Allergic Contact Dermatitis

Allergic skin is usually more prevalent in young children. They tend to grow out of the condition as they hit their adulthood. But some may develop it later and continue well into their adult years. Children with atopic dermatitis are then at an increased risk of developing allergic rhinitis and asthma; both are more likely to occur in school-age children.

If you truly have a skin allergy, you will usually develop symptom within 30 minutes of contact with the offending substance.


Hives are usually the first sign of allergies and is seen in 10 to 20% of all children, frequently during infancy. They will start at the area of contact but can be spread to other parts of the body by scratching. The rash is typically red and dry, may have small blisters, and can flake and ooze over time.


The first step in treating contact dermatitis is avoiding the substance causing your reaction so your skin can heal. Some measures to take for relief in the meantime:

  • Apply cool, damp compresses to areas of your skin that itch.
  • Thoroughly wash affected areas with lots of water (not hot water) to remove any trace of the irritant that may remain on the skin.
  • Use water that is tepid, not hot. Decrease the number of showers and baths you take
  • Avoid soaps that can irritate your skin including laundry soaps. Try using a hypo-allergenic like Purex.
  • If your irritated areas become dry or chapped, use a low alcohol emollient such as Vaseline or Aquaphor.
  • Refrain from using alcohol based or medicinal lotions on your affected areas.
  • Apply a topical steroid cream or ointment - Hydrocortisone is a steroid medication available in topical and oral forms. The topical form helps to reduce the itching and swelling when skin allergy is limited to a small area.
  • Antihistamines - used to relieve the itching associated with this condition. Sedative antihistamines such as diphenhydramine and hydroxyzine can be taken at night to help patients sleep.

Another thing I found that really did well with not irritating my skin was use mineral cosmetics. They feel really great and lightweight as well. Mineral Cosmetics - Reveal your natural beauty with the mineral cosmetics offered by

Possible Allergens

Possible Allergens in Allergic Contact Dermatitis Body Area

Suspected SubstancePossible Allergen
hair dyeP-phenylenediamine, phenol
topical Medicineethylenediamine dihydrochloride, lanolin alcohols
shampooformaldehyde, phenol
hair sprayphenol
cosmeticsformaldehyde, diazolidinyl urea, Quaternium-15, benzyl alcohol, Glycerine, phenol
topical medicinesEthylenediamine dihydrochloride, lanolin alcohols
shaving creamglycerine
after shavephenol
lipstickcarnauba wax, lanolin
toothpastecinnamic aldehyde, fluoride, glycerin
rubber glovesmercaptobenzothiazole, latex
metalschromium, cobalt, copper, iron, nickel, mercury
lotionsglycerin, phenol
earrings, earplugs, eyeglassesnickel
soapformaldehyde, glycerin
wrinkle-resistant clothesformaldehyde
clothingP-phenylenediamine, phenol
elastic in clotheslatex
medicinesethylenediamine dihydrochloride, lanolin alcohols
perfumescinnamic alcohol, cinnamic aldehyde, benzyl alcohol, ethanol, phenol, glycerin
contraceptive creamsformaldehyde, nonoxynol
colophony, (soles)latex
leatherchromate, glycerin
medicinesethylenediamine dihydrochloride, lanolin alcohols