Contact Dermatitis Treatment
Have you ever gotten a rash after brushing against a plant, using a certain detergent, or coming into contact with particular chemicals? If so, you’ve probably experienced contact dermatitis.
Although a red, itchy rash isn’t pleasant, in most cases contact dermatitis will resolve on its own in a few weeks. However, if you don’t know what caused the outbreak, you risk experiencing another one.
The team at IDI can determine the cause of your rash and help you treat it effectively, giving you the tools and support you need to keep your skin clear and healthy.
What is Contact Dermatitis?
Contact dermatitis is an extremely common skin condition caused by an aggressive response to certain substances. The reaction may be due to an allergy or sensitivity to a particular chemical irritant. Some common triggers include plants, cosmetic products containing fragrance, and nickel (a metal often used in jewelry-making).
The symptoms will initially appear in the area of the body that came into direct contact with the irritant, though the rash can spread if the area is scratched aggressively. The severity of the symptoms might range from mild itching and redness to significant burning, swelling, and oozing. Common indications of contact dermatitis include:
- Red rash
- Scaly, cracking skin
While an outbreak can occur after a single exposure to an allergen or irritant, many people only develop symptoms after repeated contact, leading to difficulty in determining the cause.
It is advisable to seek medical assistance for a rash or eruption if you experience the following:
- You can’t identify the cause
- The symptoms are so severe that they affect your ability to perform tasks and function normally
- The rash becomes infected.
Contact Dermatitis Diagnosis
Diagnosis will involve a visual inspection of the affected area, a discussion with your dermatologist to determine which substance or substances might have been the cause, and performing a patch test to check for an allergic response.
Treatment for contact dermatitis typically involves the application of topical steroid ointments, which hinder the inflammation response and ease irritation. If the rash is severe, oral corticosteroids may be prescribed. Antibiotics might be administered in the event of a bacterial infection.
Your dermatologist will also recommend at-home treatments for managing outbreaks, as well as strategies for avoiding the substances that trigger them.