Contact Dermatitis; Causes and Natural Treatments

Contact dermatitis is a skin disorder that causes the areas around your nose, mouth, and eyes to become itchy. It can occur when you come into contact with irritants like detergents or some chemicals used in household cleaners. In addition to using natural remedies for contact dermatitis symptoms, there are also ways to prevent this condition from occurring in the first place by avoiding these triggers as much as possible.

When an irritant or anything to which we are allergic comes into contact with our skin, it may cause an itchy, blistery rash. Almost everyone will have contact dermatitis at some time in their life. It usually goes away on its own without the need for medical attention. However, if it lasts more than a month — or if it recurs and you don’t know what’s causing it — you should see a dermatologist.

Natural contact dermatitis remedies may help ease symptoms and expedite recovery for the almost 15 million individuals in the United States who are afflicted each year. Depending on the irritant or allergen you’ve come into contact with, lesions and blisters usually emerge between 24 and 72 hours. In addition, cosmetics and other beauty items, chemical solvents, some drugs, and plants may all induce an inflammatory skin response.

Contact dermatitis is one of the most prevalent reasons to consult a dermatologist, accounting for 95 percent of occupational skin illnesses. Nurses, those who work in the beauty business with hair and skin products, bartenders, gardeners, and those who deal with chemicals in industrial facilities and labs are among those most at risk for having this severe skin disease.

Experts are perplexed by the fact that there seems to be evidence that repeated exposure to particular substances might raise the likelihood of the immune system being sensitized to them, resulting in a new allergic reaction. This has been seen, for example, in persons who wake up allergic to their wedding bands, in people who acquire a latex allergy after wearing gloves for years, or in professional musicians who get a rash as a consequence of their instrument.

This skin ailment is not infectious, although it is unattractive and painful. With efficient home cures, it usually recovers in two to four weeks. Additionally, avoiding the offending substances that cause the inflammatory reaction may frequently reduce reoccurrences.

What Is Contact Dermatitis and How Does It Affect You?

This inflammatory rash is induced by direct contact with an allergen or irritant, and it is divided into two kinds. In most cases of contact dermatitis produced by an irritant, the skin becomes inflamed right away. If an allergy is to blame, the reaction might take many days. While each variety is caused by a distinct substance, the symptoms and therapies are always the same.

Allergic: This kind is more prevalent in women and is commonly caused by cosmetics, topical antibiotic creams, jewelry, latex, or rubber. The inflammatory reaction in most people causes a rash to occur 24 to 72 hours after physical contact with the allergen, and it is usually localized.

When caused by cosmetic products, it is most typically seen on the hands, face, neck, and ears. Metal or rubber allergies are more likely to induce it on the trunk, neck, and extremities. Exposure to an allergen, such as latex found in condoms or certain chemicals present in spermicides and feminine hygiene products, is commonly the cause of this sort of rash around the genitals.

Poison ivy, sumac, and oak rashes are all examples of this.

Irritant: While most usually associated with chemicals, certain environmental variables may also be caused. Overexposure to water may occur due to hand washing, swimming, or other activities. It may also be brought on by prolonged exposure to cold temperatures.

This kind is typically seen in the workplace when workers are exposed to chemicals, solvents, acids, and cleaners such as bleach. However, licking your lips, exposure to the sun and wind, and moisture trapped against the body may all cause it. This is a broad category that includes both diaper rash and acid burns!

Symptoms & Signs

Contact dermatitis, along with atopic dermatitis and seborrheic dermatitis, is a kind of eczema. Symptoms that are often recognized include:

  • Skin that is scaly, red, or pink.
  • Skin that has been raised
  • Blisters
  • Lesions with well-defined boundaries
  • Geometric-shaped lesions
  • Eyelids swollen
  • Itching that is severe
  • The skin peels off.
  • Scaling
  • Cracks
  • Sun sensitivity has increased.
  • Leathery, darkened skin

Fluid-filled blisters occur in a line when poison ivy, poison sumac, or poison oak is present, and they continue to deteriorate for a few weeks. While the blister fluid is not infectious, any remaining urushiol — the component that produces the response — might trigger an allergic reaction in others. For many days, this molecule may stay active beneath fingernails, on garments, and on footwear.

