Contact Dermatitis and How to Treat It

Have you ever tried a new brand of laundry detergent, then broke out into a strange rash? Or have you walked through poison ivy? Or worn a cheap necklace that left a red, itchy mark everywhere it touched? If so, then you’ve experienced a condition called contact dermatitis.

Contact dermatitis is a broad term that describes an inflammatory response to some kind of irritant or allergen. Common allergens can be fragrances in cosmetic or cleaning products, metals like nickel or gold, or plants like poison ivy. Caustic chemicals found in gasoline, paint thinner, or even soaps can also cause contact dermatitis.

How do I avoid contact dermatitis?

There’s no guarantee that you can avoid contact dermatitis forever, but there are some steps you can take to avoid most cases. The most important way to avoid contact dermatitis is by avoiding exposure to potential causes. This means wearing PPE (personal protective equipment) like gloves and coveralls when working with potential irritants, such as plants or chemicals.

Practicing good hand hygiene can also limit your exposure. Some irritants, such as poison ivy, can be spread by contaminated hands. You may brush against poison ivy while weeding the yard, then later touch your face, then touch another part of your body, resulting in multiple rashes, rather than one limited to just the hands. Using soap, water, and a good handwashing technique can reduce your chances of spreading irritating substances onto other body surfaces.

I keep getting contact dermatitis and don’t know how. What should I do?

You need to identify the substance that’s irritating your skin. In cases where an obvious substance, like harsh chemicals, isn’t present, you may be dealing with an allergy to something taken for granted. Ingredients in soap, laundry detergents, cleaning products, and other household goods may be the culprit. Even if you have used a particular product for years, that does not mean it can’t be the cause. Not only do companies change their ingredients without notice, but allergic reactions can sometimes develop with repeated exposure to an allergen.

If investigating the cause on your own doesn’t yield positive results, you may need to see a medical professional who can test your skin for common substances that cause an inflammatory reaction.

Patch testing is one of the most common ways to identify a patient’s specific allergies. In this test, a doctor divides the skin’s surface into segments that correspond to a patch. Each segment is stimulated with a specific allergen. When one segment of the skin reacts to its allergen, further testing is performed to confirm an allergy. Common skin allergies can include pet dander, specific plants, nickel, nail polish, latex, or even sunlight.

Is there a way to make my skin feel better?

Topical products and antihistamines can be a big help, as these can relieve the itching and irritation, as well as lessen the body’s inflammatory response. One of the most important things to avoid is irritating the rash, either with harsh soaps, rough brushes/exfoliants, or scratching. Scratching and irritating the rash will worsen the inflammation and may even cause the skin to break, leading to pain, bleeding, and increased healing time.

Soothing topical products like pine tar soap are a great way to treat dermatitis at home. Pine tar was used historically as a remedy for skin conditions like dermatitis and worked to soothe inflammation, thereby relieving the pain and itching that dermatitis causes.

What is pine tar?

Pine tar is a byproduct that comes from the burning of pine trees. It’s a thick substance with a staggering number of uses, especially for skincare. Pine tar can soothe inflamed skin, relieve itching, and naturally provide antibacterial power to keep skin clean and healthy.

In addition to relieving dermatitis, pine tar products can relieve other inflammatory skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. This makes it a perfect part of daily skin care for people who suffer from ongoing dermatitis. Whether they’re regularly exposed to plants like poison ivy, bug bites, or other irritants, pine tar can offer quick relief to the skin and initiate the healing process. In the case of bug bites, pine tar soap has also been shown to be helpful as a natural insect repellent, keeping your skin safe and inflammation-free.

When choosing a pine tar soap, pick one that has natural ingredients that keep skin feeling supple, hydrated, and free of inflammation. And make sure that your pine tar products like soap, shampoo, and body wash are biodegradable. That way, you can protect your skin and scalp and the environment.

Does it really work?

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out reviews from customers who have found relief with the power of pine tar. Our customers with eczema, dermatitis, dandruff, and acne come to us for relief and discover a premium product that alleviates their skin conditions, keeps them clean, and smells great while doing it.

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