Contact dermatitis is a common skin condition that results in an itchy rash. The rash is caused by your skin coming into contact with an allergic substance.
Some of the most common allergens associated with contact dermatitis are:
- Harsh chemicals
- Plants, including poison ivy
You may have contact dermatitis if you are experiencing these common signs and symptoms:
- A concentrated rash
- Uncontrollable itching
- Dark, leathery patches of skin
- Dry, cracked, or scaly skin
- Bumps or blisters that may ooze liquid
- Swelling, burning, or pain
These symptoms usually occur within days of being exposed to the allergic substance. Contact dermatitis symptoms including the rash usually resolve in 2 to 4 weeks.
For uncomfortable, itchy symptoms of contact dermatitis, you can try a few simple treatments at home, including:
- Anti-itch sprays, lotions, or creams
- Oatmeal baths like Aveeno
- Antihistamine medications
For severe contact dermatitis symptoms, you should visit your allergist, who may recommend treatments like these:
- Prescription strength oral and topical antihistamine medications
- Steroid medications to relieve itching
- Lotions or creams containing antibiotics or cortisone
Your allergist may also recommend allergy testing, to find out what allergens are causing your contact dermatitis. When you know what you are allergic to, it’s much easier to avoid the allergen, and avoid contact dermatitis.
Your allergist can test for allergies using skin testing. During a skin test, a tiny amount of allergen is placed under your skin. A positive reaction like redness or swelling indicates you are allergic to that substance.
Your allergist can provide options to help prevent allergic episodes, including:
- Allergy injections
- Sublingual immunotherapy
- Topical and oral antihistamines
- Topical and oral steroids
Contact dermatitis can make you uncomfortable and self-conscious. Fortunately, your allergist can help you get relief from contact dermatitis. To find out more about the causes, signs, symptoms, and treatment of contact dermatitis, talk with an expert. Call your allergist today.