How to Heal Skin After Contact Dermatitis

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Healing skin after contact Dermatitis always requires you to keep a few very important things in mind. Heal skin after contact Dermatitis with help from a board-certified dermatologist in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Skin Health
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Video Transcript

Hi, this is Dr. Debra Jaliman, a board certified dermatologist in New York City and author of the book "Skin Rules, Trade Secrets From a Top New York Dermatologist," talking about how to treat your skin with contact dermatitis. What is contact dermatitis? Contact dermatitis is an allergic reaction to a topical product. Any product that you put on your skin can cause an allergic reaction. The most common cause of an allergic reaction is actually the fragrance in the product. So for example let's say you use a new sunscreen or a new anti-aging product or even a new moisturizer. You can get an allergic reaction. Often times it happens two days after using the product. What is an allergic reaction? It can be redness on your skin, it can be tingling, burning, it can even be swelling. You can wake up with your eyes swollen shut. If you get an allergic reaction, what should you do? Stop the product immediately. Then what you want to do is use a mild soap that's fragrance free or a mild cleanser. The cleanser can be a liquid cleanser. Wash your face thoroughly to make sure you got the product off and then go get an over-the-counter Hydrocortisone product. A Hydrocortisone Cream can be placed on the skin twice a day. The other thing you can do to get the inflammation down is to take an over-the-counter antihistamine by mouth and what that will do is that will take the swelling out of the skin. Another trick is to take cool compresses made of half milk and half ice water. You can put them on a cloth and put them on your skin for ten to fifteen minutes to take some of the swelling out of the skin. You can also even use an ice pack. You can use one of those gel packs that you get from the pharmacy or even use frozen peas to take some of the swelling out of the skin. After doing this for a week or so, if the allergic reaction doesn't go away, you may need to see a board certified dermatologist. A dermatologist can use stronger medications. They can use prescription strength Cortisone Creams. They can use steroids by mouth and even prescription strength antihistamines to get rid of the allergic reaction. Often times an dermatologist can use patch tests to determine which chemical in the product you are allergic to. So they can determine what you're allergic to and then you can look for that chemical in other products when you are trying to pick a new moisturizer or a sunscreen or anti-aging product. So when you try to pick a product if you haven't been patch tested, look for a product that has the fewest ingredients and one that doesn't have fragrance, one that says fragrance free. For more information, go to


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