Contact dermatitis is a condition that occurs when a substance which comes in contact with your skin, produces inflammatory changes or an allergic reaction giving rise to irritation, rash, itching, and so on. Contact dermatitis develops within few hours after contact with the offending agent. Dermatitis may be localized to a particular area, or may spread far beyond the original point of contact. The condition is not contagious nor is it life threatening, however it is definitely troublesome for the patient.
With industrialization and increasing use of chemicals and synthetics, the incidence of contact dermatitis is on rise.
Contact dermatitis is successfully treated once the offending agent is identified. Avoiding the offending substance resolves the symptoms of contact dermatitis within few weeks. However, failure to discover the cause can result into chronic eczema other chronic skin problems.
Symptoms Of Allergic Contact Dermatitis
Let us know the symptoms of contact dermatitis.
The symptoms of contact allergic dermatitis appear within few hours after the contact with the allergen. It starts as inflammation and red bumps on the skin that has come in contact with the substance. Extreme itching in that area is characteristic feature of contact dermatitis. After few days the skin may become parched and dry. The lesion may look similar to a burn lesion.
Severe form of contact allergy may give rise to fluid filled blisters, which may burst later on releasing watery fluid. Mostly the rash is limited only to the area of contact, but in some cases it may spread to other parts of the body. The skin may become dark and leathery. There may be swelling in eyes, face and genital areas in some patients.
Home Remedies For Contact Dermatitis
Some of things that you can try at home to treat contact dermatitis are:
- If you have identified the agent which is responsible for contact allergic dermatitis, avoid its contact.
- Witch hazel is a time tested home remedy used for treating contact dermatitis. To gain quick relief from itching and burning, apply emollients and ointments containing Witch hazel on the affected part of the skin.
- You can also apply cold water compresses on the affected skin. It soothes the inflamed and irritated skin.
- You can also apply soaked salt water cloth over the lesion. It helps to soothe the skin.
- Aloe vera is another effective natural remedy that has been found to successfully treat contact allergy symptoms. Apply aloe vera juice liberally on the affected area two to three times in a day.
- Many people have found relief from contact allergy symptoms by applying coconut oil.
- Applying cold milk to the affected area also gives favorable result in case of contact dermatitis.
- Dermatologists usually suggest a common OTC product lacto calamine lotion for local application.
How To Prevent Contact Dermatitis?
- Identify and avoid contact with the substance that is responsible for causing contact dermatitis.
- Wash the area immediately with water and mild soap which comes in contact with allergic substance.
- Wear gloves while working with substance that are usually responsible for allergic reaction. For e.g. if you are allergic to detergents, wear rubber gloves while washing your clothes or washing the utensils.
- Use mild skin cleanser while washing your hands.
- Apply a barrier cream. It helps to protect the skin layer from contact with the substances.
- Use soaps and detergents without scent.
- While working use protective clothing that prevents direct contact with the irritating substance.