A contact allergy is caused by the skin becoming hypersensitive to a substance or situation. For example, people working in the healthcare sector would know about it. Frequent hand washing and the use of disinfectants or the constant wearing of drapes and protective gloves causes them many skin problems. But it's not just healthcare workers. It is estimated that contact allergies make life uncomfortable for almost fifteen percent of the population.
Where can contact allergies occur?
The palms, backs and fingers of the hands are commonly affected. In dusty and polluted environments, it appears on exposed parts of the body, often on the neck, forehead and cheeks. In hot and humid environments, it can appear virtually anywhere on the body - on the back, chest, elbow bends and knees. In such an environment, it tends to be complicated by fungal and bacterial infections.
What are the symptoms of contact allergy?
The first symptom is locally red and itchy skin. It may be extremely dry and peel. It may form callous-like patches that burst into blood. Fluid-filled blisters may appear under the skin, which 'blossom' to the surface of the skin and burst. Acne-like rashes may appear.
How to treat contact allergy?
As with most dermatitis, only individual symptoms can be treated and efforts should be made to limit contact with the substances that irritate the skin most. This means covering the parts of the body where the contact allergy manifests itself and using barrier creams that prevent the allergen from coming into contact with the skin, such as Dermaguard barrier emulsion. Milder forms can be treated with over-the-counter medicines. Long lasting and enlarged deposits must be seen by a skin doctor and a prescription medication prescribed.
Home treatment of contact allergy symptoms
The skin must first be soothed and relieved of itching. To do this, a bath or a compress from a not too strong hypermanganese solution will help. A decoction of black tea or oatmeal is also soothing. Herbs such as burdock or yarrow can help, but it is important to check that they will not irritate the skin.
For wetness after bathing, use oils and oil creams rather than lotions. Zinc oil, sulphur ointment or ointment containing ichthamol are suitable. Over-the-counter hydrocortisone ointment can also be used.
For dry, peeling and cracking deposits, it is important to moisturise the skin thoroughly after bathing. Use oil moisturisers that retain water, e.g. with borage oil, avocado oil or glycerine.
Dermaguard barrier cream (emulsion) protects hypersensitive skin from irritation, moisturises and gives it time to regenerate.
Immediate solution for contact eczema and rashes
- The cream forms an invisible long-term barrier against allergens on the skin
- Prevention of contact eczema, intertrigo, rashes, diaper dermatitis
- Protects up to 6 hours, moisturises, non-greasy, not perfumed