Dr. Davis says allergic dermatitis means a substance is causing an allergic reaction on your skin. But irritant contact dermatitis means your skin is inflamed from repeated exposure to something.
Is dermatitis an allergy?
Dermatitis is the medical term for skin inflammation (irritation). Contact dermatitis is an allergic or irritant reaction that causes a painful or itchy skin rash. As the name suggests, you get contact dermatitis from coming into contact with an allergen (like poison ivy) or an irritant (like a chemical).
What’s another name for contact dermatitis?
Allergic contact dermatitis (ACD) is a form of contact dermatitis that is the manifestation of an allergic response caused by contact with a substance; the other type being irritant contact dermatitis (ICD).
What allergy medicine is best for contact dermatitis?
A nonprescription oral corticosteroid or antihistamine, such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl), may be helpful if your itching is severe. Apply cool, wet compresses. Moisten soft washcloths and hold them against the rash to soothe your skin for 15 to 30 minutes. Repeat several times a day.
What is the most common cause of contact dermatitis?
Nickel. Nickel is the most frequent cause of allergic contact dermatitis.
How long can allergic contact dermatitis last?
Contact dermatitis usually occurs on areas of your body that have been directly exposed to the reaction-causing substance — for example, along a calf that brushed against poison ivy or under a watchband. The rash usually develops within minutes to hours of exposure and can last two to four weeks.
Is contact dermatitis always itchy?
In nearly all cases of contact dermatitis, a rash will develop after exposure to an allergen or irritant. This rash may appear red on lighter skin tones, while on darker skin tones, it may appear dark brown, purple, or gray. In most cases of contact dermatitis, the rash will be discolored and itchy, and it may sting.
Can allergic dermatitis spread?
Allergic contact dermatitis frequently appears to spread over time. In fact, this represents delayed reactions to the allergens. Several factors may produce the false impression that the dermatitis is spreading or is contagious. Heavily contaminated areas may break out first, followed by areas of lesser exposure.
Does contact dermatitis go away by itself?
Most cases of contact dermatitis go away on their own once the substance is no longer in contact with the skin. Here are some tips you can try at home: Avoid scratching your irritated skin. Scratching can make the irritation worse or even cause a skin infection that requires antibiotics.
Is dermatitis caused by stress?
Anxiety and stress are common triggers that cause eczema to flare up, which then creates more anxiety and stress, which then leads to more eczema flare-ups.
What cream is best for dermatitis?
Mild skin inflammations usually respond to over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream. To reduce inflammation and heal the irritation of most types of dermatitis, a doctor usually recommends a prescription corticosteroid cream and might prescribe an oral antihistamine to relieve severe itching.
Is Vaseline good for dermatitis?
Petroleum jelly is often used to treat eczema due to its ability to gently hydrate, moisturize, and heal injured skin. The ointment provides a thick protective layer to sensitive skin, which helps relieve itchiness, flakiness, and inflammation.
What are the stages of contact dermatitis?
Allergic contact dermatitis has two distinct phases: the sensitization phase and the elicitation phase. The sensitization phase is when the skin first comes in contact with the offending substance. The elicitation phase is when the symptoms appear.
Can antihistamines help contact dermatitis?
Oral antihistamines may help diminish pruritus caused by allergic contact dermatitis.
What happens if contact dermatitis is not treated?
When left untreated, contact dermatitis can develop into an escalating cycle of itching, scratching and inflammation. In some cases, the excessive scratching can introduce bacteria or fungus into layers of the skin, resulting in infections that can be serious in some people.
What causes contact dermatitis to flare up?
External triggers, like allergens and irritants, may make contact with your skin and start a flare-up. Internal triggers, like food allergies and stress, may cause an increase in inflammation in the body that leads to a bad rash.