Contact Dermatitis

What is Contact Dermatitis?

Contact dermatitis is when a person’s skin becomes red, rashy and itchy after direct contact with a chemical, substance, or object. Causes as to why a person’s body reacts to contact dermatitis vary but some of the most common reasons are due to allergic reactions or a protective layer on the skin getting damaged. The rash that the individual gets life-threatening or contagious but is often very uncomfortable. Common substances can initiate the rash include soaps, cosmetics, fragrances, jewelry, and plants. Luckily, treatment is easy with the infected area healing on its own. However, since the healing process can be uncomfortable, moisturizers like Moisture-All come in handy to ease the irritation and restore the skin.

What Causes Contact Dermatitis?

There are three main types of contact dermatitis: allergic, irritant, and photocontact. If the reaction is caused by an allergic trigger, the immune system gets involved. After an individual get in contact with something that they’re allergic to, the body thinks it’s being threatened. It sends antibodies to the “infected” area. This releases chemicals like histamine. As a result, an allergic reaction happens, which causes the skin to become red and itchy. Photocontact dermatitis is less common. This occurs when a skin type product is exposed to the sun and ultimately results in irritation on the skin. Irritant dermatitis is the most common type of dermatitis. This most often happens when the skin comes in contact with a toxic material. These substances may include bleach, battery acid, detergents, pepper spray, and more. The substances don’t need to be classified under “toxic” to irritate the skin either. Materials like soap or even water could stimulate irritation and cause contact dermatitis.

Contact Dermatitis Symptoms

The symptoms of contact dermatitis vary depending on the type of reaction (allergic, irritant, or photocontact) and what the individual is exposed to. Reactions usually occur in the areas that were directly exposed to the substance. The rash usually develops within minutes to hours from the time of exposure and can last anywhere from two to four weeks. Physical symptoms include:

  • A red rash
  • Itchy irritated skin
  • Dry, cracked, scaly skin
  • Bumps and blisters sometimes with oozing and crusting
  • Burning
  • Swelling or tenderness
  • Skin that appears darkened or leathery
  • Sun sensitivity
  • Ulcerations

Contact Dermatitis Treatment

Typically, contact dermatitis will heal on its own in time and after the substance is no longer in contact with the skin. Although it heals on its own, the recovery process can be uncomfortable. Summers Laboratories offers dry skin products that are formulated to help ease irritation and discomfort. Cutemol Emollient Cream and Moisture-All are great resources for preserving the skin’s natural moisture and restoring relief to  the infected area. All you need to do is apply and relax.