Last updated: August 9, 2021
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A 34-year-old female with an itchy rash on the palms:
It has been almost two months since I developed an itchy rash on my palms. Initially, there was redness, followed by intense itching and dry peeling skin. Being a single parent, I barely have time to keep my head above the water, and countless tasks always await me. Therefore I can scarcely manage a trip to my doctor and only tend to try over-the-counter stuff.
Exhausting every option, including every soothing lotion, barrier repair moisturizer and itch relieving creams, it was getting impossible for me to deal with this situation, and my household chores were weighing me down.
One afternoon when I had put my kids down for a nap, I received a call from my friend. While catching up, I started venting and mentioned my situation to her. She immediately suggested that I consult an online doctor on a trusted website. Convinced, I started my search and came across a platform, Your Doctors Online.
It connected me to a doctor as soon as I filled in my details. So, without further ado, I spilt my tale of suffering and sent her pictures of the itchy rash.
The doctor told me that I had a condition called Contact Dermatitis!
The doctor listened to me patiently, after which she had a couple of questions, including whether I had recently changed my detergent or dishwashing soap. Immediately I realized that I had done so precisely two months ago when the symptoms had started. I felt relieved that she had finally narrowed down the cause.
The doctor diagnosed me with Irritant Contact Dermatitis. Irritant Contact Dermatitis resulted from the skin coming in contact with toxic or harsh chemicals present in detergents, bleach, drain cleaners etc.
The doctor explained the entire treatment protocol!
The doctor advised me to use a mild soap to wash my hands and immediately discontinue using that particular detergent. She also asked me to use gloves while washing the dishes.
Furthermore, she recommended me a steroid cream which I had to apply to the affected area. She further instructed me to take an antihistamine tablet to combat the itching.
I was at peace after the online consultation!
She also mentioned that if I developed any painful blisters, I should follow up with my doctor or consult a dermatologist. I was very much at peace after this online consultation with a doctor. It had saved me a trip to my doctor, and I was thrilled because now I was aware of what steps to take to resolve my condition.
So, if you want an online consultation, Your Doctors Online should be your first choice. I have already recommended that website to several friends.
Information about Contact Dermatitis added by Your Doctors Online Team:
People often complain of itchy palms after using a detergent that contains allergens or irritants. The itching becomes severely unpleasant and may lead to blisters if not treated. This sudden reaction of the skin in response to some perturbing agent is called contact dermatitis.
Contact dermatitis is of two types:
- Allergic Contact Dermatitis
- Irritant Contact Dermatitis
Allergic contact dermatitis
As the name indicates, allergic contact dermatitis occurs when you expose your skin to an allergen (allergy-causing agent) that leads to an allergic reaction. An allergic reaction involves identifying that very allergen to which the skin is sensitive, preparing antibodies against it, and the simultaneous release of inflammatory agents like histamine. An itchy rash appears in response to those inflammatory agents.
It is most common in women and children due to nickel jewelry that causes allergy. Acrylate allergy is also the main cause due to its use in nail paints. Allergic contact dermatitis is widespread in those who deal with metals daily, like beauticians, painters, jewellers, cleaners, etc.
Allergic contact dermatitis is specific to the person who is allergic to a specific allergen. The same allergen may not initiate an allergic response in any other’s body. Exposure to limited amounts of an allergen can induce allergic contact dermatitis.
The symptoms of allergic contact dermatitis do not appear immediately. They start appearing hours after contact with the allergen and are usually confined to that area of the skin which was exposed. However, it can spread from hands to face, eyes and genitals. (vaginal contact dermatitis). Some symptoms that may appear are:
- Itchy rash
Diagnosis of Allergic Contact Dermatitis
Your Doctors can diagnose Allergic contact dermatitis by taking a detailed history of the patient’s workplace, home, hobbies, etc. A patch test can identify the specific allergen responsible for the reaction. The product suspected of causing allergy is applied to a small area of the skin to verify the allergen.
After the allergen has been identified by patch test, your doctor may prescribe one of the following:
- Topical steroids
- Oral steroids
- Immunosuppressive agents like azathioprine
- Tacrolimus ointment
Please consult our online doctors before starting any treatment.
Irritant contact dermatitis
Irritant contact dermatitis occurs when you expose your skin to harmful chemicals that erode and damage it following an inflammatory response. It occurs when the irritant damages the upper layer of the skin and harmful chemicals penetrate the inner layers, leading to inflammation and an itchy rash. The severity of the symptoms depends upon the concentration and frequency of exposure to the irritant.
It mostly occurs when workers deal with harmful irritants daily like healthcare workers, food dealers, cleaners, etc.
It differs from allergic contact dermatitis because the inflammation does not occur in response to an autoimmune reaction; rather, the inflammatory response is due to the corrosive nature of the irritant.
Symptoms of Irritant Contact Dermatitis
- Burning sensation
- Itchy rash
- Localized due to limited exposure
- Blisters on skin
- Redness on skin
Diagnosis of Irritant Contact Dermatitis
Irritant contact dermatitis can be diagnosed by taking the occupational history of the patient. Moreover, your doctor can do patch testing to differentiate it from the allergic one. It can co-exist with allergic contact dermatitis as well.
- It can be treated by over-the-counter creams and ointments that lessen the burning sensation.
- You can use calcium gluconate gel to treat hydrogen fluoride burns.
- Topical steroids can also be recommended.
Please consult our online doctors to confirm the diagnosis and for proper treatment.
Prevention from Contact Dermatitis
The only prevention is to avoid contact with allergens or irritants that damage the skin and initiate inflammation.
- Avoid using nickel jewelry, harmful cosmetics, detergents that have harmful chemicals or any known allergens.
- Switch to homemade detergents.
- Switch to organic makeup products.
For more details on Contact dermatitis, please consult with our online doctors. We are available 24/7 for FREE at Your Doctors Online.
Disclaimer: This article provides general information and is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease or medical condition. If you require specific advice, please consult one of our medical professionals through the app. However, in case of an emergency, please call 911.
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