Risk Factors & Causes

Irritators or allergens are the most common causes of this inflammatory skin disorder. The following are some of the most common substances linked to this skin rash:

  • Nickel, as well as other metals: A rash may be caused by certain coins, jewels, snaps, zippers, and buckles. Even leaning on a metal table, working on a laptop, chatting on a cell phone, carrying keys, or wearing eyeglasses might irritate folks who are sensitive to metals.
  • Latex and rubber: Latex allergies are prevalent and may be found in various products such as balloons, gloves, mousepads, condoms, goggles, and even the elastic in apparel such as underpants. People exposed to latex for a long time are more likely to develop a latex allergy. Persons with seasonal or food allergies, health care professionals, people who have undergone several surgeries, rubber industry employees, and people with seasonal or food allergies are all examples.
  • Cosmetics: Even the most well-known luxury cosmetics products might include chemicals and substances that cause a rash. Lipstick, foundation, mascara, anti-aging eye treatments, moisturizers, and nail polish are all known for their ability to irritate the skin.
  • Products for grooming: Shampoo, conditioner, body wash, soap, shaving creams, hair colors, and styling products, among other things, might create a rash. Lanolin, sodium lauryl sulfate, formaldehyde, Balsam of Peru, parabens, and some artificial perfumes are examples of common substances that have been demonstrated to induce allergic reactions.
  • Ointments containing antibiotics: Bacitracin and neomycin, which are often present in antibiotic ointments, are known to induce a rash and symptoms consistent with this skin disease in some individuals. While most responses to these drugs are minimal, some may result in anaphylaxis, a potentially fatal event. When using antibiotic or triple antibiotic ointments or creams, use extra care.
  • Detergents for fabrics: In certain individuals, chemicals found in laundry detergents and fabric softeners, as well as solvents used in dry cleaning and leather cleaning, might trigger symptoms, including a rash. An allergist may test patients so that suitable products can be utilized, although identifying the particular chemical causing the response can be difficult without trial and error.
  • Cleaners for the home: Skin rashes and irritation may be caused by window cleaners, dishwashing soap, dishwasher soap, floor cleaners, bathroom cleaners, and grease removal solutions. To prevent dangerous chemicals, use gloves or, better yet, switch products. Try my recipe for Homemade Melaleuca Lemon Household Cleaner, which combines vinegar, essential oils, and water to create a powerful cleaner.
  • Fertilizers and insecticides: Fertilizers and pesticides might induce irritating contact dermatitis whether you work in agriculture or garden at home. Use caution while handling these caustic chemicals since they are not safe to eat or apply to your skin.
  • Instruments of music: Contact dermatitis is more likely to develop in people who play particular musical instruments. Nickel, palladium, silver, gold, and cobalt are common allergen metals found in brass instruments such as the flute, trombone, trumpet, and tuba. Allergens such as nickel and cobalt, as well as organic compounds from exotic woods and cane reeds, are found in woodwind instruments such as the saxophone, oboe, clarinet, and bassoon. Metals and exotic woods, as well as rosins, propolis, and staining compounds known to provoke an inflammatory allergic reaction may be found in string instruments, primarily violins, violas, and cellos.

The following are some of the most often recognized risk factors for having this skin condition:

  • Eczema has been a part of my life since I was a child.
  • Living in a dry environment
  • Hand washing regularly
  • Repeated exposure to water
  • Chemical and solvent exposure, such as fiberglass, alkalis, and acids
  • Having a fair complexion
  • Putting on a diaper
  • Working as a gardener, a laboratory worker, a nurse, a hairdresser, a cosmetologist, a health care professional, a mechanic, a machinist, a chef or a food service worker, a metal worker, or a musician.

Treatments used

A medical history and physical examination are required for a clear diagnosis. In most circumstances, a dermatologist or physician will be able to diagnose this skin issue without the need for further tests. If the allergen or irritant isn’t easily recognized, patch testing and allergy tests may be necessary. The following are the most prevalent contact dermatitis treatments:

  • Creams containing hydrocortisone to relieve itching and redness
  • Antihistamines are antihistamines that are used to treat allergies.
  • If skin sores or blisters become infected, antibiotics are prescribed.
  • Steroids used orally

16 Home Remedies for Contact Dermatitis

Much to established eczema treatments, the objective is to repair and protect the skin while easing itching, burning, and irritation; however, known allergens and irritants must be eliminated from the diet and environment to heal and prevent new outbreaks.

