help you know what to avoid.
Soothing Your Symptoms
If you developed a rash, there are several methods for soothing your inflamed skin. These include:
- Using an anti-itch ointment such as hydrocortisone.
- Taking an oral antihistamine like Benadryl.
- Applying a cool, wet compress to the rash.
- Soaking in a cool bath. You can use an oatmeal-based bath product for extra soothing effects.
- Avoid scratching your skin. Make sure to trim your nails and wrap the rash in dressing if you are struggling not to itch.
- Avoid the sun while the rash heals.
- In more severe cases, your medical provider might prescribe steroid creams, ointments or other medication to reduce any swelling and itching.
If you would like more information or wish to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists, contact Carolina Pines ENT today.