Tag Archives: Dermatitis

Quick Remedies For Contact Dermatitis


“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.

Quick Treatment
If you spot the signs of contact dermatitis, there are a few remedies and practices that you can adopt at home.

  1. 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.
  2. Apply calamine lotion or anti-itch cream. Anything containing at least 1% hydrocortisone should bring temporary relief.
  3. Take an OCD anti- itch drug. Oral antihistamines, including diphenhydramine, may soothe itching.
  4. Apply wet, cool compresses. Hold soft, moist washcloths to your rash for 15-30 minutes. Repeat several times daily.
  5. 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,
  6. Take an oatmeal bath. Soak in a cool bath sprinkled with baking soda or an oatmeal based product for the bath.
  7. Wear clothing with a smooth texture.
  8. Use the mild soap that does not contain perfumes and dyes. Rinse, pat skin dry, and apply moisturizer

Medical Treatment
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.

You Skin’s Reaction To Synthetic and Natural Fibers

woman looking at clothes

“One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” This was the quote that Neil Armstrong used to describe his historic first walk on the moon on July 20, 1969. However, Lyndon Johnson’s quote may have been a bit hastily declared. Johnson may not have had the foresight to realize that the fact that the astronaut’s lunar spacesuit was made of multi layers of synthetic fibers and that the flag he painted on the moon was rayon might have consequences in later years.

For many years, clothing was made of natural fabrics, however, these fabrics presented problems. Cotton wrinkled easily, silk was difficult to care for, and wool shrank and got eaten by moths. When synthetic clothing first appeared, it began a “wash and wear” revolution of endless possibilities. However, the degree to which these clothes simplified and improved our lives came at a cost. These fabrics were made largely of harmful chemicals. Among the many detriments of synthetic clothing is their effect on our skin.

Textile Contact Dermatitis
Skin problems caused by fabrics in contact with the skin is called a textile contact, or clothing, dermatitis, It can be caused by the fabric itself, but more often it is caused by an allergy in the chemical additives in the fabric. Most commonly, these reactions are caused by dyes, tanning agents. resins and glues used in the making of the clothing. The fabric additives most likely to cause clothing dermatitis are:

  • Formaldehyde resins used to make clothes resistant to wrinkles
  • Para-phenylenediamine (PPD) used in fur dyes
  • Flame retardants (tris(2,3-dibromopropyl)phosphate9130 and 2,3-dibromocresylglycidyl ether)

Clothing may also contain cobalt, latex, chrome and rubber accelerators which can also be sources of allures and elastic and metallic fasteners and stud fasteners can cause nickel dermatitis. (Watch those blue jeans!)

Sufferers of textile contact may experience redness, itchiness, and scaliness on the backs of knees, groin area, crooks of the arm and buttocks. Conditions tend to exacerbate in humid environments in which sweat can make contact with fabric more intense. At times, the friction between skin and clothing can lead to a condition called intertrigo and sometimes the rash can become infected with yeast and bacteria.

Who Is Most Likely to Suffer from Contact Dermatitis?
Because females tend to wear more colorful and tighter clothing, clothing dermatitis is more common in women than men. People with sensitive skin have a greater risk of contracting the condition, as are obese individuals and those that work in humid places, such as restaurants, bakeries, and laundries. Workers in the textile industry are also at higher risk.

How to Avoid Textile Contact Dermatitis

  • Wear clothes made of natural fibers
  • Wear light colored clothes, as these are likely to have less dye
  • Wear loose clothing, especially in hot and humid conditions
  • Avoid clothes labeled “dirt repellant” or “noniron” as these features are likely to have been made possible by chemicals
  • Avoid clothes labeled “wash separately”, as dyes from these products are likely to bleed.

Textile contact dermatitis should clear up as soon as contact with the fabric is discontinued. Topical steroids, like hydrocortisone and over the counter creams can help to stop swelling, itching, and redness.



Tips For Reducing Skin Inflammation

Women examining her skin

You feel it before you see it.  That familiar burning and stinging feeling. You dread looking in the mirror.  Your reflection confirms your dread.  Your skin is puffy, swollen and covered in red blotches.  This can’t be happening today.  You need to be in work in an hour for a major presentation.  The mere thought of applying any kind of make up to your tender skin  makes you cringe.  Would it be too noticeable if you showed up to work in a ski mask?  Damn that new perfume you bought!  Ok, deep breath, you can handle it.

Believe it or not, inflammation is really a good thing. It’s a sign that your body is protecting itself against bacteria, viruses, and injuries.  However, when the cause of the inflammation is gone, so too should be the inflammation.  Unfortunately, this is sometimes not the case, and chronic inflammation can lead to heart disease, Alzheimers, arthritis and even cancer.

Why Has My Skin Betrayed Me In This Way?
There are a lot of possible explanations for skin inflammation, Stress, lack of sleep, unhealthy pollution, second-hand smoke, and sun exposure are all noted causes.  The “stress hormone”  cortisol can also cause inflammation and so can saturated fats, fried foods, refined sugar, and carbohydrates.  But, no matter the culprit,  the root of inflammation is sensitive skin.

