Symptoms of contact dermatitis include swelling, redness, rashes, inflammation and itching on skin. Several elements such as toxins, chemicals, soaps, jewelry, makeup and plants can be the cause behind contact dermatitis. Contact dermatitis generally affects people with sensitive skin but right treatment of this condition can reduce and speed up healing. The kind of treatment that should be done depends on the cause behind it.
At times, contact dermatitis is best left untreated. In some cases, the infection gets cleared up on its own, say within a few weeks. In case, contact dermatitis is not healing up on its own, the first thing that you should do is wash the area affected. Also think about the cause behind the rash and try to avoid same conditions and future.
The rash developed due to contact dermatitis can cause itching and inflammation. The condition can be quite bothersome but you can treat it with over-the-counter lotions and creams. This will not only soothe the affected area, hydrocortisone that is often present in these products will help in alleviating redness and irritation.
If the condition is severe, you may ask your doctor to prescribe corticosteroids and oral antihistamines. However, Corticosteroids should only be used for short periods as it can cause serious side effects like thinning of skin. Your doctor may also prescribe ointment that contains topical steroid or prescription-strength cream.
It is completely fine if your doctor or pharmacist recommends a specific product but you should avoid applying specially formulated creams and ointments. Some products available over-the-counter have great potency but to use them, a prescription is a must. Commonly used treatments include tacrolimus ointment and pimecrolimus cream. You may also apply an anti-drying lotion on an anti-itch cream to the skin.
Contact dermatitis can be painful. This is why doctors may also prescribe oral steroids. Once you have taken a prescription, it is important that you take medication as directed and do not skip even a single dose.