How to handle your contact dermatitis

contact dermatitis

How to handle your contact dermatitis

If you have contact dermatitis, you’re probably more than familiar with that feeling of hot sandpaper being dragged over your skin that can arise simply from washing your hands. And in the past year, your skin is probably red raw after we were advised to sing happy birthday, not once, but twice, while scrubbing our palms to stop the spread of the virus.

Contact dermatitis can be extremely painful and cause real problems for sufferers. If you’re looking for ways you can help mend your dermatitis, we recommend talking to your doctor. Ask them what they can do for you.

Preventative measures 

The only effective way to treat contact dermatitis long term is to identify the trigger and avoid it. While steroids and other creams will definitely help, they don’t get to the root of the problem.

If you come in contact with any irritants, wash the area and dry it thoroughly. It’s much easier said than done, but avoid scratching the area. If you really can’t hold it any longer, rubbing or lightly slapping the affected area is a good middle ground. It offers relief but isn’t as damaging as scratching. 

Using a moisturiser or barrier cream is a fantastic preventative measure too. With regular application, the area stays moisturised, instead of turning dry, itchy, and painful. Just ensure it isn’t fragranced.

Treatments 

Your doctor or allergist will likely prescribe you a steroid cream and/or barrier cream. But here are some other treatments you can try. 

Contact dermatitis can often feel hot to the touch and a cold compress can provide relief. And for the days when you can’t stop yourself from scratching, over-the-counter antihistamines might help too. Though when it comes to medicine, we recommend talking to your doctor first.

Topically applying vitamin E to the affected area may help as it’s an anti-inflammatory and provides relief from itching. Honey can also be applied topically as it’s a powerful, natural antiseptic with antibacterial properties. Honey also keeps skin moist, but not oily. Again, anything applied topically can make it worse, especially if your dermatitis is severe, so consult with a specialist first.

Contact dermatitis can cause serious pain and discomfort. If you suspect you have contact dermatitis, get in touch with a doctor or allergist as soon as possible to prevent the condition from worsening.

Need help managing your contact dermatitis? Get in contact with the London Allergy and Immunology Centre today. Our team of experts can help you manage any allergies and regain control of your life. Call us now on 02031 433 449.

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