Allergic contact dermatitis — diagnosis, treatment methods

The essence of skin disease
Factors of the disease
Diagnosis of AСD
The main methods of treatment
Traditional medicine
Tips for ACD sufferers

The essence of skin disease

This kind of dermatitis is the result of external influences through touch, friction, evaporation. A certain temperature of the air can cause an illness, which causes problems with your body. In addition, various mechanical factors, like an electric shock, radiation, contact with alkalis, aggressive acids can be provocateurs of the disease.

The disease begins after the hookup with one or more of the above-listed irritants. A slow reaction to it causes an inflammatory process, but for 2 weeks it does not show obvious symptoms. Sensitization (increased susceptibility) increases in the body, which is characterized by the production of histamines. Then the second or clinical phase starts, in which there is swelling, redness, itching.

According to ICD-10 Allergic contact dermatitis is indicated by the code L23.

The disease manifests itself not only with irritation on the skin, but it also has a negative effect on the entire body. After all, a weakened immune system is not able to fight infections, viruses, and other pathogens. In addition, there is a psychological moment, when the person’s appearance becomes unpleasant. This fact can cause negative emotions. As a result, complexes develop, a person becomes self-contained, irritable, unconfident. Such a state affects health in a hasty manner. Most likely, other diseases may appear on such a basis.

Factors of the disease

Allergens of various types and forms can cause skin pathology, in particular, such as:

  • Latex items (clothing, accessories, condoms, pacifiers).
  • Cosmetics.
  • Dishes, coins, dentures with nickel components.
  • Nickel jewelry.
  • Antibiotics, corticosteroids, some components of drugs.
  • Chemical detergents and cleaners.
  • Rubber, synthetic, artificial items.
  • Pollen.
  • Inks, paints, varnishes, bleaches, toxic building and finishing materials.

The quality of the listed items suggests that the chemical effect on the body is not the only one. The determining factor is the tolerance or intolerance to the various kinds of allergens.

The more intense the stimuli are, the faster the reaction in the form of hypo-allergenic dermatitis will be. An organism is subject to similar diseases for the following reasons:

  1. A weakening of immune functions after serious illnesses.
  2. Congenital predisposition
  3. A thin layer of the epidermis or other violations of the skin.

AСD may occur as a result of the body’s irritation with colored and/or synthetic materials, especially in cases of excessive sweating. The reaction to external factors is aggravated by the addition of internal causes, like endocrine dysfunction, problems with metabolism, lack of vitamins or excess levels.


Dermatitis can be acute or chronic.

In the case of exacerbation of the disease, the affected surface is clearly described. An allergic reaction begins with redness and swelling. Then the papules filled with liquid appear, they swell in the form of bubbles. Broken cavities dry up, turn into crusts which cause persistent itching and peeling.

The second type of disease is characteristic of people who regularly come in contact with an irritant. The outlines on the damaged skin become blurred, the disease covers healthy areas. Excessive sensitization contributes to the progression of the disease. The skin in the areas of lesion thickens, and lichenization appears, in which the skin pattern becomes pronounced.

The secondary lesion of the dermis (escalation) is also possible. It comes as a result of scratching during severe itching.

Allergic contact dermatitis is nothing more than an allergic reaction with a delayed action. It is not the antibodies that are involved in this process, but the immune cells, the accumulation of which can be seen during the microscopic examination of the epithelium’ particles.

Symptoms of atopic dermatitis in adults in the photo:

Symptoms of atopic dermatitis
Symptoms of atopic dermatitis

Diagnosis of AСD

During visual examination, the doctor recognizes the disease by its erythema and edema. To clarify the diagnostic laboratory methods are used. Samples of the affected skin are collected. With the help of special test strips, the type of allergen is determined. They are attached to the skin to check the reaction for each type of allergen. If redness or swelling appeared at the point of contact, it means that the patient reacts negatively to the stimulus.

In view of the fact that each patient may have different stimuli, the treatment program is developed individually, taking into account the analytical data obtained.

Differential diagnosis is carried out in order to exclude similar diseases. For this purpose the following studies are carried out:

  • Analysis of feces for the presence of dysbiosis.
  • Biochemistry of blood and urine.
  • Blood sugar content.

The patient is referred to a gastroenterologist and endocrinologist in order to clarify the status of the gastrointestinal tract and the thyroid gland.

It is worth paying attention to some features of the manifestation and consequences of the disease in children. In order to avoid complications, it is necessary to bring the young patient to the doctor as soon as possible. Otherwise, you can extremely aggravate his condition, because allergic reactions can cause angioedema, asthma, anaphylactic shock.

The main methods of treatment

When the main allergen has been identified, the first step to getting rid of ACD is to eliminate the irritant. On the one hand, it may seem simple. However, much depends on the characteristics of the allergen and the prevailing circumstances. For example, if we are talking about clothes made from allergenic materials or nickel jewelry, there is nothing easier than remove objectionable items from your wardrobe and say goodbye to bad earrings or pendants.

