Skin Problems and Solutions

What Is Contact Dermititis
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This inflammatory condition occurs when the skin is irritated by contact with an external substance. There are two types: irritant and allergic. Irritant contact dermatitis, which accounts for about 80 per cent of cases, occurs when an irritant causes direct injury to the skin, usually on the hands. Common irritants include soaps, detergents and various foodstuffs. Irritants are often job-related; those working in hairdressing, cleaning, building, metal engineering and horticulture commonly experience irritant contact dermatitis, due to the substances they're handling daily. Those with dry skin and/or an atopic condition (eczema, asthma, or hayfever) are more likely to suffer.
 
Allergic contact dermatitis is due to a 'delayed hypersensitivity' reaction, involving the immune system, where the body first becomes sensitized to a substance, then, at a later stage, allergic to any contact with a particular substance or group of related substances. Any part of the body can be affected. The most common allergens are nickel, rubber, formaldehyde, skin medications (including topical steroid creams), fragrances, hairdressing chemicals and some plants.
 
The treatment for both types is to track the offending substance and avoid it, if possible, or take protective action, such as wearing rubber gloves (non-latex brands, if you are sensitive to latex). Then treat the eruption in the same way as you would eczema, except that you do not need to use the specific eczema herbs. 
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