Contact dermatitis is a localized rash or skin irritation resulting from contact with irritants or substances you are allergic to. Inflammation occurs in the outermost layer of skin, called the epidermis, and the layer beneath it called the dermis. Discomfort is often present with burning and/or itching in potentially large areas. The affected area often takes from days to weeks to heal. However, if contact with the irritant continues, the skin rash will not clear until the irritant is removed. In addition, the condition can become chronic. If you are experiencing skin irritation that will not heal, a dermatologist in Fort Worth, TX can help you. Contact Compassion Dermatology today to schedule a consultation.
Irritant Vs. Allergic Contact Dermatitis
Irritant dermatitis typically affect only the skin actually in contact with the irritant. On the other hand, allergic dermatitis can affect larger areas. Sings and symptoms of either condition can include:
- Red rash is the most common sign, and appears quickly after contact in irritant dermatitis. A skin rash may not develop in allergic dermatitis for 24 to 72 hours after exposure to the allergen. The rash is raised and may be weeping, crusty or welted.
- Irritant dermatitis is typically more painful and burning than itchy, its symptoms may include blisters or welts. Allergic dermatitis tends to be more itchy than painful. A dermatologist in Fort Worth, TX can help you with either type of dermatitis. We can prescribe a treatment plan for your dermatitis that will soothe the itch and burning, and promote the healing of your skin.
- Blisters, welts and hives typically form in the shape of the irritant of exposure.
A Compassion Dermatology dermatologist in Fort Worth, TX can identify dermatitis, its type and an effective treatment for you.
There are a number of potential irritants that may be involved with allergic dermatitis. Common causes include nickle, gold, chromium, poison oak, poison, sumac or poison ivy. In addition, latex (such as gloves or bandages), detergents, cleaners, perfumes, dyes and many others may be causing your skin rash. Sources include jewelry, the metal in jeans, cosmetics and hair dyes, and even foods, for example. A number of children often experience a burning rash around their mouth after eating certain fruits. It can be prevented by rinsing the affected area off after eating. If the rash extends to the inside of the mouth see your pediatrician.
Irritant Contact Dermatitis
This category of contact dermatitis is commonly caused by either chemical irritants, such as solvents or alkali, for example, or physical irritants, such as the plant poison ivy.
An example of a common form of contact dermatitis is a baby’s diaper rash. The following tips treat and can prevent diaper rash:
- Change a soiled or wet diaper as soon as possible.
- If you use baby wipes, be sure to use wipes that are alcohol and fragrance free. Otherwise use water and a soft washcloth. For severe rashes, gently rinse the area with lukewarm water and allow to air dry. Allow the child to go without a diaper as long as possible when a diaper rash is present.
- Use a zinc oxide diaper rash cream to act as a barrier and promote healing. Apply the cream liberally.
- Watch for the signs of a skin infection. Potential signs include blisters, fever, infectious drainage, a rash that worsens or will not resolve and a fussy baby or one in obvious pain. If your child appears to have a worsening rash or signs of infection, contact your pediatrician, or contact a dermatologist in Fort Worth, TX.
Allergic dermatitis relies on identification of the allergen, in order to avoid it and future problems. Patch testing is used to identify potential allergies. In the patch test, small amounts of potential allergens are applied to adhesive patches, and are placed on the skin. The patches remain on the skin for a few days, afterwards, the skin is checked for a reaction. In general, contact dermatitis may also depends on tissue morphology, immunological findings and histology to assist in the diagnosis. Irritants may also cross over into both allergic and irritant contact dermatitis. Contact a Compassion Dermatology dermatologist in Fort Worth, TX today to schedule a consultation for your skin problems.
At Home Care
Use the following tips for self care when you or a loved one experience contact dermatitis. If improvement is not noted within a few days, contact Compassion Dermatology to schedule a consultation with a dermatologist in Fort Worth, TX:
- Use calamine lotion for itching
- Apply cold, moist compresses to blistered areas for 30 minutes, 3 times a day
- Talk to your doctor about using oral antihistamines, such as Benadryl to relieve itching
- Avoid scratching the affected area, and trim your nails or cover the area with a bandage to protect it
- After contact with a known allergen or irritant, wash with soap and cool water
When to Contact a Dermatologist in Fort Worth, TX
When the rash fails to improve after 2 to 3 days of home care, or when the pain and/or itching is intense or worsening, contact your doctor or a dermatologist in Fort Worth, TX. Treatment of contact dermatitis typically consists of lotions, creams and or oral medications. At Compassion Dermatology, you will experience the commitment of our experienced medical staff to resolve your skin issues with a holistic approach. Give us a call today.