Contact eczema

Contact dermatitis or contact eczema caused by allergies is called eczema. Skin lesions caused by an allergen are just one of the symptoms accompanying eczema, because this type of disease may also cause severe reddening of the skin and its persistent itching. All these changes that occur on the surface of the skin are generally called contact eczema.

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Unfortunately, this type of disease is most often chronic. In this case, constant pharmacological treatment is required, because even healed eczema and all related ailments may recur. Local treatment is suggested during the treatment, additionally supported by orally taken antihistamines. It is also very important that the source of the allergen is found and eliminated from the very beginning.

1. What can cause eczema?

Experts believe that eczema can be caused by high skin sensitivity to certain external factors or chemicals. Patients suffering from this type of disease very often mention rubber, nickel, chrome, any unnatural dyes, as well as ingredients that are the basis for cosmetics or plastics among allergens. Unfortunately, allergies can be caused by preparations that are used every day, e.g. washing up liquid, shampoo or washing powder. Sometimes a single contact with the allergen is enough and a reaction occurs. Eczema very often takes the form of acute and chronic inflammation of the skin.

Eczema is often caused by allergens (123RF)

2. What is a contact allergy?

This type of allergy occurs when the skin comes into contact with an allergenic agent. As for the symptoms of this disease, they come in two phases. Initially, the harmful, allergenic substance penetrates the epidermis, where it binds to proteins. In the next stage, the hypersensitivity of the immune system to a given substance increases, and when the skin comes into contact with the allergen again, advanced sensitization appears. Skin changes appear on the surface of the epidermis, e.g. eczema, blister, erythema or even erosions.

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3. Eczema - what does it look like?

Contact dermatitis in most cases takes the form of vesicles that appear at the site of contact with the allergen. The patient may experience intense itching of the skin. The site of allergy itself may be red, and with acute inflammation, it may even develop into swelling. Eczema that is not properly treated can cause the skin to become dry, rough and thick.

4. How to Treat Eczema?

The most important thing is to recognize any substance that may be allergenic. How to do it? A simple method may be to perform a plate test. The skin is rubbed with tissue paper on which the selected allergen is located. Areas where an allergic reaction occurs are monitored and lesions assessed for disease. Sometimes it is enough to eliminate the allergen for the lesion to disappear. However, any allergy requires drug treatment. For example, an ointment with corticosteroids is used, which has an anti-inflammatory effect. Local treatment in difficult cases is also supported by oral medications from the group of antihistamines.

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