If irritants are associated with a job, it is necessary to weigh how important this work is. Depending on the degree of importance, a person makes a decision to change the place of work or resort to means of protection, like masks, gloves, respirators, bathrobes.

The photo shows the symptoms of allergic dermatitis associated with professional activities, the treatment of which is more complex:

the symptoms of allergic dermatitis

Treatment of allergic dermatitis in adults with medication involves taking antihistamines. The most effective and harmless include:

  1. Aerius.
  2. Zyrtec.

It is worth noting that these modern drugs have replaced Benadryl, Tavegyl, Suprastin, which have a number of undesirable side effects, like increased drowsiness, decreased attention, weakness.

For the treatment of allergic dermatitis in children, antihistamines are selected individually, taking side effects into account.

Photo symptoms of allergic dermatitis in children:

symptoms of allergic dermatitis in children
Symptom of atopic dermatitis in children

To get rid of symptoms such as itching, burning, caused by excessive dryness of the epidermis, are recommended:

  • Otomax.
  • Claritin.
  • Cetirizine.
  • Deslordis.

Topical hormones, antibiotics, and antifungal components allow the drugs to have a wide range of effects.

Elidel, Locoid, Medrol and other ointments with corticosteroids give the maximum effect. They are used for 7 days, applied 1 time per day.

The Medrol emulsion is shown with ACD on the face. It is applied with a thin layer and rubbing movements so that it penetrates more deeply.

Traditional medicine

ACD delivers serious suffering to the patient. No one denies the benefits of resorting to traditional doctors, but the folk’s advice should not be discounted. Special baths, compresses, ingestion of infusions and decoctions prepared according to popular recipes, when agreed with the attending physician, can become an important part of the treatment complex.

Bath treatment

For such procedures, a decoction from various medicinal plants is prepared. To relieve severe itching, we recommend a calendula bath. 2 tbsp. of a dry plant are poured with 200-250 ml of boiled water, then the mix is left on a fire for 10 minutes. Strain the obtained mass through gauze, add it to a bath.

Oregano, centaury, nettle, valerian or periwinkle with a string, oak bark with bay leaves also have a similar effect.

Baths with herbs are recommended to take at least for 10 days, once a day. The duration of the procedure is not more than 15-20 minutes. It is desirable to change the types of decoctions.

Ointments for skin rashes

There are many popular recipes of ointments, which contribute to accelerated deliverance from the disease, stimulate skin regeneration, relieve inflammation.

Cranberry ointment with petroleum jelly (1:4) among the most effective. The main condition is to store it in a dark place with low temperature.

The external remedy of a honey bee and Kalanchoe (1:1) has an anti-inflammatory effect, eliminates itching, prevents complications.

If necessary, to dry the affected skin, it is worth resorting to a mixture of olive oil, baby powder, white clay, zinc powder. An ointment made from baby cream, chain plant juice, Valerian leaves, vegetable oil has similar properties.

Such products are prepared from various natural ingredients:

Take natural cow butter and juice squeezed from leaves, flowers, and stems of fresh St. John’s wort (1:4), mix it, treat the areas covered with dermatitis with them.
Melt the propolis in the microwave or oven, combine with olive oil.
The leaves of the geranium houseplant (40 g) are ground, and vegetable oil is poured into the vessel. The contents are closed with a lid, sent to the dark place for 5 days, then it has to stay in a bright room for 1.5 months.

Miraculous medicine on alcohol with the addition of celandine has a cleansing effect in dermatitis:

Take fresh celandine (60 g), extract juice from it, pour it into a bottle with a cork and left to ferment in a dark place. Open the cork daily to release the accumulated gases. A week later, pour vodka (60 ml) into a vessel, shake well and send to a cold place for 2 days. Apply the mixture to the damaged areas of the skin. The procedure is preferably carried out 2 times a day.

For the treatment of allergic contact dermatitis in children, it is advised to resort to a unique folk drug — a powder obtained from the crushed eggshell. It is enough to take ¼ tbsp. of the shell, add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice to it. Small patient has to drink such potion 2 times a day.

The next baths are recommended for babies:

  • Sea salt (about 100 g per baby bath).
  • Broths from the beggarticks dry leaves with the addition of onion peels.
  • Starchy broths.

Tips for ACD sufferers

If an irritant comes in, it is necessary to wash it off with a soap solution as soon as possible.

Do not open the bubbles, so as not to attract a secondary infection.

Do not use aggressive household chemicals, there are enough hypoallergenic products on the market that should be preferred.

If you are allergic to nickel products, you will have to carefully revise the menu, in order to exclude products that include this chemical element, like buckwheat, soy, millet, oatmeal, tomatoes, liver and some others.


A positive answer for complete recovery can be guaranteed if contact with allergens is excluded, along with completing the treatment course with medications.

More difficult disposal of the disease is expected in the presence of irritating factors related to a professional activity. You can count on recovery if you have passed the treatment program, using protective equipment that will minimize the possible contact with the allergen. However, in such circumstances, the illness can appear again, and the clinical picture may be more severe. There is an increase in sensitization, which provokes an allergic reaction on the skin of the whole body.

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