1. Stay away from known food allergies. Avoid foods that you are allergic to or sensitive to. This includes not just not eating them but also avoiding handling or preparing them. Traditional dairy, soy, citrus, peanuts, wheat, gluten, fish and shellfish, eggs, maize, and tomatoes are common allergies.

2. Avoid chemicals that are known to be irritants or allergies. If you develop a sensitivity to a cosmetic, hair product, home cleaner, latex, metal, or other components, avoid all contact with it to aid healing and prevent future breakouts, symptoms, or rashes.

3. Consume blackberries and blueberries. Blueberries and blackberries are high in flavonoids, which have anti-inflammatory qualities and are known to strengthen connective tissue while lowering allergic responses – two important factors in the treatment of contact dermatitis. To aid with healing, try my favorite gluten-free blueberry muffin recipe.

4. Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3-rich foods such as mackerel, wild-caught salmon, salmon fish oil or cod liver oil, walnuts, chia seeds, and flaxseeds should be added to your diet. Omega-3 fatty acids assist skin health, cardiovascular function, good blood sugar levels, immune system response, inflammation reduction, and mood improvement.

5. Probiotics. Take a high-quality probiotic supplement and eat more probiotic-rich foods to boost your immune system response and help reduce allergies. Probiotics taken during pregnancy or early infancy have been shown to prevent infants from developing dermatitis in the future, as well as enhance immune system response, and aid regulate allergies, according to research.

6. Vitamin C. Vitamin C’s powerful antihistamine effects may help some persons with contact dermatitis symptoms. Because citrus is a frequent allergy, choose a high-quality rosehip supplement and eat lots of non-citrus vitamin C foods such black currants, red peppers, green peppers, strawberries, broccoli, and pineapple.

7. Collagen is a well-known component of skin health, and it’s essential during an outbreak to speed up the healing process. Oral collagen supplementation considerably boosts skin hydration while significantly lowering skin fragmentation, according to a research published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology. To alleviate troubling symptoms, consume homemade bone broth, a high-quality supplement, or blend a collagen-based protein powder into morning smoothies.

8. Bromelain is an enzyme found in pineapples. This potent enzyme found in pineapples helps to relieve inflammation. Purchase organic pineapples to juice or choose a high-quality supplement. Bromelain is concentrated in the core. Thus it should never be discarded!

9. Quercetin. Leafy greens, berries, broccoli, and tomatoes all contain this potent flavonoid, which is recognized for its anti-inflammatory qualities. It has been demonstrated to aid in the recovery of patients suffering from inflammatory illnesses. During an epidemic, use 1,000 mg three times a day to minimize inflammation and allergic responses. Choose a high-quality quercetin supplement and eat foods like chocolate, apples, cherries, and berries, leafy greens, and black and green tea that are high in quercetin.

10. Vitamin D. Individuals with a vitamin D deficiency are at a higher risk of getting this illness, according to researchers from the Department of Pediatrics at CHA University School of Medicine in Korea. Spend more time in the sun (without sunscreen) and eat wild-caught fish like halibut, mackerel, eel, salmon, sardines, and tuna to boost your vitamin D levels. Maitake mushrooms, portobello mushrooms, raw milk, and eggs are examples of vitamin D-rich non-ocean foods.

11. Apply a soothing and moisturizing cream to the rash. Next, apply a healing and moisturizing lotion prepared with coconut oil, shea butter, lavender essential oil, and antibacterial tea tree oil. Then, at least twice a day, apply my DIY homemade eczema cream recipe. You may also just use coconut oil. Coconut oil is one of the few substances that hydrates the skin, keeps it soft and smooth, and aids in healing. Apply many times a day until the sores heal, and the rash disappears. Antifungal and antibacterial activities are also found in coconut oil.

