Whether you have been living miserably with contact dermatitis for years or if it has reared its ugly head overnight, there are alternative ways to heal your skin and to keep flare ups under control, without the use of prescription drugs, including topical steroid creams such as hydrocortisone.
Choose Your Personal Hygiene Products Wisely
Finding a good quality range of bath, hair and shower products is a positive start. They should preferably be hypoallergenic, free from fragrances, and harsh chemicals such as sodium lauryl sulphate. You could also consider a ‘soap free lifestyle.’
Inflammation Does Not Disappear Overnight
Even if you have discovered the cause of your condition and you do your best to avoid the culprits, your skin will still be vulnerable to future flare ups. This is because skin cells can stay inflamed for as long as eight or nine months after first aggravated.
The skin may not look all that red by physical appearance but it won’t take much to upset it again! Before you know it, your skin will return to its sore and angry state the moment you come back into contact with the irritant or allergen. This can be a problem if you don’t know what the cause of your skin condition actually is. Make it your mission to find out!
When the skin begins to heal itself, take extra care to protect it from further damage. If your skin problem is caused by a food allergy, avoid it altogether if you can. This is when you will notice the inflammation begins to settle down.
Moisturisation Warning for Allergy Sufferers
Keeping the skin soft and supple is important but beware, moisturisers can in some cases push allergens and irritants deeper into the skin and make the problem worse, especially in the case of latex or Nitrile glove allergies.
On the other hand, if your skin is sore because of too much hand washing, moisturising is very important to help the skin retain its vital moisture levels.
Please try to do some research before assuming that moisturisers and barrier creams are the answer. This is why visiting a dermatologist is so vital. They are trained to know information like this.
Preparing and Consuming Food
Some foods can create negative skin reactions when touched or eaten. If you are allergic to nickel for instance (if cheap jewellery brings you out in a rash), there is a small possibility you might be allergic to foods containing nickel too.
Be Careful With the Use of Gloves
For some of us, gloves are a necessity for the workplace. If you are unlucky enough to have an allergy to the gloves themselves, you face a huge challenge. Without them, you are exposing yourself to a multitude of health risks. With them, you are causing yourself an equal amount of harm.
The most common glove allergy is to latex, although nitrile is also problematic for some. Hospitals generally use nitrile gloves these days instead of the traditional latex variety because it is believed to be hypoallergenic.
For the rare few who are allergic to nitrile however, one can experience some pretty severe reactions. According to my Occupational Health Department, you can experience an allergic reaction from latex and nitrile for up to 72 hours after exposure!
Try not to pick and scratch your dermatitis since it will only delay the healing process. If you scratch in your sleep, try trimming your nails short and moisturising well before bed.
This should help to keep itching at bay. If moisturising doesn’t help, consider changing your moisturiser.