Contact dermatitis is a physical reaction of the skin to certain allergens or substances that potently cause allergies or reactions.
The skin infection is brought about by the effects on the skin of certain irritants.
There are basically four kinds or classifications of contact dermatitis that are usually diagnosed by doctors and dermatologists. These are irritant contact dermatitis (ICD), allergic contact dermatitis (ACD), photocontact dermatitis (PCD) and contact urticaria.
Those types or classification of contact dermatitis can be hardly identified and distinguished by ordinary people, but the nature and cause of the skin infection can be determined through them.
A trivial fact about contact dermatitis is that in the United States, most recorded and diagnosed cases occur more in adults than children and the elderly.
Causes of contact dermatitis
Various allergens or allergy-causing substances can be cited for the onset of contact dermatitis. But reported cases of such skin infection points out to several factors or things that trigger the reaction.
The most common sources of contact dermatitis allergens are soaps and perfumes. It is because the use of such substances is somehow inevitable that make the problem hard to contain.
Contact dermatitis can also be caused by your skin’s reaction to drool, to detergents, to several allergy-causing foods and to lotions especially those with harsh ingredients.
Some plants are also identified to produce enzymes that may lead to the onset of contact dermatitis. Among these plants are poison ivy.
There are also about 3,000 chemicals that are identified to cause contact dermatitis. Among them are those that are based on common metals like mercury, chrome and nickel.
Some cosmetics can also irritate the skin and trigger the appearance of contact dermatitis manifestation in the skin. Permanent hair dyes, eye shadows, lipstick, clothing dyes, sunscreens and nail polishes are the identified cosmetic lines that cause such skin infection.
Manifestations of contact dermatitis
Several symptoms are pointed to the onset of contact dermatitis. However, it should be noted that for different individuals, the symptoms may vary. To be sure, further advice and check up from a dermatologist should be obtained.
Contact dermatitis occurs when there is swelling or mild redness in the skin. The appearance of the infected spot could clearly not be mistaken for common insect bites.
There is also blistering in the affected skin area, as well as itching. It is surely contact dermatitis when there is a temporary thickening or scaling in the infected skin portion.
Treatment and prevention
To treat contact dermatitis, the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology advises people diagnosed that have the skin infection to do the following simple, yet effective remedies.
– Wash thoroughly the infected skin part with soap and ample water. Immediately do this at the initial appearance of symptoms.
– Throw away or carefully wash all clothing and objects that have come into contact or touched plants or chemicals that contain contact dermatitis allergens.
– Relieve and soothe skin inflammation or the infected part with a cold compress especially if the blisters break or crack.
– If the symptoms show severity, do not hesitate to consult a physician or dermatologist.
Baths using lukewarm water are also known to help soothe and rapidly control the skin infection.
As for the prevention, the best way is to avoid all identified allergens.