'Allergic contact dermatitis' is a reactive skin allergy. Some confusion surrounds how and why allergic contact dermatitis symptoms appear. For those who experience this form of sensitive skin, symptoms like contact dermatitis of the eyelid and allergic lip dermatitis can cause discomfort and give rise to dry skin patches.
It’s important to first understand what substances cause your symptoms to occur. So, what is allergic contact dermatitis? We clarify some of the myths surrounding the skin condition and provide some advice on how to cleanse and care for allergy-prone skin below.
ALLERGIC CONTACT DERMATITIS CAUSES
More simply understood as a contact allergy, allergic contact dermatitis signifies hypersensitivity to certain materials. For those wondering whether allergic contact dermatitis is contagious, the skin condition is a result of exposure to specific materials that are otherwise harmless to those not sensitised or allergic to them. Other substances which may cause symptoms in irritation-prone skin include:
- Nickel found in jewellery and belt materials
- acrylates found in nail cosmetics
- topical antibiotics
- latex gloves
- poison oak or poison ivy
- fragrance allergens
FEATURES OF ALLERGIC CONTACT DERMATITIS
Allergic contact dermatitis symptoms appear as delayed reactions to certain substances. Symptoms usually present within 48 hours after exposure occurs. After contact, the skin’s surface releases ‘cytokines’, which activate the immune system. Resulting symptoms can include:
- Redness in skin
- Dry, scaly or flaky textured skin
- Burning or itching sensations
- Swelling – with contact dermatitis of the eyelid for example
- Blisters or hives
SKINCARE ADVICE FOR ALLERGY-PRONE SKIN
It’s important to avoid materials that can trigger allergic reactions. For reacting skin, seek expert advice from your healthcare professional. For skin that is allergy-prone but not reacting, it’s important to follow a simple yet supportive skincare routine. Formulas in the Toleriane, Cicaplast and Lipikar body range have minimal formulations without know irritants to cleanse and care for more sensitive skin types.
1. USE A GENTLE CLEANSER
Skin should always be cleaned as the first step in order to remove any sebum, dirt and/or makeup. To support sensitive skin against everyday stress, use a gentle cleanser like Toleriane Gentle Cream Dermo-Cleanser both morning and night. Formulated with a milky, nourishing texture, ingredients include glycerin and La Roche-Posay thermal water to purify and moisturise skin, reducing visible dryness as a result. For body care, Lipikar Syndet Ap+ Body Wash Shower Cream includes prebiotic aqua posae filiformis to support the microbiome in dry skin.
2. APPLY A HYDRATING SERUM
A hydrating and comforting serum should be applied to freshly cleansed skin next. Contact dermatitis can indicate a compromised skin barrier, so reinstating moisture into the deeper layers of skin can help to support a healthy-looking complexion. Peptide-rich Toleriane Ultra Dermallergo Hydrating Serum is formulated for allergy-prone and sensitive skin types. The inclusion of neurosensine and glycerin hydrates skin and helps improve dryness and visible redness.
3. MOISTURISE SKIN
Keeping skin moisturised shields it against external stress and protects the look and feel of complexions. Especially in dry and cold weather, daily application of a moisturiser formulated for sensitive skin should be followed. Toleriane Sensitive Prebiotic Moisturiser is formulated with hydrating ceramides, glycerin and La Roche-Posay thermal spring water.
The eye area of skin is especially sensitive and prone to dryness. Toleriane Dermallergo Eye Cream For Sensitive Skin is a targeted cream for eye contours. Included in the formula is vitamin B3 and sphingobioma, a prebiotic that helps support skin’s microbiome.
Another sensitive skin area is the lips. Fortunately, targeted creams like Cicaplast Levres Moisturising Lip Balm can provide immediate moisture and soothing comfort for lip dryness.
Skin on the rest of the body requires additional moisture too. Lipikar Ap+M Body Balm Cream includes nourishing shea butter, niacinamide and AP+M technology to improve hydrating lipids and help support the skin’s microbiome.
4. FOR TARGETED SKINCARE SUPPORT
To intensely hydrate and support your skin when it feels especially dry, Cicaplast B5 Facial Sheet Mask enriched with madecassoside deeply hydrates skin and supports the skin moisture barrier. For soothing hydration, Thermal Spring Water Facial Mist can be sprayed across skin.
OTHER WAYS TO SUPPORT ALLERGY-PRONE SKIN
Allergic contact dermatitis requires holistic care alongside supportive skincare routines. Include the following supportive habits:
- Use hypoallergenic skincare formulas
- Avoid products that contain alcohol
- Try not to scratch skin when allergic reactions occur
- Use a humidifier when air conditions are dry
Discover the What are the symptoms of a Skin Allergy? next.
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