As a skincare lover, I love trying new products from my favorite and discovering different brands. Following these tips in an earlier post, 4 Tips To Help You Find The Best Skincare Products That Work For You, has helped me in so many ways. However, every now and then despite heavy research on a product, an allergic reaction might occur and that’s okay!
Have you ever tried a new product immediately or the next day your face is bumpy, irritated, and itchy? You might have an allergic reaction to a product, also known as contact dermatitis.
It’s definitely not the end of the world when you get contact dermatitis (even though it might feel like it). Today, we’re going to dive into what contact dermatitis is, how to prevent and treat it so you can test new products with ease in your skincare routine!
What Is Contact Dermatitis?
Contact dermatitis is a skin rash that occurs after contact with an allergen or irritant. Although the condition isn’t life-threatening or contagious, it can be itchy, painful, and bothersome.
There are two main types of contact dermatitis - irritant and allergic. According to the National Eczema Association, irritant dermatitis occurs after exposure to irritating substances, such as detergents, makeup, soaps, or nickel-containing jewelry. This causes a rash to break out quickly in response.
In contrast, allergic contact dermatitis can take several days to develop and is triggered by an allergen. When an allergen is present, the body’s immune system responds with inflammation. This is what causes the itchy rash.
Everyone is at risk of developing contact dermatitis, however, women, elderly, infants, and those with sensitive skin, or preexisting skin conditions, are more susceptible. Certain professions can also put people at greater risk of developing contact dermatitis. Florists, custodians, construction workers, healthcare providers, and food service workers are a few examples. In these professions, workers are regularly exposed to irritating chemicals and allergens.
In my case, I got irritant dermatitis from not patch testing one of my newest skincare products. My skin was very inflamed and itchy. Here are a few ways to prevent contact dermatitis.
How To Prevent Contact Dermatitis
A proactive method to prevent contact dermatitis is to visit an allergist and have a patch test performed. This will rule out any triggers and inform you of specific allergens to be cautious of, such as plants, pets, metals.
Another method to prevent contact dermatitis is to simply be aware of anything that comes into contact with your skin. Wear proper clothing that protects your arms and legs when near plants and shrubs. After using chemicals be sure to promptly wash your hands.
If an irritant causes a skin rash, it is likely to happen again the next time you are exposed to it.
When it comes to skincare if you sample a new soap, lotion, or product keep an eye out for any reactions. Opt for fragrance-free or mild variations. I highly recommend doing a patch test on an area of your body such as your arm or hand, at least 24 hours before, before fully applying the product onto your face.
How To Treat Contact Dermatitis
This happened to me a few years ago for the first time and I FREAKED out and stopped using the product immediately. I went to my local City MD and received an allergy cream that needed to be applied twice a day onto my face. You can visit a professional, but contact dermatitis can be treated at home with what you have or with over-the-counter products.
In addition to reading this post, I recommend watching LaBeautyologist’s video on PURGING OR IRRITATION? | Esthetician Explains How to Identify and Treat Both Conditions. Nai goes into detail on contact dermatitis and how it can be easily treated at home. Most recently, I got contact dermatitis and heavily moisturized my face 3 times a day with two moisturizers. Thanks to LaBeautyologist’s video I was able to clear up my contact dermatitis within a week!
I hope this post helps you on your skincare journey to learn about what contact dermatitis is, how to prevent it, and how you can easily treat it. Basically don’t freak out and moisturize!
Until next time,