Contact dermatitis is an inflammation of the skin caused by direct contact with an irritating or allergy-causing substance (irritant or allergen). Reactions may vary in the same person over time, but typically are manifested by an itchy, red rash. A history of any type of allergies can increase the risk for this condition; however, many allergies are new reactions to a substance to which you may have been exposed for years. Many of the everyday items in our lives can cause an allergic reaction to the skin. When left untreated, secondary bacterial skin infections may occur, as well as scarring from persistent scratching. Because it is difficult to keep small children from itching their rashes, it is important to see Dr. Myers early, as he can treat a child’s symptoms before it develops into an infection.
Common Possible Symptoms
- Itching, sometimes severe
- Tenderness, burning, or pain
- Rash that may be warm, tender, oozing, crusty, scaly, raw, thickened, red, streaky, patchy, and/or bumpy
- Red, dry, rough skin
- Blisters that may weep or crust over
- Skin rash only on the area that was exposed to the irritant or allergen
- Redness that resembles a burn
Contact Dermatitis Treatment
The first thing you should do if you suspect you have contact dermatitis is to wash your skin with soap and water – gently, but thoroughly – to remove any traces of the allergen or irritant that may still be there. If the symptoms do not resolve in a day or two, make an appointment with Dr. Myers. He can help rid you of the rash as soon as possible, as well as determine the cause of the rash. Common treatments for contact dermatitis are oral corticosteroids or antihistamine, and corticosteroid skin creams or ointments. These allergy medications will generally accelerate the healing process, relieve itching, and help you feel better, faster. Patch testing is done at Utah Valley Dermatology to identify the allergen causing the rash breakout.
If you have questions concerning Contact Dermatitis, call our office and schedule an appointment to meet with Dr. Myers. At your visit, Dr. Myers will work with you to develop an individualized treatment plan for your condition.
We also treat hand, dandruff, seborrheic, perioral, and atopic dermatitis.
Dr. David Myers
Dr. David Myers is a board certified dermatologist and Fellow of the American Society for Mohs Surgery. His expertise and attention to detail make him a trusted doctor in his community.