Contact dermatitis can take many forms on the body and can vary in severity, from minor dryness to severe rashes. Although it is not life-threatening, it can cause chronic discomfort for those suffering from it. Contact dermatitis is your body’s allergic reaction to a substance you have come in contact with.
Typically, it is visibly present in the hands and fingers (see this article for more info about contact dermatitis in the fingers). Subsequently, this makes sense as these parts of your body are your touch points for many substances. However, treating contact dermatitis can be extremely difficult.
Symptoms of Contact Dermatitis
So how do you know if you are suffering from contact dermatitis? Symptoms can range from mild dryness and flakiness on the skin to blistering and open sores. Here is the full range of possible symptoms:
- dry skin
- flaky, scaly skin
- redness on skin
- extreme itching
- skin that burns
- sun sensitivity
- skin that appears leathery
- cracking skin from dryness
- skin that feels stiff or tight
- open sores
So what are the causes of contact dermatitis? Throughout your day, you come into contact with wide variety of different substances. One of these substances is what is triggering an allergic reaction in the form of contact dermatitis . The following are known culprits for triggering this allergic reaction:
- your mouse or keyboard
- household cleaning products
- hair or makeup products
- gold, silver, or nickel from jewelry or watches
- poison ivy
- pesticides, possibly from produce
- perfumes or deodorants
Unfortunately, treatment can be extremely difficult. If you are having severe reactions, you should see a doctor or medical professional. Next, you should attempt to avoid what is causing your contact dermatitis and begin treating it.
What makes treating contact dermatitis so difficult is narrowing down what is causing the allergic reaction. Unfortunately, this task could be impossible. Typically, it is caused by a new substance being introduced into your day to day life. Take some time to think about when your contact dermatitis started and what new object was introduced into your life at the time. Furthermore, creating a dairy could aid in narrowing down the allergen. Everyday, keep a log over everything you touch including the time. Additionally, begin writing down when your contact dermatitis is the worst. Finally, comparing when your worst reactions occur and what you were touching could indicate what is causing the problem.
Treating Contact Dermatitis
Removing the substance causing your contact dermatitis will drastically improve your condition. However, in the mean time, there are a number techniques and over the counter products you can use to improve your condition.
- Make a habit of washing your hands regularly as this will help to remove the substance that is causing your allergic reaction.
- Avoid itching or scratching the contaminated area.
- Continue to moisturize the contaminated area. If you have extreme itchiness or dryness, try using a natural all-in-one moisturizer/anti-itch cream to soothe the affected area. This cream by Era Organics makes an excellent lotion for these purposes.
- Wear protective equipment for the affected area.
- Take an antihistamine drug to reduce your allergic response. These are easily available at your local pharmacy.