Allergic Contact Dermatitis - Definition, Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
Allergic contact dermatitis is the allergic reaction of material in contact with the skin that causes itchy skin. Occupational contact dermatitis is a local inflammation of the skin. Symptoms of inflammation are itching, pain, redness, swelling, and the formation of small blisters or wheals on the skin. It may arise after some hours after the contact and usually settles down within a week if no contact with the allergic material is done. Contact dermatitis should be distinguished from contact urticaria, in which a rash appears within minutes of exposure and fades away within minutes to hours. The allergic reaction to latex is the best known example of allergic contact urticaria.
- In the past only woman used to have allergies with metal but now men also start have allergies due to use of jewelry. The artificial jewelry is causing this problem a lot. It mainly has effect on ear, nose, tongues, breasts etc.
- It also depends on the chemical properties of the substance. It depend whether the contact metal is acid or alkali.
- Some cosmetics also contain the kind of material which causes this problem to happen. E.g. Depilatories nail polish, deodorant.
- Industrial agents also cause this problem to the person who works with these or we can say works with them. E.g. vat dyes, rubber accelerators, formaldehyde etc.
- The skins where the allergies have occurred contain a mild redness and swelling.
- Due to the thickness in the skin and weakness in the present skin, the skin may blister.
- Scaling and temporary thickness in skin may occur.
- Cracking and bleeding at the site of contact with the irritant. If the condition becomes chronic the skin will be dry, inflamed, scaly and thickened.
- In this problem the pulse of the patient may be rapid or weak. It’s a rare chance that a pulse is normal in this problem.
- Blueness of your skin, including your lips and nail beds.
- In starting treatment wash with lots of water to remove any trace of the irritant that may remain on the skin. After no contact with the allergens and irritants should be done.
- Chemical burns are usually flushed with water followed by use of antidote or specific remedy against the particular toxic chemical.
- Carefully study your environment to locate the allergen. Many chemicals have several names, and cross-reactions to similar chemicals with different names are common.
- Some immunosuppressive agents may be used to cure this problem. Some examples of this kind of agents are Azathioprine, ciclosporin etc.
- To correct a dry skin tendency from any cause reduce contact with soap and water and apply a moisturizer or emollient.
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