Allergic contact dermatitis (ACD) is a kind of skin rash caused by an allergic reaction to a material, called an allergen, that contacts the skin. In an allergic reaction, a rash usually occurs 12-72 hours after exposure to the allergen. You may be exposed to an allergen for years without any reaction before developing
Poison ivy is a common allergan that causes ACD.hypersensitivity.
ACD may present as itchy, red, scaly plaques, usually localized to skin areas that have come into contact with the allergen. Common ACD allergens include nickel, cobalt, fragrances, hair dyes, cosmetics, poison ivy/oak/sumac, neomycin, formaldehyde, Bacitracin and rubber.
Self-care options for mild ACDs include over-the-counter oral antihistamines like Benadryl, and hydrocortizone creams. If these provide no relief, we recommend a multi-pronged approach, customized for your particular situation:
1) Identify the allergen
- When the allergen is unknown, we can perform a patch test to identify it.
2) Avoid the allergen
- Avoid known allergens and use gentle, fragrance-free products as much as possible.
2) Treat skin inflammation
- We can prescribe topical steroids to provide treatment and relief of ACD rashes.
3) Protect skin with moisturizing
- Just like with dry skin and eczema, we recommend that you moisturize with a thick cream or emollient twice daily, especially after bathing.
- This helps strengthen the skin barrier and prevents entry of allergens.
Common rashes caused by allergic contact dermatitis can be managed effectively with smart treatment. To get started, call us at (303) 604-1444.