Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Skin Problems & Treatments Health Center

Font Size

Understanding Dermatitis -- Prevention

How Can I Prevent Dermatitis?

Some types of dermatitis are easier to prevent than others. Allergic and irritant contact dermatitis can be prevented by avoiding skin contact with the agents that cause the dermatitis. However, if you come into contact with an irritant, such as poison ivy, wash the exposed skin with soap and water as soon as possible. Most other types of dermatitis develop in people with sensitive skin and can be prevented only by avoiding the irritant. 

If you feel you are at risk for dermatitis, consider these preventive steps:

Understanding Dermatitis

  • Use a humidifier at home and at work to keep the air from getting too dry.
  • Wear loose-fitting, natural-fiber clothing; untreated cotton is ideal.
  • Avoid plated jewelry, especially in your ears, to prevent nickel-related rashes. Surgical steel or 14-karat gold earring posts are safer choices.
  • Don't wear a watchband that presses against your skin for long periods; the friction and sweat buildup can cause rashes.
  • Take warm, not hot, baths or showers and use mild soaps.
  • Lubricate your skin after a bath and several times during the day when possible using an unscented lotion or cream.

 

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Stephanie S. Gardner, MD on March 28, 2014

Today on WebMD

chafing
Pictures and symptoms of the red, scaly rash.
woman with dyed dark hair
What it says about your health.
 
woman with cleaning products
Top causes of the itch that rashes.
atopic dermatitus
Identify and treat common skin problems.
 
itchy skin
Article
shingles rash on skin
Article
 
woman with skin tag
Quiz
Woman washing face
Video
 
woman washing her hair in sink
Video
close up of womans bare neck
Tools
 
Feet
Slideshow
woman with face cream
Quiz