Q:

What are the symptoms of allergic dermatitis?

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Quick Answer

Symptoms of allergic dermatitis include severe itching and a red rash in response to contact with an allergenic substance such as nickel, nail polish or poison ivy, according to MedlinePlus. The skin may become warm and tender, form blisters that ooze and crust over, and become raw, thickened or scaly.

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Full Answer

The rash from allergic dermatitis may appear over several hours up to several days after contact with the triggering substance, explains Healthline. This occurs because the skin first becomes sensitive to the offending substance without triggering an initial reaction. When the person encounters the substance again, the body mounts an immune response in the skin, causing the rash and associated symptoms.

Medical treatment for allergic dermatitis involves avoiding the allergen, using antihistamines to relieve the itching and using prescription steroid creams to treat the inflammation, notes Mayo Clinic. Secondary infections are treated with either topical or oral antibiotics. Doctors prescribe creams that regulate the immune system and help repair skin to achieve long-term control of the condition.

Home care remedies include the use of cool, wet compresses to soothe the rash, soaking in a lukewarm bath with either oatmeal or baking soda added for itch relief, and using calamine lotion to dry out the skin and reduce itching, according to Mayo Clinic. Wearing loose, natural fiber clothing; choosing mild, hypoallergenic soaps; refraining from scratching, and protecting the skin with barrier creams or gloves are additional self-care measures.

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