Allergic dermatitis is a bothersome skin condition caused by contact with an irritating substance. Also called contact dermatitis, allergic dermatitis isn't life-threatening, but it can become a hindrance in day-to-day life due to discomfort, sores or rashes. Allergic dermatitis treatment measures vary from person to person based upon the source of the allergy and the person's individual lifestyle and needs. There is no single treatment that is best for everybody.
The best allergic dermatitis treatment is avoidance of the irritant or substance that causes the allergy, though this isn't always possible. The source of the irritation is different from person to person and the cause of allergic dermatitis isn't always readily apparent to the sufferer or doctors. Common irritants include poison ivy, soaps and personal care products and low-quality metals like nickel.
Mild to moderate cases of contact dermatitis can be managed with over-the-counter products containing anti-itch compounds, such as hydrocortisone. When used in the treatment of allergic dermatitis, these products can provide relief from itching as well as a reduction in inflammation. Other at-home allergic dermatitis treatments, such as wet compresses, are also viable options for mild to moderate cases. Non-prescription oral antihistamines and anti-inflammatory medications are also used by some as an allergic dermatitis treatment.
Non-prescription and home remedies are cost-effective and readily available at the onset of a rash. The convenience and low cost associated with these measures makes them ideal for many sufferers of contact dermatitis. For some, however, these measures are ineffective and provide little to no relief from the itching, rash, pain and blisters associated with severe cases of contact dermatitis.
Allergic dermatitis treatment for severe cases includes the use of oral corticosteroids. Corticosteroids are a class of drugs that mimic hormones naturally found in the body to suppress inflammation and the immune system. Allergic reactions are a result of the immune system working overtime to fight off a perceived threat, thus the immunosuppression provided by corticosteroids is beneficial in treating allergic dermatitis. Corticosteroids are not without risks, including weight gain, glaucoma, mood swings and an increased susceptibility to infection. Those already susceptible to these ailments should opt for another allergic dermatitis treatment if possible.
The symptoms of allergic dermatitis are similar to those of other ailments. Only a licensed medical professional can determine whether or not a rash is the result of allergic dermatitis. Speak to your doctor or another trusted health care professional about your symptoms and the best allergic or contact dermatitis treatment for you. Failure to seek proper medical care for an allergic dermatitis reaction that includes sores or blisters can result in a potentially life-threatening infection.