The Four Types of Sensitive Skin
  Dermatologist Leslie Bauman M.D. and director of Cosmetic Medicine and Research says there are four types of sensitive skin:

  • Acne
  • Rosacea
  • Burning and Stinging
  • Contact dermatitis (allergies and irritants)

Though each of these have different symptoms, there is one commonality:  they all cause inflammation.

The Quick Fix

Green Tea

Green tea is a natural anti-inflammatory that brings down redness and puffiness.  It can be applied to your skin in two ways:

  • Boil water and steep 4-6 tea bags for 5 minutes.  Soak a washcloth in tea and rub the cloth on your face.
  • Squeeze water out of teabags and put them directly on your face.
  • You should notice a difference after 5-10 minutes of application.

Oatmeal has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds which will take the redness out of your skin and soothe itchiness.  It will also fight dryness, reduce pore size, and moisturizes. Here is a good recipe for an oatmeal mask.

  • 2 tablespoons colloidal oatmeal ground into powder by coffee grinder/ food processor
  • 2 tablespoons hot water
  • 1/2 tablespoon honey

Mix ingredients and let sit for 5 minutes.  Apply to the skin as a mask, leave it on for 10 minutes and rinse it with warm water.

For The Long Term

  • Avoid Hot Water and don’t spend too much time in the shower.  It will strip skin of natural moisture. Apply toner and moisturizer immediately after you get out.
  • Avoid Soap Swap them for soap- free cleansers with nourishing ingredients.
  • Avoid fragrances and chemicals These can  be irritating to the skin.  Also, check the amount  skin products your using daily.  If it’s more than 4, consider scaling back.

Now go out there and Enjoy your lovely skin!

Foods That Could Trigger Dermatitis

Dermatitis a heartbreaking condition. Otherwise know as eczema, it is characterized by inflammation of the skin resulting in redness, itchiness, blistered and sometimes thickened skin.  Symptoms can become painful and may result in oozing and scarring. Moreover, dermatitis most commonly begins in young children.

If dealing with this condition doesn’t sound challenging enough, there is yet another obstacle to sufferers.  Many people and dermatologists don’t believe that food has anything to do with causing eczema. Commonly,  when food allergy tests come back negative, it is assumed that the foods are not connected to itchy skin  The truth is that certain foods can cause very severe dermatitis flare ups.  The good news?  By eliminating certain foods you can improve your dermatitis by up to 95%.  Although different people are affected differently, these are some general guidelines of foods to avoid If you suffer from this condition:

Woman drinking milk

When referring to dairy, we are usually talking about milk, cheese, whey and yogurt from grazing animals, that is goats, cows and sheep.  Raw, or unpasteurized, milk may be easier to digest and has even been known to even clear up dermatitis because of its probiotics and enzymes, but it may have the opposite effect if you are sensitive to casein protein.  Your best bet is avoiding commercial dairy altogether and use raw dairy with caution.

if you have been to your favorite supermarket or restaurant lately, you may have noticed a large number of foods labeled ‘gluten free.’  If you are a suffering from dermatitis, this may be something you want to take notice of.  Wheat, rye, einkorn, faro, kamut and spelt are gluten based grains.  They are commonly found in spices, oars and lentils.  Luckily, with the recent attention being paid to the potential dangers of gluten, you can easily find substitutes.  You may be familiar with wholegrain substitutes like quinoa and you can even make your favorite desserts and pancakes with buckwheat or teff.

Woman holding an egg

Eggs are hard to avoid.  They seem to be an essential ingredient in so many baked goods.  Unfortunately, they can be big triggers of dermatitis.  Chicken eggs are the worst offenders, and in some cases quail, goose and duck eggs can be eaten with no negative effects, but when in question, it is best to be safe and avoid eggs altogether.  Chia and flaxseed and safe substitutes.

Nowadays, you can find products touting the inclusion of soy because of its nutritional benefits.  Tofu, soy milk, seitan, miso tempeh and edamame are products that usually make no secret of their soy content.  However, for those with dermatitis, soy may not be so desirable.  While it is easy enough to avoid products that advertise soy, it is the hidden soy that you really must be wary of.  Watch out for ingredients like vegetable oil, vegetable protein, vitamin E and eggs from soy fed chickens.

Peanuts and Tree Nuts
Because many people have dietary issues with peanuts, most food containing nuts are clearly labeled and easy to avoid, but also note that many Asian dishes contain peanuts, so be careful when dining out.  Tree nuts include almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashews, pine nuts, pistachios and Brazil nuts, so be careful with ice cream and candy.

As previously mentioned, different people can tolerate different foods.  The best thing to do is keep a diary of the foods you eat and keep in mind that reactions can occur from food eaten up to four days before an outbreak.  Begin by eliminating the foods that you believe are problematic and see how your skin reacts.  Once you begin to realize how certain foods effect you, you can start to plan for a more comfortable life.