The most common type of inflammatory dermatological condition, contact dermatitis (CD) can occur when the skin touches an irritant. Sensitivity to soaps and bleaches, chemicals and solvents, plants and some food, cosmetics, and medications may cause contact dermatitis.
How do you get rid of contact dermatitis?
You may not need a doctor’s visit to get rid of the condition unless it does not disappear within two to four weeks. Quite often, you can take care of it at home with some simple remedies. If it does not heal by then, a dermatologist can prescribe effective treatment. Avoiding contact with substances that trigger it provides the best way to deal with it. However, these steps can help resolve the discomfort.
After you clean the contact dermatitis area with lukewarm water, gently dry it. Dip a folded washcloth in a bowl of cold water, squeeze it almost dry, and lay it on the affected area. Let it remain in place for about 10 minutes, and repeat the process as time allows several times during the day to relieve pain and itching.
While it may sound strange and a little messy, you may get relief from taking an oatmeal bath. Not the same kind of grain you eat for breakfast, colloidal oatmeal dissolves in warm water and turns white. Soaking for 10 or 15 minutes can relieve itching and make your skin feel soft. If you get any other reaction or if the rash continues, contact a dermatologist.
The itch, pain, and stinging of contact dermatitis may lessen if you apply a moisturizer several times a day. Products that have no fragrance or allergens provide the best results. In addition, you may choose to continue moisturizing to promote smoothness and prevent dry and cracked skin after it heals.
What triggers contact dermatitis?
Avoidance of causes provides the best defense against dermatitis. You may not easily find the cause, but scratching can make the irritation worse. Some substances you regularly touch may change in composition and cause an unexpected outbreak.
A rash can occur as a reaction to the elements in laundry or dishwashing detergents. The manufacturer may have changed the formula, making a product cause contact dermatitis. In addition, your repeated exposure to a particular substance may produce an itchy and painful patch on your skin.
Something as hard to avoid as dust makes it almost impossible to escape an ever-present trigger. Airborne irritants in dust can initiate your case of contact dermatitis. As your body detects the presence of dust mites on your skin, it reacts by causing pain and itching.
A reaction to latex gloves may cause contact dermatitis over time if you wear them every day. When an itchy inflammation appears on your hands, you may want to find an alternative type of glove that does not contain latex.
Some of the ingredients in cosmetics that make nails glisten may cause contact dermatitis and secondary infections as well. While not very pleasing to think about, nail cosmetics contain solvents, resins, plasticizers, and other components that can cause irritation. Keeping polish or acrylic nails on too long can contribute to the condition. Thus, taking an occasional hiatus from nail treatments may prevent issues.
Fragrances and cleaning agents in shampoo can do more than the job manufacturers want them to do. Intended to promote healthy hair and scalp, they may create a dry and itchy scalp instead. Some ingredients that extend the shelf life of shampoo or make it thick can produce unhealthy outcomes. In addition, they may affect your ears and eyelids, face, and neck.
The chlorine that makes pools safe for swimming can produce a drying effect on your skin or make an existing rash worsen. Instead of abandoning a delightful activity, shower soon after a swim and apply moisturizer.
How long does it take for contact dermatitis to go away?
Everything depends on how soon you can identify the offending agent and remove it from contact. Starting then, it can take up to four weeks for it to go away. Identification of the trigger can become difficult because symptoms may not show up for up to seven days.
In most cases, the identification process becomes easier when symptoms appear within a few hours of contacting the irritant. While cold compresses, moisturizers, and oatmeal baths can somewhat alleviate the discomfort, pain, and itchiness you experience, other treatments can make contact dermatitis go away sooner.
Speeding Up Recovery Time
You may eventually need to visit a dermatologist for treatments that require a prescription. Until then, however, you may acquire others over the counter at your grocery or drugstore. The annoyance and discomfort of contact dermatitis can cause you to seek an alternative to waiting for a long recovery process.
Anti-itch cream can combat the urge to scratch contact dermatitis areas. The severe itching of the skin may respond to a 1 percent hydrocortisone creams such as Cortizone 10 or other over-the-counter remedies that require no prescription. Letting it cool in the refrigerator adds to the comfort it provides. A few days of applying a cream two to four times a day can show its effectiveness. However, hydrocortisone can create untoward outcomes with extended use.
• Calamine Lotion
Zinc oxide in calamine lotion works to protect the skin and relieve itching. In addition, the combination of components seems to prevent any infections from getting worse. Also providing an extra measure of comfort, cooled calamine may soothe and calm itchy skin.
Calamine lotion relieves itching for many people and helps control weeping rashes with an application of up to four times a day. However, the distinctive pink color of the liquid announces your condition to anyone you meet. In addition, your skin may react to some of the ingredients and make the condition worsen.
• Topical Steroids
You may find a mild steroid cream, ointment or lotion that does not require a prescription. If the over-the-counter options do not provide the relief you need, then a dermatologist can provide treatment that does.
Does contact dermatitis go away by itself?
While you can neither get the condition from someone else nor give it either, contact dermatitis can go away within a few weeks if you can stand to bear it that long. Avoiding touching the substances that trigger its onset can prevent it from revitalizing. Usually lasting up to four days with home treatment for discomfort, it often goes away on its own.
When do I need to see a dermatologist?
Two factors can help you determine when your home treatment ends and you need to seek professional help. The length of time you have contact dermatitis since you encountered a trigger that started it provides one indicator. If it does not go away within four weeks, the condition may need more treatment than you can provide without medical assistance. However, the amount of discomfort, pain, and itching you experience may matter even more. When the rashes interrupt your sleep or cause extreme distress, they give you reasons to visit a dermatologist.
Seeking Professional Care for Contact Dermatitis
Dedicated medical caregivers at Derick Dermatology can provide effective treatment to relieve the itchy and painful skin condition of contact dermatitis. In 19 state-of-the-art facilities in the Chicagoland area and two in the suburbs of Tampa Bay, FL, patients benefit from the most current treatment modalities and technologies. Issues that require medical care allow world-class professionals to identify, diagnose and treat contact dermatology and any other skin condition.
The range of specialties that patients can access at Derick Dermatology extends to cosmetic and surgical in addition to medical services. Our surgical treatments offer patients minimally invasive procedures performed in the office and allow recovery at home without a hospital stay. We can provide Mohs micrographic surgery for skin cancer, a technique that offers unique advantages. For example, it allows patients to retain more healthy skin than other types of skin cancer treatment offer because our surgeons can see where the cancer cells stop. Notably, Mohs has a high cure rate.
Our cosmetic specialty provides options for changes in appearance and outlook. We can remove skin damage, excess fat, tattoos, and unwanted hair or increase texture and smoothness with fillers and injections. As a leader in dermatology in Chicago and Tampa Bay, our experienced team offers cosmetic services that change looks and increase self-esteem.
At Derick Dermatology, our caring and compassionate professionals welcome senior, adult, and pediatric patients to our state-of-the-art facilities. We offer the depth of knowledge and understanding that can help you reach your goals of achieving the quality of skin, hair, and nail care that you deserve.
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Derick Dermatology is a leading authority in medical, surgical, and cosmetic dermatological services with 23 stunning dermatology practices in Chicago, IL, and Tampa Bay, FL. Our dedicated dermatologists offer exceptional dermatological services for both adult and pediatric patients. Please complete our online form or call our main number at (866) 337-4251 to schedule a consultation.