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Contact Dermatitis

AMBULATORY CARE:

Contact dermatitis

is a rash. It develops when you touch something that irritates your skin or causes an allergic reaction.

Common signs and symptoms include the following:

  • Red, swollen, painful rash
  • Skin that itches, stings, or burns
  • Dry, scaly, or crusty skin patches
  • Bumps or blisters
  • Fluid draining from blisters

Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:

  • You have sudden trouble breathing.
  • Your throat swells and you have trouble eating.
  • Your face is swollen.

Call your doctor or dermatologist 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.

Treatment for contact dermatitis

involves removing any irritants or allergens that cause your rash. You may also need medicines to decrease itching and swelling. They will be given as a topical medicine to apply to your rash or as a pill.

Manage contact dermatitis:

  • 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. Examples include makeup, hair products, soaps, and cleansers. Use products that do not contain a scent or dye.
  • Apply a cool compress to your rash. This will help soothe your skin.
  • Apply lotions or creams to the area. These help keep your skin moist and decrease itching. Apply the lotion or cream right after a lukewarm bath or shower when your skin is still damp. Use products that do not contain a scent.

Follow up with your doctor or dermatologist in 2 to 3 days:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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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.

Learn more about Contact Dermatitis (Ambulatory Care)

Associated drugs

IBM Watson Micromedex

Symptoms and treatments

Mayo Clinic Reference

Medicine.com Guides (External)

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.