Dermatitis is a general term for skin inflammation, typically characterized by the skin appears dry, swollen, and red. Dermatitis can be uncomfortable for some, and the condition can have many causes. But it’s not contagious.
How Can I Prevent Dermatitis?
Some types of dermatitis are easier to prevent than others. Allergic and contact dermatitis can be prevented by avoiding skin contact with the irritant or agents that cause dermatitis.
Most other types of dermatitis develop in people with sensitive skin and can be prevented only by avoiding the causative agent or irritant.
Preventive measures against Dermatitis
If you feel you are at risk for dermatitis, consider these preventive steps:
- Use a humidifier at home and at the office to keep the air from getting too dry.
- Wear loose-fitting, natural-fiber clothing, and Avoid plated jewelry, especially in your ears, to prevent nickel-related rashes.
- Don’t wear a watchband that presses against your skin for long period, as the friction and sweat buildup can result in rashes.
- Take warm baths or showers and use mild soaps.
- Lubricate your skin using an unscented lotion or cream after a bath and couple of times during the day when possible.
The doctor may diagnose dermatitis after talking to you about your signs and symptoms and examining your skin. Doing a skin biopsy or other tests to help rule out other skin conditions, may be required, based on doctor’s recommendation.
Furthermore, if your doctor thinks you have contact dermatitis, he or she might conduct patch testing on your skin. In undertaking this test, small amounts of various substances are applied to your skin under an adhesive covering, and during return visits over the next several days, your doctor will examine your skin to see if you’ve had a reaction to any of the substances.
This type of testing is best done at least two weeks after your dermatitis has cleared up, and it’s most useful for determining if you have specific contact allergies.
The treatment for dermatitis varies, depending on the cause and personal experience of the condition. In addition to the lifestyle and home remedies recommended below, most dermatitis treatment plans include one or more of the following:
- Applying corticosteroid creams or lotions
- Applying certain other creams or lotions that affect your immune system
- Using phototherapy, and exposing the affected area to controlled amounts of natural or artificial light.
Lifestyle and Home Remedies
The following lifestyle and home remedies steps can help you manage dermatitis:
- Use non-prescription anti-inflammation and anti-itch products. Over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion can temporarily relieve inflammation and itching, and oral antihistamines, such as diphenhydramine may be helpful if itching is severe.
- Apply cool, wet compresses, as that can help soothe your skin.
- Take a comfortably warm bath, and sprinkle your bath water with uncooked oatmeal or colloidal oatmeal. A finely ground oatmeal that’s made for the bathtub, which you will soak for 5 to 10 minutes, then pat dry and apply moisturizer.
- Take a bleach bath, as this may help people with severe atopic dermatitis by decreasing the bacteria on the skin. To do this, add about 118 milliliters of household bleach (not concentrated bleach), to about 151-liter bathtub filled with warm water.
- Avoid rubbing and scratching, and cover the itchy area with a dressing if you can’t keep from scratching it. Alternatively, you can trim nails and wear gloves at night.
- As mentioned earlier, wear cotton clothing, as smooth-textured cotton clothing can help you avoid irritating the affected area.
- Choose mild laundry detergent, because your clothes, sheets, and towels touch your skin.
- Moisturize your skin routinely using moisturizers. This can reduce the severity of atopic dermatitis, and as for mild forms of dermatitis, moisturizer may be the main form of treatment.
- Avoid irritants, especially for contact dermatitis. Try to minimize contact with the substance that caused your rash.
- Use stress management techniques like yoga and meditation to manage stress. Emotional stressors can cause some types of dermatitis to flare up, and techniques such as relaxation, biofeedback etc…may help.
Categories: Skin/Hair Care