12. Evening primrose has been demonstrated to help with itching when applied topically. Furthermore, according to studies, the high concentration of GLA supports skin health by enhancing moisture levels, firmness, and elasticity. A research revealed that eating 1,500 mg of evening primrose daily improved skin health considerably. Before consuming evening primrose oil or using it topically, see your doctor if you are on blood thinners or have a history of seizures or schizophrenia.

13. Baths with oatmeal. Colloidal oatmeal, a component in moisturizing lotions, bath soaps, shampoos, and bubble baths, was shown to be beneficial in treating a broad range of inflammatory skin disorders, including atopic dermatitis and eczema, according to a research published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology. The high quantities of phenolic chemicals in oats are thought to be responsible for their healing properties.

Blend 3 tablespoons organic, gluten-free oats till fine in a grinder to produce a relaxing bath. 1 cup warm water + 1 teaspoon powder + 1 cup warm water + 1 tablespoon powder + 1 cup warm water + 1 tablespoon powder + 1 cup warm water + 1 5–7 drops lavender oil added to a warm tub of water, sit back, relax, and soak for 20 to 30 minutes.

14. Dressings that are wet. Cover the rash with a warm, wet sterile dressing to ease the irritating symptoms of itching, redness, and the crust that forms when the rash weeps. Next, soak a bandage in a solution of apple cider vinegar, water, and a few drops of your favorite antibiotic-rich essential oil, such as cinnamon, thyme, oregano, or tea tree. Secure it with a wrap and change it many times a day.

15. Apple cider vinegar. Even generations-old wives’ tales can’t compare to the advantages of apple cider vinegar. Soothing skin, lowering inflammation, and battling germs are all issues connected with this disease, and apple cider vinegar has been shown to help. For a mild cleanse and to expedite healing while guarding against fungus and bacteria that typically assault open rash sores, use my favorite recipe for a DIY Apple Cider Vinegar Toner.

16. Baths with Dead Sea salt. According to a research published in the International Journal of Dermatology, bathing in the Dead Sea, the salt solution increases skin hydration, lowers inflammation, and improves skin barrier function. According to contributing researchers, Dead Sea salts are helpful due to their high magnesium concentration.

Add 1 cup of Dead Sea salt to a tub of water for a pleasant soak. Mix a couple of teaspoons with a cup of warm water and apply gently with cotton pads if you have a localized rash; it is safe to use on the face and around mucous membranes.


When blisters or lesions burst out as a result of symptoms, the risk of infection and scarring skyrockets, it is critical that the space be kept clean and free of germs and fungus. Tenderness, redness, warmth in the rash, or high fever are all frequent indicators of infection.

Last Thoughts

In the United States, almost 15 million individuals suffer from contact dermatitis symptoms each year. According to studies, this inflammatory skin condition is responsible for 95 percent of occupational skin illnesses.

There are two types of irritants: allergic and non-allergic. Beauty products, metals, plants, home cleansers, and other items to which you have an allergy or sensitivity are common causes of the allergic group. Between 24 and 72 hours following exposure, the rash usually appears.

Chemical chemicals and environmental variables such as cold retained moisture and dry regions are common causes of irritants.

It’s not infectious, and natural contact dermatitis remedies usually get rid of the rash and symptoms in a matter of weeks. Unfortunately, this skin ailment is more common among health care professionals, landscapers, musicians, food service employees, mechanics, and people who deal with chemicals.

Avoid foods that you are allergic to and common allergens, including shellfish, soy, dairy, wheat, gluten, and maize, to expedite healing and prevent further outbreaks. In addition, avoid goods that contain chemicals that might create a rash. Many chemicals may be found in cosmetics and cleaning supplies. If you’re unsure what’s causing your symptoms, an allergist can help you figure it out.

Scratching should be avoided at all costs since it may lead to infection and scars. Cleanse and moisturize the afflicted regions with an organic substance like coconut oil.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can dermatitis be cured naturally?

A: Yes! Many home remedies can help with the cause of dermatitis. These include using saltwater and washing your face with warm soapy water, applying aloe vera gel to irritated skin, and taking a bath in Epsom salts for about 10 minutes.

How do you get rid of contact dermatitis fast?

A: It is best to use cortisone cream twice a day for 5 days. After the fifth day, you should stop using it and just wash with soap or baby wipes instead of using lotion.

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