Living with Dermatitis

What is contact dermatitis?

Contact dermatitis is a type of eczema that occurs after the outer layer of your skin comes into contact with something that irritated it. Skin can look red, dry, scaly and cracked. It commonly appears on hands and can be a chronic (long term) condition or it may improve or clear if the trigger is identified and removed or avoided (8).

Who gets contact dermatitis?

People who are exposed to chemical substances at work can be more at risk of contact dermatitis. This includes hairdressers, beauty technicians, cleaners, farmers, chefs, construction workers and mechanics. (22)

What causes contact dermatitis?

Contact dermatitis is caused by either an irritant or an allergen coming into contact with the skin. Common irritants include soaps, detergents, perfumes, disinfectants, oils and dust, while an allergy might be caused by, for example, a certain brand of cosmetics, metals such as nickel, rubber or plants.23

How to manage contact dermatitis?

Some people can manage their contact dermatitis by simply avoiding the trigger – not wearing costume jewellery, for instance, or switching detergents. But some people have no choice but to continue to be exposed to irritants or allergens at work. Where possible, cover up with personal protective equipment (PPE) such as appropriate gloves. If this is not possible,  regular application of moisturisers may help you to manage the discomfort of the condition. Keep a soap-free, gentle cleanser such as QV Gentle Wash at work and always wash your hands after exposure to a suspected irritant. Afterwards, apply a moisturising cream such as QV Cream or QV Skin Lotion. If this doesn’t provide enough relief, apply a water-free ointment such as QV Intensive Ointment to hands and wear under light cotton gloves overnight.

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