What you need to know about contact dermatitis

atopic eczema

What you need to know about contact dermatitis

Fun fact: your skin is the largest organ of your body. You should love the skin you’re in and treat it right. Keep it well moisturised, don’t damage it with too much sun, and enjoy what life gave you. But, for some people, it isn’t that easy.

Their skin might be more sensitive than other people’s and they might be prone to breaking out in a condition. For some, it may be bouts of acne. For others, it could be eczema. Or it might be contact dermatitis, a reaction to certain materials or substances coming into contact with your skin. 

It affects 15 to 20% of people during their lifetime and can be caused by an irritant on the skin or something they are directly allergic to. So how do people cope with contact dermatitis and how can you minimise its impact on you?


First, let’s look at what contact dermatitis can do to your skin. Signs of the condition include dry, itchy skin, potentially with painful blisters and cracks. There might be a noticeable red rash and it could happen within a few hours of coming into contact with an irritant or maybe even a few days.

While it can affect any part of your body, it tends to happen mostly around your hands and face. These are the areas most likely to come into contact with the irritant, so that makes sense.

Can you prevent contact dermatitis?

While you can’t 100% guarantee never having a reaction again, there are ways you could potentially decrease the chances. What’s helpful at this point is knowing what causes your reactions. Some people, for example, react to metals, such as those in jewellery. Or it could be because of a certain perfume or detergent you use.

If you know what causes your reaction, it’s easier to avoid it. If you aren’t sure, then it’s best to talk to a doctor or allergy specialist about it. They can take you through the process to discover what causes your reactions. It’s best to seek professional help rather than trying to figure it out yourself.

Other than that, you should always treat your skin right. Wash your hands in warm water, not hot water, and use soap gently. Do the same when drying them. Talk with your doctor about what soaps to use and any moisturisers they recommend.

Living with contact dermatitis isn’t nice, but it is manageable. If you ever need help, your doctor will always be happy to help.

For more advice, talk to one of our allergy specialists. We have the expertise to deal with a range of allergies and give you the advice you need. To find out more, get in touch on 02031 433 449.

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