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Contact dermatitis treatments

If you have contact dermatitis there are a number of things you can do to help manage the condition. Here's some self-help information:

  • try to avoid your trigger factor if you know what it is. This is the substance or material that you suspect may be causing your contact dermatitis, for example make-up, skin lotions, jewellery or certain fabrics
  • keep your home clear of your trigger factors. Clean away any dust and vacuum your carpets regularly and try to make sure that mould and mildew don’t build up
  • if the trigger factors are unavoidable, you should take steps to protect any exposed skin. Try to wear protective clothing to minimise contact, for example using gloves when washing up or using cleaning products
  • if you come into contact with your irritants or allergens at work, you should tell your employer so they can help reduce any contact you have with it
  • prevent your skin from getting too dry. You may find daily moisturisers (emollient creams) can help. You should put these on after your skin has been wet, such as after washing up, showering or swimming
  • avoid extreme changes in heat or cold and humidity
  • try not to scratch the affected skin and keep your nails short so you do not accidentally scratch yourself and break the skin
  • your pharmacist may be able to recommend some products which can help with dry, sore or itchy skin.

Not sure what to do next?

If you are still concerned about your contact dermatitis, why not use healthdirect’s online Symptom Checker to get advice on when to seek medical attention.

The Symptom Checker guides you to the next appropriate healthcare steps, whether it’s self care, talking to a health professional, going to a hospital or calling triple zero (000).

Last reviewed: July 2015

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