What happens when you have contact dermatitis?

Contact dermatitis is a red, itchy rash caused by direct contact with a substance or an allergic reaction to it. The rash isn’t contagious or life-threatening, but it can be very uncomfortable. Many substances can cause such reactions, including soaps, cosmetics, fragrances, jewelry and plants.

What could happen if you got contact dermatitis?

Contact dermatitis causes the skin to become itchy, blistered, dry and cracked. Lighter skin can become red, and darker skin can become dark brown, purple or grey. This reaction usually occurs within a few hours or days of exposure to an irritant or allergen.

How do you fix contact dermatitis?

To help reduce itching and soothe inflamed skin, try these self-care approaches:

  1. Avoid the irritant or allergen. …
  2. Apply an anti-itch cream or lotion to the affected area. …
  3. Take an oral anti-itch drug. …
  4. Apply cool, wet compresses. …
  5. Avoid scratching. …
  6. Soak in a comfortably cool bath. …
  7. Protect your hands.

Does contact dermatitis go away?

Contact dermatitis symptoms usually go away in two to three weeks. If you continue to contact the allergen or irritant, your symptoms will most likely return. As long as you avoid contact with the allergen or irritant, you will probably have no symptoms.

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What can trigger contact dermatitis?

Common causes of irritant contact dermatitis include:

  • Acids.
  • Alkalis like drain cleaners.
  • Body fluids, including urine and saliva.
  • Certain plants, such as poinsettias and peppers.
  • Hair dyes.
  • Nail polish remover or other solvents.
  • Paints and varnishes.
  • Harsh soaps or detergents.

What happens if you leave dermatitis untreated?

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.

Does contact dermatitis get worse before better?

“It typically can worsen over time. The initial rash may be relatively mild,” he says. “And each subsequent time you’re exposed, it can actually get worse and worse until it reaches a maximum severity.”

What does dermatitis contact look like?

A red rash. Itching, which may be severe. Dry, cracked, scaly skin. Bumps and blisters, sometimes with oozing and crusting.

Can I spread my contact dermatitis?

Irritant Contact Dermatitis should not spread. The irritant affects the area where it came in contact with the skin. If the rash spreads to other parts of the body, you may have an Allergic Contact Dermatitis reaction. This type of contact dermatitis is immune-related and can spread away from the site of the rash.

How can I make dermatitis go away?

These self-care habits can help you manage dermatitis and feel better:

  1. Moisturize your skin. …
  2. Use anti-inflammation and anti-itch products. …
  3. Apply a cool wet cloth. …
  4. Take a comfortably warm bath. …
  5. Use medicated shampoos. …
  6. Take a dilute bleach bath. …
  7. Avoid rubbing and scratching. …
  8. Choose mild laundry detergent.
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What cream is best for contact dermatitis?

Topical corticosteroids (also known as steroid creams) are typically the first-line treatment for contact dermatitis. 9 Hydrocortisone (in stronger formulation than OTC options), triamcinolone, and clobetasol are commonly prescribed. These can help reduce itching and irritation, and they work rather quickly.