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Contact Dermatitis: Facts About Skin Rashes

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Treating a Rash at Home

If you know what caused the rash, don't touch it again.

Wash your skin with mild soap and cool water right away, if you can. You may get rid of all or most of the problem substance. That could help cut back on symptoms.

When the rash covers only a small area, a hydrocortisone cream may be all you need for relief.

For blisters, apply a cold moist compress for 30 minutes, three times a day.

If your skin is damaged, put moisturizers on it several times a day to help restore the protective layer.

Oral antihistamines can help relieve itching. Don't use an antihistamine lotion unless your doctor suggests it, because it could cause skin irritation or an allergic reaction, too.

When to See Your Doctor

Call your doctor if your rash is painful or worries you, or if it isn't better after a couple of days. Your doctor will take a look and ask you questions to help figure out what's going on.

Depending on how severe it is, he may prescribe steroid pills or ointment, and an antihistamine.

If you can't avoid what's bothering your skin, talk to your doctor about wearing gloves or using creams to keep it safe.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on September 17, 2014

Sources

SOURCES:

American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology: "Allergic Reaction," "Contact Dermatitis."

American Academy of Dermatology: "Contact Dermatitis."

American Osteopathic College of Dermatology: "Allergic Contact Dermatitis."

Cleveland Clinic: "Contact Dermatitis."

UpToDate: "Irritant contact dermatitis in adults."

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