Dermatitis – What is this Rash?
A rash can have many causes. When you are diagnosed with dermatitis what your doctor is really saying is, “you have a rash.”
What is more important to understand is where did the rash come from and how can I avoid it in the future? A rash or dermatitis can have three main causes:
Allergic Contact Dermatitis
The rash can be an allergy or something that has irritated the top layer of your skin causing redness, bumps, itching, flaking or sometimes all of the above.
One of the most common causes of dermatitis is allergies. If you develop a rash from an allergy it is important to understand that your immune system is at play here. Your immune system understands that whatever is coming in contact with your skin is a threat to your health, and causing your body to react. This reaction is your rash or contact dermatitis; it is your immune system creating antibodies to fight against the invader. It is important to see a dermatologist to discuss these symptoms.
Some common allergies that can trigger a rash are:
- Nickle (commonly found in jewelry)
- Poison Ivy
- Beauty Products
- Creams and ointments
- Pet hair
Dermatitis due to an allergen will often go away on its own once you are no longer exposed to the trigger. To help the healing process try to:
- Clean your skin
- Understand the products that affect you and stop using them
- Apply a hydrocortisone cream to cut down on itching
- Avoid scratching skin that is irritated
Irritant Contact Dermatitis
Irritant contact dermatitis is the very common and happens when the skin comes in contact with a toxic material such as:
- Battery acid
- Drain cleaners
- Pepper spray
Similar to an allergic reaction this rash will go away on its own, but it is helpful to:
- Avoid scratching
- Clean your skin soap and lukewarm water
- Stop using the product
- Apply a hydrocortisone cream
Photo-contact dermatitis is less common as it occurs when the active ingredients in a skin product are exposed to the sun and result in irritation.
Contact dermatitis isn’t typically a cause for concern and will fade away on its own. However, you should seek medical attention if your rash is close to your eyes or mouth, covers a large area of your body, or doesn’t improve with home treatment.
Call Dr. David Goldberg of Skin Laser & Surgery Specialists of New York and New Jersey, and he can prescribe a more potent steroid cream, wet compresses or light therapy if home or over the counter treatments do not soothe your skin. We serve the communities of Hackensack, Hillsborough, Montclair, Westfield, Tenafly, and neighboring communities.