Hi there my beautiful lovelies! Hope you guys are doing well and staying safe. Today, I want to talk to you about something that has been bothering me for the past 4 months at a higher rate than before. It is have breaking out in red and extremely itchy rashes every easily. It’s called dermatitis.
What is Contact Dermatitis – Rashes?
According to the Mayo Clinic, contact dermatitis is red, itchy rashes caused by direct contact with a substance or an allergic reaction to it. The rashes are not contagious or life-threatening, but they can be very uncomfortable. Many substances can cause such reactions, including soaps, cosmetics, fragrances, jewelry, and plants.
Symptom of Contact Dermatitis
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. Other symptoms include,
- A red rash
- Itching, which may be severe
- Dry, cracked, scaly skin
- Bumps and blisters, sometimes with oozing and crusting
- Swelling, burning or tenderness
When I first had contact dermatitis, it started out at red, extremely itchy rashes on my cheeks and nose. The biggest I made was use light acne medicine. The rashes turned into burning and itchy crusting. The rash is so uncomfortable that I was losing sleep and was distracted from my daily activities. It was then I realized I needed to go to a dermatologist, given that I did not change my skincare routine before that.
Causes of Dermatitis
Contact dermatitis is caused by a substance you’re exposed to that irritates your skin or triggers an allergic reaction. The substance could be one of thousands of known allergens and irritants. Some of these substances may cause both irritant contact dermatitis and allergic contact dermatitis. Rashes are common symptoms.
Irritant contact dermatitis is the most common type. This nonallergic skin reaction occurs when a substance damages your skin’s outer protective layer.
Some people react to strong irritants after a single exposure. Others may develop signs and symptoms after repeated exposures to even mild irritants. And some people develop a tolerance to the substance over time.
Common irritants include:
- Rubbing alcohol
- Bleach and detergents
- Shampoos, permanent wave solutions
- Airborne substances, such as sawdust or wool dust
- Fertilizers and pesticides
What I suffered from each time is was allergic dermatitis. Allergic dermatitis occurs when a substance to which you’re sensitive (allergen) triggers an immune reaction in your skin. It usually affects only the area that came into contact with the allergen. But it may be triggered by something that enters your body through foods, flavorings, medicine, or medical or dental procedures (systemic contact dermatitis).
One may become sensitized to a strong allergen such as poison ivy after a single exposure. Weaker allergens may require multiple exposures over several years to trigger an allergy. Once you develop an allergy to a substance, even a small amount of it can cause a reaction.
Common allergens include:
- Nickel, which is used in jewelry, buckles and many other items
- Medications, such as antibiotic creams and oral antihistamines
- Balsam of Peru, which is used in many products, such as perfumes, cosmetics, mouth rinses and flavorings
- Formaldehyde, which is in preservatives, disinfectants and clothing
- Personal care products, such as deodorants, body washes, hair dyes, cosmetics and nail polish
- Plants such as poison ivy and mango, which contain a highly allergenic substance called urushiol
- Airborne substances, such as ragweed pollen and spray insecticides
- Products that cause a reaction when you’re in the sun (photoallergic contact dermatitis), such as some sunscreens and oral medications
Preventive Measures I Take:
I try to be extra careful about what I put on my skin. I use gentle cleansers and moisturizers. I also try to look for clean products when it comes to makeup and skincare products. I try to identify and avoid substances that irritate your skin or cause an allergic reaction and rashes. I use a mild, fragrance-free soap and warm water, and rinse completely. I also wash any clothing or other items that may have come into contact with a plant and other allergens. Additionally, due to my severe allergy to dust mites, I wear mask when cleaning and furnitures, and home. I also regularly applying moisturizing lotions can help restore your skin’s outermost layer and keep your skin supple.
Each time I had allergic dermatitis, I was treated with steroid cream and prednisone. Steroid cream are topically applied creams or ointments help soothe the rashes of dermatitis. A topical steroid may be applied one or two times a day for two to four weeks. Oral corticosteroids are given in severe cases to reduce inflammation, antihistamines to relieve itching or antibiotics to fight a bacterial infection.
The step for me is to go to the dermatology office to do a patch test to see if I am allergic to something. This test can be useful if the cause of the rashes isn’t apparent or if the rash recurs often, which is my case.
During a patch test, small amounts of potential allergens are applied to adhesive patches, which are then placed on the skin. The patches remain on the skin for two to three days, during which time the back is needed to kept dry. The doctor then checks for skin reactions under the patches and determines whether further testing is needed.
My dear beautiful lovelies! Hope you find this post is helpful. I would love to know if you have experienced dermatitis and how did you manage it.
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