Today, much stock is placed upon the physical aspect of things. It is no wonder, then, that for most people, skin care is a paramount concern. After all, skin, the largest organ in the human body, is also the first thing everyone sees when looking at a person. The exposure of skin to everything around it is also the reason why several diseases affect it. Among the most common of these diseases is dermatitis.
Dermatitis is a general term that is applied to conditions that cause a swelling or inflammation of your skin. There are several types of dermatitis, the more common being contact dermatitis and atopic dermatitis (also known as eczema). Although they have different causes as well as occur in different forms, they exhibit common symptoms such as redness, swelling, itching, and the formation of skin lesions.
There can be several causes of dermatitis. Allergies, genetic factors, mental and physical stressors, irritants—all these can cause your skin to become irritated. The kind of dermatitis is usually based upon its behavior, location and cause. For example, contact dermatitis results from direct contact of your skin to an irritant or allergen. In this regard, contact dermatitis can very well be considered a simple allergic reaction. Seborrheic dermatitis, on the other hand, produces a red rash and “oily” scales, usually on the scalp. It targets people with oily hair and skin, and it can come and go with the season. Finally, perioral dermatitis is most commonly found in the skin around the nose or the mouth. There is no exact or definitive cause for this kind of dermatitis but it is believed that makeup, moisturizers, or dental products containing fluoride may be the root cause.
Getting Rid of Dermatitis
Dermatitis can be extremely irritating, not to mention make you so very self-conscious. Oftentimes, when people find out you have a dermatitis problem, they shy away from you as if you’re a leper. But since there are many causes of dermatitis, total treatment often depends on what kind of dermatitis you have. There are steps you can take, however, that will enable you to manage dermatitis, if not get rid of it.
- Apply some anti-itch cream to the affected area. Hydrocortisone creams are the usual application for temporary relief of dermatitis itching. Calamine lotions are a popular choice as well. For really severe itches, oral antihistamine such as Benadryl (containing diphenhydramine) can be really helpful.
- Wear smooth cotton clothing. Cotton clothes are less irritating than other types of clothing. A smooth-textured cotton cloth will help you avoid irritating areas affected by your dermatitis.
- Take a comfortably cool bath. There are baths called oatmeal baths made from powders such as Aveeno that can provide temporary relief from itchiness caused by dermatitis, especially eczema. While temporary it is suprisingly effective. If you can’t find Aveeno powder in your area, you can substitute baking soda, colloidal oatmeal, or uncooked oatmeal instead. Sprinkle it on your bath water.
- Use mild, unscented detergents when washing your clothes. Laundry detergents that have strong ingredients in them have greater chances of irritating your skin, especially if you’re particularly sensitive to chemicals. Also, make sure that you rinse all your clothes well, to take away all traces of detergent chemicals from your laundry. Use the extra rinse function of your washer if it has one.
- Apply cool and wet compresses. Cover the rashes with cool bandages and dressings to help lessen itchiness, as well as protect it from infection and scratches.
- Consider alternative home remedies. Some popular home remedies are said to get rid of dermatitis and its symptoms. The most common include applying natural Vitamin E to the affected area to relieve itching and zinc, taken orally and applied directly to the skin. A mixture of camphor and sandalwood paste applied directly to the rashes is also a popular solution.
- Identify allergens and stay away from them. If you’re suffering from contact dermatitis, identify the allergens that trigger it and then avoid contact with them. Likewise, wear protective gear like gloves when handling chemicals like house cleaners to prevent any contact to your skin.
It’s always better to not get the condition than treating it. For the most part, for dermatitis, this just means staying away from the things that trigger it. As mentioned above, identifying your triggers is a good start to preventing dermatitis, as well as avoiding dry skin. Here are a few tips to avoid dry skin and lessen the risk of you getting dermatitis.
- Bathe less frequently. If you are prone to dermatitis, you don’t need to bath daily. A day or two without bathing should be enough. When you do bathe, use lukewarm water instead of hot water and limit your bathing to 15 to 20 minutes.
- Use mild soap. Use soaps that do not have harsh chemicals that may irritate sensitive skin. Mild soaps also do not excessively remove your skin’s natural oil. Don’t use antibacterial soap as they may be more drying to your skin. Use soap on your face, underarms, genital areas, feet, and hands only. For everywhere else, use clear water.
- Carefully dry yourself. Instead of rubbing vigorously with your towel, gently pat your skin dry. Also, use a towel that is not too rough on your skin.
- Use moisturizers. After getting out of the shower, seal in the moisture by using skin moisturizers. You can use either oil or cream. Apply special helpings on your arms, legs, back, and the sides of your body. If your skin is already dry, then use a lubricating cream made specifically for dry skin.
With the tips mentioned above, you don’t need to fear looking ugly with dermatitis. You also don’t have to feel self-conscious with the condition. Face the world with a smile and the thought that you’re protected throughout the day.
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