Some things in this world are so harsh that frequent or prolonged exposure to them can result in a rash known as irritant contact dermatitis. Numerous industrial chemicals cause problems for workers, but the typical household is not without its share of hazards to your skin. Soaps, detergents, oven cleaners, bathroom cleaners, and many other products can irritate the skin and remove its protective oils.
What's the difference between irritant and allergic contact dermatitis? Soap, for example, can cause either one. Allergic contact dermatitis occurs only in people who have an oversensitive immune system that reacts to the soap's ingredients as if they were somehow harmful. Irritant contact dermatitis occurs when the skin contacts a substance that is harmful and that actually causes damage to the skin, especially when that contact is prolonged or frequent; the immune system is not involved.
On the other hand, both irritant and allergic contact dermatitis produce itching, rashes, and inflammation only in the areas of skin that have actually come in contact with the offending substance, so the rash location often points to the cause. Therefore, making a list like the one described for allergic contact dermatitis can be useful in identifying the culprit in irritant contact dermatitis (although the irritating product is often more obvious in this type of contact dermatitis).
If you suspect that an irritant has caused your red, itchy, bumpy rash, there's one very important home remedy you should follow:
Avoid exposure to the irritant. Until you manage to do that, the rash will continue. If exposure to household products is the problem and it's your hands that are suffering, wear gloves made of vinyl, which doesn't cause allergic reactions, rather than rubber or latex, when using those products. Wearing cotton liners with the gloves will help keep perspiration from further irritating your skin, although this can be a bulky combination. In addition, take a look at the remedies discussed under Atopic Dermatitis, since they may also help you avoid the substances irritating your skin.
As mentioned above, atopic dermatitis will be discussed in the next section. We'll give you some home remedies on how to take on this chronic inflammation of the skin.
For more information about dermatitis and how to combat it, try the following links:
- To see all of our home remedies and the conditions they treat, go to our main Home Remedies page.
- Many skin problems stem from allergies. To learn more about allergies, you should check out How Allergies Work.
- To learn how to minimize your allergic reactions, check out Home Remedies for Allergies.
- If your skin feels itchy and scratchy, it could be from dry skin. To releive this problem, read our Home Remedies for Dry Skin.
- Or if the problem is with your scalp, check out Home Remedies for Dry Hair.
This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.