Understanding Contact Dermatitis

Contact dermatitis is one of the most common types of skin inflammation that happens when the skin comes into contact with substances that cause an allergic reaction. More often than not, the skin may get sore, oozy, flaking, and swollen.

Contact dermatitis have two types: allergic and irritant. The latter is the most common and makes up at least 80 percent of known cases in the US alone. It happens when substances that comes into contact to the skin directly injures. Substances such as detergents, fabric softener, hair dye, cement, rubber gloves, and shampoo, may cause such an allergic reaction.

Being exposed to water and heat frequently, as some jobs may require, may also increase the chances of acquiring contact dermatitis. So the moment you notice symptoms of this type of allergy, it’s advisable to think of its root cause so it’s easier to eliminate the reason for your contact dermatitis.

Why allergic contact dermatitis occurs

When the immune system adversely reacts to a substance that you may be allergic to, the skin turns red, and becomes itchy and scaly. In some cases, that skin may become so dry, it causes flaking. If you scratch on it too much, blisters also tend to develop.

There are also cases where ingested substances can cause dermatitis that is widespread. If the itching is persistent and you can’t help but scratch your skin, you can apply diphenhydramine for instant relief.

What causes allergic dermatitis

What differentiates allergic contact dermatitis to common allergic reactions is that the latter causes the immune system to create IgE antibodies to fight off harmful substances. Allergic contact dermatitis on the other hand, is a hypersensitivity reaction that is type IV cell mediated. Although it also involves the immune system, its difference with common allergic reactions is that the body does not create IgE antibodies and instead, the T cells will be sensitized so they could respond to whatever substance you may be allergic to.

Dealing with allergic contact dermatitis

Besides applying diphenhydramine during an allergic reaction, there are also natural home remedies that you can do to deal with allergic contact dermatitis. One is the applying warm coconut oil onto the area affected, so it would soften and moisturize the skin. Plus it has a natural antimicrobial properties, which helps reduce scaling, drying, and redness of the skin in just a few days.

Vitamin E oil is also one of the easiest and best home remedies for allergic dermatitis. All you need to do is apply it on your skin before sleeping, to provide relief from inflammation and itching. If vitamin E oil is not available, you can settle on products, such as creams and lotions, that contain vitamin E.

To deal with skin irritation as well as keep the skin moisturized, you can mix a cup of ground oatmeal in your tub of bath water. Soak in it for at least fifteen minutes, everyday if possible. If you manage to do this a daily regimen for a month, you may see a drastic improvement in your skin condition.

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