Rash Contact Dermatitis Home Care
- Avoid contact with substances that cause contact dermatitis.
- Cleaning products
- Where smooth-textured cotton clothing
- Wash your skin gently with mild soap twice a day.
- Select hypoallergenic soaps
- Apply 1% hydrocortisone cream:
- Apply to the skin, 4 times a day.
- Avoid scratching:
- This can cause an infection such as impetigo
- Apply a cold compress:
- Compress may reduce swelling
- A cool bath may also work
- Apply for 20-30 minutes, every 1-2 hours.
- Apply a moisturizer for dry skin:
- Oral antihistamines for itching:
- Take prescribed medications as directed:
Rash Contact Dermatitis Itching
- Cleanse itching skin with soap and water to remove any potential allergens.
- Massage itchy areas with an ice cube or cold compress. Don't use warm or hot compresses on any areas of allergic swelling. This can make the swelling even worse!
- Mild hives often go away without treatment in 3-4 days.
- Restrict exposure to all potential allergic substances such as foods, and non-prescription supplements.
- Take a cool bath or shower to reduce itching. Consider using colloidal oatmeal (Aveeno).
Medications for itching include:
- An oral antihistamine such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl)
- For children (1 to 6 years) give 6.25-12.5 mg of Benadryl every four to six hours
- For children (6-12 years) give 12.5-25 mg of diphenhydramine every four to six hours
- Adults may take 25 to 50 mg of diphenhydramine every four to six hours as needed
- Anti-itching cream such as:
- Benadryl Itch Stopping Cream
- A steroid cream such as a 0.5 to 1% hydrocortisone cream or ointment such as:
- Domeboro Astringent is used as a wet compress on itching skin
- Prescribed oral antihistamines or steroids should be taken as directed
Oral antihistamines can be sedating. Use with caution and do not mix with alcohol or other sedatives. Follow directions on product packaging
Rash Contact Dermatitis Warning Signs
Notify your doctor if you have contact dermatitis and any of the following:
- A rash over more than a quarter of the body
- Facial swelling
- Large blisters or weeping sores
- Lip swelling
- Worsening skin redness, yellow-brown scabs, or pus
- Worsening skin redness and pain:
Seek medical care right away for:
Continue to Rash Contact Dermatitis Prevention
- Cahill J, Keegel T, Nixon R. The prognosis of occupational contact dermatitis in 2004. Contact Dermatitis. 2004 Nov-Dec;51(5-6):219-26. 
- Cohen DE, Heidary N. Treatment of irritant and allergic contact dermatitis. Dermatol Ther. 2004;17(4):334-40. 
- Mowad CM. Contact allergens of the year. Adv Dermatol. 2004;20:237-55. 
- Reunala T, Alenius H, Turjanmaa K, Palosuo T. Latex allergy and skin. Curr Opin Allergy Clin Immunol. 2004 Oct;4(5):397-401.