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WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
Contact dermatitis is a skin rash. It develops when you touch something that irritates your skin or causes an allergic reaction.
- Medicines help decrease itching and swelling. They will be given as a topical medicine to apply to your rash or as a pill.
- Take your medicine as directed. Contact your primary healthcare provider (PHP) if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Take short baths or showers in cool water:
Use mild soap or soap-free cleansers. Add oatmeal, baking soda, or cornstarch to the bath water to help decrease skin irritation.
Avoid skin irritants:
Avoid skin irritants, such as makeup, hair products, soaps, and cleansers. Use products that do not contain perfume or dye.
Apply a cool compress to your rash:
This will help soothe your skin.
Keep your skin moist:
Rub unscented cream or lotion on your skin to prevent dryness and itching. Do this right after a bath or shower when your skin is still damp.
Follow up with your PHP or dermatologist in 2 to 3 days:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Contact your PHP if:
- You have a fever.
- Your blisters are draining pus.
- Your rash spreads or does not get better, even after treatment.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Return to the emergency department if:
- You have sudden trouble breathing.
- Your throat swells and you have trouble eating.
- Your face is swollen.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.