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What is allergic dermatitis?
Allergies are a major cause of illness in the U.S. As many as 50 million people have allergies. An allergic reaction can take a number of forms. Allergic contact dermatitis is a true allergy to a substance. The reaction is often more severe with intense itching, redness, swelling, and hives. It typically takes up to 48 hours for symptoms to develop after exposure. Rashes appear mostly on the back of the neck and knees and in elbow creases seemingly at any time. Babies often get it on their scalp and cheeks. It’s not contagious, but most people with eczema have one of their parents or siblings with the condition.

What causes allergic dermatitis?
There’s still uncertainty what causes it. However, genes are considered to be the main culprit. Immune system problems, dry skin, allergies, stress, chemicals in soap and detergents, medications, some fabrics can all further aggravate the symptoms.

There is a lot you can do to alleviate symptoms:

  • Moisturize. The key to managing flare-ups is to keep your skin hydrated. Thick creams and ointment are the best options.

  • Use an oral antihistamine on a daily basis to relieve itching.

  • Use topical anti-inflammatories to reduce inflammation, and relieve pain.


If you have persistent eczema, talk to a specialist about immunotherapy and whether allergy shots are right for you.

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