Contact dermatitis is a condition where patches on the skin become red and itch or burn after coming into contact with an irritant. When skin comes into contact with allergens, allergic reactions may occur one or two days after the initial contact. The more exposure to allergens, the more likely contact dermatitis will occur in response to the allergen. People often think food is a trigger for allergic contact dermatitis, but what we eat is rarely the cause.
So what are the common allergens for contact dermatitis? Commonly found substances such as bleach, soap, poison oak, certain metals, and various other irritants may cause your skin to have a negative reaction.
The most common cause for contact dermatitis is poison ivy. Poison ivy rash occurs when the skin reacts to an oily resin called urushiol in the leaves, roots, and stems of the poison ivy plant. Though the rash itself is not contagious, the resin can easily spread upon contact so make sure to thoroughly wash off the affected area with a mild soap if you happen to touch poison ivy. Irritated skin can be soothed with the help of a natural, anti-inflammatory and itch lotion.
Fragrances, nickel and certain preservatives such as thimerosal are also common causes of allergic contact dermatitis. Fragrance sensitivity is now seen between 8-15% of those with contact dermatitis. A fragrance is a compound of chemicals which creates an odor and is found in many products from makeup, skincare, to cleaning agents. It can be very difficult for sensitive individuals to pinpoint the exact compound they are allergic to, making it necessary to avoid products with fragrances. If you notice you are having a reaction to a certain product, stop using it immediately to avoid worsening your symptoms.
Nickel allergies are usually associated with earrings and other jewelry, however it is also often found in common items such as coins, zippers, cellphones, and eyeglass frames. If you notice rash, bumps, redness, or itching due to coming into contact with something that might contain nickel, you may have developed an allergy to it. Stop wearing jewelry or other items that contain nickel immediately, and look for alternatives such as hypoallergenic products instead.
Thimerosal is a preservative often found in certain topical antibiotics. It stops bacteria from growing in certain products and vaccines, however some people may be allergic and have a reaction to it. If you think you may be sensitive to thimerosal, check for it in the ingredients list of any topical product you may use. There are many other preservatives, such as formaldehyde-releasing preservatives, that you could have a reaction to that can lead to contact dermatitis.
Minimizing your contact with allergens helps to prevent contact dermatitis, but once you have it, what are some of the best natural remedies for contact dermatitis?
- First, make sure you clean the area of any irritating product or substances using a mild soap.
- Try using a cold compress, and aloe vera gel to reduce swelling, redness, and itching.
- Using a gentle, hypoallergenic, fragrance-free moisturizer is important because it will help to soothe irritation and heal damaged skin.
- An ideal moisturizer adds a protective barrier that makes the skin less susceptible to irritants. It will also help to restore and protect your skin’s outermost layer to prevent future flare ups. With ingredients like aloe vera, calendula, vitamin E, a natural remedy cream may also relieve itching.
LEMYKA’s Healing Lotion is a great option for a natural remedy for contact dermatitis. It helps to minimize symptoms and help to heal your skin. Using this lotion daily as much as needed will offer immediate relief for contact dermatitis.