If the surface of your skin has a rash or itchy area, then you may be suffering from contact dermatitis. The following information will discuss what contact dermatitis is, what causes it, what symptoms are associated with it, and how you can treat it.
WHAT IS CONTACT DERMATITIS?
Contact dermatitis is a skin inflammation that results from direct contact with a trigger substance. If you experience contact dermatitis, that does not necessarily mean that you have a predisposition to allergic disease.
There are two basic types of contact dermatitis:
- Irritant contact dermatitis. This condition is caused when your body comes into direct contact with solvents, chemicals, or other substances that irritate the skin.
- Allergic contact dermatitis. This occurs when your skin comes into contact with an allergen that triggers an immune system response. Substances like latex, perfumes, topical medications, and cosmetic items often cause this type of dermatitis.
SYMPTOMS AND TREATMENT
- A reddish rash
- Moderate to severe itching
- Dry or scaly skin
- Oozing bumps and blisters
- Inflammation or tenderness
There are several treatment options for contact dermatitis. Certain medications may prove helpful in controlling symptoms, such as topically applied steroid creams or ointments, and corticosteroids, antihistamines, and/or antibiotics taken orally. Over the counter anti-itch creams and drugs may also prove effective.
In addition, complete avoidance of the irritant or allergen is usually a viable option to prevent future outbreaks. If you need to handle potential irritants like cleaning agents, make sure that your skin is well-protected by gloves or a solid barrier material when doing so.
If you suffer from contact dermatitis, then a trained allergist can help you determine what is triggering your symptoms. At Allergy and Asthma Care of Waco, our helpful and knowledgeable staff can provide you with an accurate diagnosis, and then guide you towards the best treatment options for your situation.