1. Definition of Contact Dermatitis
Contact dermatitis is a common skin condition that occurs when skin comes into direct contact with an irritating chemical, allergen, or irritating substance. It is characterized by an itchy rash, redness, bumps, and blisters. In severe cases, it can lead to swollen lymph nodes, fever, and swollen joints. It can be caused by contact with a range of substances, such as detergents, soaps, and cosmetics. Treatment of contact dermatitis includes avoiding contact with the irritant, moisturizing and keeping the skin hydrated, and in some cases, taking oral or topical steroids. In serious cases, a doctor may prescribe immunosuppressant medications. Contact dermatitis can be prevented by avoiding contact with allergenic and irritating substances.
2. Potential Causes
Contact dermatitis is an inflammatory reaction of the skin caused by direct contact with an irritating substance. It is a common condition that can result in an uncomfortable and unsightly rash, but it can also result in scarring. The causes of contact dermatitis scarring can vary and can be difficult to pinpoint with certainty. Common potential causes include direct contact with an irritant such as a strong acid or alkaline, or contact with a chemical that is known to be an allergen, such as nickel. In some cases, the cause may be an autoimmune disorder, such as an allergy to a particular food or drug. In addition, contact dermatitis can be caused by an infection such as a fungal infection, or even contact with a plant such as poison ivy. Finally, underlying skin conditions such as eczema can predispose the skin to scarring from contact dermatitis.
3. Scratching as Complication
Scratching is a very common complication associated with contact dermatitis scars, as it can be very difficult to resist. When the skin is inflamed and itchy, it can be hard to control the urge to scratch. Unfortunately, scratching can further damage the skin and cause the scar to become worse, leading to longer healing time and a more prominent scar. In order to avoid further damage and possible infection, it is important to try and resist the urge to scratch, even though it can be difficult. Instead, try using a cold compress on the affected area or anti-itch creams that can be purchased over the counter. Additionally, keeping the skin moisturized can help to reduce the urge to scratch.
4. Healing Methods
Contact dermatitis causes red, itchy and inflamed skin which can be very uncomfortable, and it can also cause scars. Fortunately, there are some treatments available to reduce the risk of scarring and to help heal any existing scarring. To start, a topical steroid may be prescribed to stop the itching and redness, as well as reduce any raised bumps. Additionally, an antibiotic ointment may be used to heal any open sores. In more serious cases, ultraviolet light therapy and systemic medications are sometimes used in order to clear up contact dermatitis and its related scars. Surgery may be necessary to reduce the appearance of deeper scars. Finally, natural remedies such as aloe vera and chamomile may help soothe the skin and reduce inflammation. Regardless of the healing method chosen, it is important to monitor the skin closely, and use sunscreen or avoid the sun when needed.
5. Preventative Steps
In order to prevent contact dermatitis scarring, there are five essential steps you should take:
- Avoid exposure to known irritants.
- Wear protective clothing such as gloves and goggles when working with harsh chemicals.
- Clean the affected area immediately with lukewarm water to reduce inflammation.
- Apply a moisturizing cream or ointment to the affected area to help keep it hydrated.
- Seek professional medical care if the affected area becomes worse or more painful.
By being proactive about prevention and taking these steps, you can significantly reduce the risk of developing contact dermatitis scars.