Contact Dermatitis Treatment

Contact dermatitis is a common cause for rashes in Florida. This skin condition is caused by an allergic reaction to a certain material that comes in contact with the skin. The reaction appears on the skin as a rash several hours or several days after contact has taken place. It generally presents as a red, itchy, scaly rash and often results from contact with plants, soaps and cleansers, rubber, nickel, solvents, resins and a wide variety of chemicals and drugs.

Dr. Kaminester realizes that most patients first want relief from their rash. Then, they want help to make the diagnosis of its cause so they do not get it back. Dr. Kaminester works with the patient to try to discover the trigger for the rash. A small skin biopsy if often the first step, which is relatively painless and can help confirm the diagnosis. Dr. Kaminester has a very wide variety of topical and even oral agents to provide rapid relief for their skin ailment.

What are the symptoms?

      • Rash
      • Itching
      • Swelling
      • Blistering
      • Redness
      • Cracked skin

Who gets it?

Anyone can be affected by contact dermatitis, which involves sensitivity to certain allergens that seem otherwise harmless, such as nickel, rubber, medications, fragrances, poison ivy and other plants. Contact dermatitis may occur the very first time you are exposed to a particular trigger. In other cases, it may develop over time to something you are regularly exposed to, such as the metal in a watch or the solvents in nail polish remover. You may experience red, mildly irritated skin, sores, a rash or something that appears like a burn, depending upon your personal sensitivity and what triggered it.

How is it treated?

For airborne agents like pollen fiberglass, dust, insulation foam, wood chips, ammonia, cement, formaldehyde, avoidance is most important once the cause is discovered. Certain plants are more common sensitizers, like artichokes, asters, chrysanthemums, cornflowers, dahlias, daisies, dandelions, endive, goldenrod, lettuce, marigolds, ragweed sunflowers and thistles. You may have to avoid herbal medications and cosmetics containing herbs.

For clothing contact dermatitis you should avoid wrinkle free products and always wash new clothes before wearing them. Patch testing can be helpful and Dr. Kaminester does this in his office.

For irritant contact dermatitis, patients must be aware that items at work or home may cause red scaly itchy skin for anyone who comes in contact with them, which would include fiberglass insulation in an attic.

Some cases of contact dermatitis will go away on their own if the initial contactant is removed, but medications can be taken to relieve symptoms. Corticosteroids and antihistamines are often effective in relieving the symptoms of a reaction by reducing inflammation. The best defense against this condition is to avoid contact with the trigger substance, which can help prevent symptoms from occurring. It is important to identify the individual trigger that caused your symptoms, so that it can be more easily avoided.

Dr. Kaminester loves to quote from Sherlock Holmes: “I see no more than you, but I have trained myself to notice what I see”, from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Adventure of the Blanched Soldier.

Contact us to schedule a consultation or to learn more about Contact Dermatitis

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Dermatologist Dr. Lewis H. Kaminester, MD, serving North Palm Beach, Palm Beach, Royal Palm Beach, Juno Beach, Riviera Beach, Jupiter, Tequesta, Okeechobee and surrounding areas.