What Is Contact Dermatitis and How to Treat It

Contact dermatitis, or eczema, is a type of reaction in the skin that occurs due to the contact of any substance or object that is irritating, which causes allergy or inflammation on the skin, generating symptoms such as itching, redness and intense swelling.

The treatment of contact dermatitis is made in accordance with the severity of symptoms, and should be indicated by the dermatologist, which typically indicates the use of ointments or creams with corticoids with the goal of relieving symptoms related to inflammation. Contact dermatitis is not catching, since it is not contagious, since it is an overreaction of the body of the person.

Symptoms of contact dermatitis

The main symptoms of contact dermatitis are:

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  • Redness and itching at the site;
  • Flaking and small polka dots with or without liquid, in the affected region;
  • Swelling of the affected region;
  • The presence of small wounds on the skin;
  • Extremely dry skin.

When the dermatitis is caused not by an allergy, but an irritation on the skin, the affected region can be similar in appearance to a sunburn, especially when there has been contact with some substance acidic or corrosive. In cases of allergy, the doctor can do an allergy test to try to identify the substance that could be causing this irritation of the skin.

Contact dermatitis can be classified into two main types: allergic and irritativa. The allergic contact dermatitis is usually discovered in infancy and in people who have another type of allergy, and symptoms can appear immediately or up to 6 days after contact with the irritant. In the case of irritant dermatitis, symptoms can appear soon after contact with the causative agent of irritation and it can happen in any person, and is often related with the use of jewelry, cosmetics, and cleaning products, for example.

How is it treated

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The treatment of contact dermatitis should be done as per the guidance of the doctor in order to have chance of a cure. Thus, it is also important to avoid contact with the irritating substance, in addition to rinse the spot with cold water and abundant.

In some cases, the doctor may also recommend spending a cream with anti-histamine or steroids at the site of the allergy until the improvement of symptoms. In addition, you may be instructed to take an antihistamine, such as Cetirizine, to control the symptoms faster.

The cure time takes about 3 weeks in the case of allergy, and in the case of an irritant dermatitis, the symptoms can be controlled in only 4 days after the treatment can be started.

Creams for contact dermatitis

Ointments or lotions with corticoids are the most indicated for the treatment of this type of allergy, and the hydrocortisone the most suitable for the face. When the skin is very dry it is more recommended to use ointments, but when the skin is more moist, the creams or lotions may be indicated.

At home treatment

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A good home treatment for contact dermatitis is to wash the affected region with the cold tea of plantain due to its properties anti-histamínicas natural. To make the tea, just add in a quart of boiling water, 30 grams of leaves of plantain, cover and leave to cool. Then strain and wash the region with this tea 2 to 3 times per day.