“My entire body felt sick and my skin was red and swollen with pus-filled blisters.” Stories about experiences with ACD, allergic contact dermatitis, often follow a similar trajectory. They begin with a patient displaying alarming rashes and irritations followed by a series of fruitless doctor’s visits in which the experts struggle to find out what is causing it.
This particular story by Sharon details the ironic story of a misdiagnosed reaction in which, in a bizarre twist of fate, the topical ointment prescribed by the doctors actually ended up becoming the source another breakout.
Another story is the account of “Owen’s Parents” whose doctors failed to attribute his reaction to its source. Lisa, Owen’s mom, is quoted as saying,”After just one day back at school,the redness, dryness, and burning returned….” Another common thread joining these stories is the frustration of the sufferers who are of the opinion that a lot of pain and heartache could have been avoided if the doctors had conducted a “skin patch test” on the first consultation, yielding an immediate diagnosis.
While contact dermatitis can be life-altering and painful, it is treatable. Ii is important to identify the triggers and relieve the symptoms as quickly and efficiently as possible,
What is Contact Dermatitis?
Contact dermatitis is a rash on a certain part of the body caused by an agent unfamiliar with the body. Common causes are metals, cleaning solutions, perfumes, topical antibiotics, and cleaning solutions. The two types of contact dermatitis are allergic and irritant. Allergic contact dermatitis is triggered by an immune response. Irritation contact dermatitis is caused when a damaging or irritation substance comes in direct contact with skin.
What are the Symptoms of Contact Dermatitis?
Both allergic and irritant dermatitis produce virtually identical symptoms. They include area rash, small fluid-filled eruptions on the skin, and itching and burning.
If you spot the signs of contact dermatitis, there are a few remedies and practices that you can adopt at home.
- Discontinue contact with the irritant if you can identify it. If it’s a piece of jewelry you simply can’t part with, like a wedding ring, try covering the inside with clear tape or clear nail polish.
- Apply calamine lotion or anti-itch cream. Anything containing at least 1% hydrocortisone should bring temporary relief.
- Take an OCD anti- itch drug. Oral antihistamines, including diphenhydramine, may soothe itching.
- Apply wet, cool compresses. Hold soft, moist washcloths to your rash for 15-30 minutes. Repeat several times daily.
- No scratching! Sit on your hands if you have to and make sure your nails remain short. You may consider covering the affected area with a band-aid to help resist temptation,
- Take an oatmeal bath. Soak in a cool bath sprinkled with baking soda or an oatmeal based product for the bath.
- Wear clothing with a smooth texture.
- Use the mild soap that does not contain perfumes and dyes. Rinse, pat skin dry, and apply moisturizer
If systems persist and if you can not identify the cause, seek medical attention and consult the doctor about using a skin patch test to target the problem immediately. While contact dermatitis is treatable, it is often misdiagnosed and can be traumatic and harrowing for sufferers.