5 Ways to Soothe Contact Dermatitis
Contact dermatitis can flare up when triggered by physical contact with an irritant. It is a form of eczema—a skin condition which causes the skin to become dry and irritated. In general, contact dermatitis clears up when the triggering substance is removed, or avoided. One of the more problematic consequences of contact dermatitis, however, is the time of recovery.
Various levels of severity can exist. For those with light symptoms of contact dermatitis, signs of irritation can fade quickly within 30 minutes. At other times, the skin continues to exhibit redness, itching, pain, dryness and rashes for up to several hours.
The sensitive state of the skin can create other issues during the day, making it difficult for one to continue with regular activities.
Irritants for contact dermatitis can include:
- Alkalis, like drain cleaners
- Detergents (most detergents contain Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, a kind of surfactant)
- Certain plant oils and juices
1. Identify allergens and irritants
One of the most important methods is observation and tracking. Notice when your skin begins to flare up and take care to avoid substances, allergens, surfaces and even temperature changes that lead to irritation.
2**. Wash irritating substances off quickly, but avoid detergents**
As soon as you think something has triggered your contact dermatitis, wash it off quickly with soap and water. However, take note: most things labeled as soap are actually detergents.
Throughout human history, soaps have been traditionally created with natural ingredients, such as plant oils (coconut, vegetable, palm, pine) or acids derived from animal fat. Detergents became mainstream in the 1950s. The difference lies in its original composition. Detergents are synthetic. They are surfactants, meaning that reduce the surface tension between two substances, much like soap allows dirt to glide off from the skin. The difference is that detergents can be too effective at this role, completely stripping the skin of its beneficial oil barrier.
How can you determine whether the ‘soap’ on the counter is a real soap or a detergent? Look at the ingredients. If it contains a sulfate, such as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, then it is a detergent.
Avoid detergents masquerading as soaps and don’t just apply what is available, like a dishwashing fluid. These products contain filler fragrances and will quickly strip off your skin’s protective barrier, drying it out and potentially causing a longer bout of irritation. Instead, opt for real soaps that don’t remove all the oils from your skin, and have anti-inflammatory properties. La Rose | French Pink Clay Bar Soap is our bestselling soap. Loved for its creamy texture, gentle cleanse and refreshing rose smell, it contains Shea butter and Coconut oil, two powerful moisturizers that are anti-inflammatory and high in skin-supportive lauric acid.
3. Cool down inflammation
Inflammation is a natural response of the body that aims to keep our body healthy. This immune response sends a rush of blood and white blood cells to an affected area to fight any unwanted bacterial invaders and begin the process of healing. Yet, with contact dermatitis, the inflammation itself is the problem, igniting a period of swelling and pain. Use cool compresses, cool (but not icy) water to instantly reduce any swelling.
4. Keep the area well-moisturized
Contact dermatitis’ symptoms are even tougher to manage when the skin is dry. Inflammation can cause the skin to quickly crack, leading to micro-wounds across the surface of the skin. Keep the skin well-moisturized, to promote skin healing and repair the skin barrier. This helps reduce the severity of a rash and helps in soothing the skin more quickly after a flare-up. Our Bond Body Salve is formulated to powerfully support the skin’s healing. Containing Oat oil, Kokum butter, and Calendula herbal oil, Bond provides massive relief for itchy skin.
If you have a less severe form of contact dermatitis that is not sensitive to fragrances, Anchor Citrus Body Blend Souffle is a light everyday moisturizer. Containing Mango butter, Aloe Vera juice and Jojoba oil, the souffle mimic’s the skin’s natural oil barrier and delivers lightweight, superb hydration into the skin’s deepest layers.
5. Take lukewarm baths
Overly hot baths can strip the oils from the skin. Not only that, the heat will induce expansion of the skin and the heat itself may increase the inflammatory response. Choose lukewarm baths and wash gently, without the use of scrubbing tools. Add a few drops of Tai Body Oil to the bath for a luxurious yet skin-soothing effect that will last hours after the bathwater has drained away. It’s formulated with Prickly Pear oil and Calendula Herbal oil to feed important vitamins E, K into the skin and soothe redness and irritation. After concluding with a shower or bath, use Tai Body Oil for a rich and deep moisturization that will keep the skin comfortable and healthy.
I hope this tips will help relief and soothe with your contact dermatitis.