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Contact Dermatitis: Symptoms, Triggers, & Tips for Relief!

If you suddenly notice a rash, redness, itchiness and dryness on your skin, despite having no history of skin problems, you may be experiencing allergic contact dermatitis. This is when your immune system overreacts to certain substances your skin touches. Even small amounts of these substances can trigger reactions, when normally they shouldn’t.

  • Chemicals in elastic, latex, adhesives, and rubber products

  • Scents, such as in cosmetics, soaps, detergents

  • Dyes and other chemicals in clothing

  • Plants - e.g. poison ivy, oak, or sumac

  • Metals

  • Essential oils

  • Medications that are applied to the skin

baby with contact dermatitis on his face, appearing as a red rash

Contact allergy reactions can range from mild to severe, and usually develop gradually over a long period of time due to repeated exposure to the trigger. This is because at first contact, the body makes antibodies to fight the allergen, so the next time your skin is exposed to that allergen, the skin is more sensitive and reacts. For instance, a janitor who regularly uses cleaning products containing harsh chemicals may develop an allergy to these substances over time. 

Symptoms typically appear as a reddish rash that often does not have clearly defined edges on light skin. On dark skin, the area tends to be darker purple and dark gray in color. Swelling, dryness, and formation of papules may also develop, while severe reactions can lead to tightness in the skin and painful blisters. The severity of the reaction depends on the substance and how long the skin was in contact with it. 

poision oak leaves

The main way to avoid these reactions is to steer clear of your trigger. 

For example, if you are allergic to poison oak, wearing long pants and sleeves while hiking in areas where the plant may grow can help minimize contact. 

If you can’t avoid contact with the substance, such as at your work, wear gloves or protective clothing, and if necessary, switch to an alternative task at work. If a contact allergy is work-related, have your dermatologist or company doctor inform your employer's liability insurance. 

Here are some home remedies & natural products to help relieve itching and soothe the skin: 

baby admiring LEMYKA's Healing Lotion
  • Place a cool, wet cloth over your rash for 15 to 30 minutes several times a day. Or, soak in a soothing cool bath for 20 minutes.

  • Avoid scratching, and trim your nails. While your skin heals, stay out of the sun or use sun protection.

  • LEMYKA's Healing Lotion - This product is formulated for contact dermatitis and other types of rashes. Our unique technology helps calm down redness, itchiness, and inflammation with nature’s best ingredients: aloe vera, calendula, chamomile, and plant oils. It also includes other beneficial ingredients such as niacinamide, vitamin E, laminaria extract, and more. It is perfect and safe for all ages to use. Make sure to do a patch test before liberal use, to ensure there are no allergies to any of our ingredients!

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