Tag Archives: Allergy

Straight, No Chaser: Contact Dermatitis, Diaper Rash, Poison Ivy and the Like

contactderm1

Let’s pick up where we left off. In our discussion of eczema and psoriasis, we described the common theme of underlying inflammation manifesting in rashes of different appearances. The theme continues today, with the difference being overlying inflammation. Contact dermatitis (dermatitis = skin inflammation) results from some external entity becoming a nuisance to your skin and generating a response in the form of a rash. You know this in many different forms (shown in the pictures below) – think about those old nickel coated watches, piercings gone bad (piercings also cause actual infections, which is a different consideration), clothing (below is a picture of contact dermatitis caused by flip-flop slippers), poison ivy and diaper rash. I bet the lead picture, which seems like a brand of a butterfly necklace pendant, as well as the following pictures look familiar to many of you.

contractdermwatch

contactdermearcontact-dermatitis-feet

poison-ivy-rash

diaperrash

These rashes are examples of allergic contact dermatitis. Your immune system is generating a response because it believes it is under attack by whatever has touched you. The way the body defends itself leads to release of various chemicals (most notably histamines) that cause the rash. The reason I picked the illustration of the diaper rash is to remind you that the rash actually is in the distribution of the diaper (not just under it), meaning that it may be the diaper that’s the culprit. In other words, don’t just zone in on feces and urine as the problem.  Allergic contact dermatitis can occur from – well, anything you’re allergic to, but it’s commonly associated with latex, fruit peels (especially citrus), lotions, perfumes and other topical substances applied to the skin.
When we discussed eczema earlier, we were describing irritant contact dermatitis, which occurs because something damages the skin (remember eczema is called “the itch that rashes”). Imagine that you’ve sensitized and damaged your eczematous skin by scratching away at it and then place something irritating on it. That’s what this is. The longer the new irritant stays on the already damaged skin, the worse the inflammation is, and the more violent the rash appears.
So let’s get to the bottom line: the name of the game is avoidance (as in poison ivy, latex or other known irritants), prompt recognition and removal of irritants, and symptomatic treatment. If you come in contact with a substance that burns or rashes immediately, remove the object or get away from it, and then wash the affected area with mild soap and moderate water. Consider oral histamines (e.g. benadryl) and a mild OTC hydrocortisone ointment. If the rash isn’t better within a few days, or if you ever feel short of breath or as if your throat is closing, contact your physician or the local emergency room immediately for evaluation. Unless you have an underlying condition like eczema or psoriasis, contact dermatitis should resolve within 2-4 weeks with this approach to management.
So in closing, remember: it’s not just the more you itch, the more you scratch. It’s also the more you scratch, the more you itch. Break the cycle.
Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2018 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: Contact Dermatitis, Diaper Rash, Poison Ivy and the Like

contactderm1

Let’s pick up where we left off. In our discussion of eczema and psoriasis, we described the common theme of underlying inflammation manifesting in rashes of different appearances. The theme continues today, with the difference being overlying inflammation. Contact dermatitis (dermatitis = skin inflammation) results from some external entity becoming a nuisance to your skin and generating a response in the form of a rash. You know this in many different forms (shown in the pictures below) – think about those old nickel coated watches, piercings gone bad (piercings also cause actual infections, which is a different consideration), clothing (below is a picture of contact dermatitis caused by flip-flop slippers), poison ivy and diaper rash. I bet the lead picture, which seems like a brand of a butterfly necklace pendant, as well as the following pictures look familiar to many of you.

contractdermwatch

contactdermearcontact-dermatitis-feet

poison-ivy-rash

diaperrash

These rashes are examples of allergic contact dermatitis. Your immune system is generating a response because it believes it is under attack by whatever has touched you. The way the body defends itself leads to release of various chemicals (most notably histamines) that cause the rash. The reason I picked the illustration of the diaper rash is to remind you that the rash actually is in the distribution of the diaper (not just under it), meaning that it may be the diaper that’s the culprit. In other words, don’t just zone in on feces and urine as the problem.  Allergic contact dermatitis can occur from – well, anything you’re allergic to, but it’s commonly associated with latex, fruit peels (especially citrus), lotions, perfumes and other topical substances applied to the skin.
When we discussed eczema earlier, we were describing irritant contact dermatitis, which occurs because something damages the skin (remember eczema is called “the itch that rashes”). Imagine that you’ve sensitized and damaged your eczematous skin by scratching away at it and then place something irritating on it. That’s what this is. The longer the new irritant stays on the already damaged skin, the worse the inflammation is, and the more violent the rash appears.
So let’s get to the bottom line: the name of the game is avoidance (as in poison ivy, latex or other known irritants), prompt recognition and removal of irritants, and symptomatic treatment. If you come in contact with a substance that burns or rashes immediately, remove the object or get away from it, and then wash the affected area with mild soap and moderate water. Consider oral histamines (e.g. benadryl) and a mild OTC hydrocortisone ointment. If the rash isn’t better within a few days, or if you ever feel short of breath or as if your throat is closing, contact your physician or the local emergency room immediately for evaluation. Unless you have an underlying condition like eczema or psoriasis, contact dermatitis should resolve within 2-4 weeks with this approach to management.
So in closing, remember: it’s not just the more you itch, the more you scratch. It’s also the more you scratch, the more you itch. Break the cycle.
Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2017 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress
 

Straight, No Chaser: Contact Dermatitis, Diaper Rash, Poison Ivy and the Like

contactderm1

Let’s pick up where we left off. In our discussion of eczema and psoriasis, we described the common theme of underlying inflammation manifesting in rashes of different appearances. The theme continues today, with the difference being overlying inflammation. Contact dermatitis (dermatitis = skin inflammation) results from some external entity becoming a nuisance to your skin and generating a response in the form of a rash. You know this in many different forms (shown in the pictures below) – think about those old nickel coated watches, piercings gone bad (piercings also cause actual infections, which is a different consideration), clothing (below is a picture of contact dermatitis caused by flip-flop slippers), poison ivy and diaper rash. I bet the lead picture, which seems like a brand of a butterfly necklace pendant, as well as the following pictures look familiar to many of you.

contractdermwatch

contactdermearcontact-dermatitis-feet

poison-ivy-rash

diaperrash

These rashes are examples of allergic contact dermatitis. Your immune system is generating a response because it believes it is under attack by whatever has touched you. The way the body defends itself leads to release of various chemicals (most notably histamines) that cause the rash. The reason I picked the illustration of the diaper rash is to remind you that the rash actually is in the distribution of the diaper (not just under it), meaning that it may be the diaper that’s the culprit. In other words, don’t just zone in on feces and urine as the problem.  Allergic contact dermatitis can occur from – well, anything you’re allergic to, but it’s commonly associated with latex, fruit peels (especially citrus), lotions, perfumes and other topical substances applied to the skin.
When we discussed eczema earlier, we were describing irritant contact dermatitis, which occurs because something damages the skin (remember eczema is called “the itch that rashes”). Imagine that you’ve sensitized and damaged your eczematous skin by scratching away at it and then place something irritating on it. That’s what this is. The longer the new irritant stays on the already damaged skin, the worse the inflammation is, and the more violent the rash appears.
So let’s get to the bottom line: the name of the game is avoidance (as in poison ivy, latex or other known irritants), prompt recognition and removal of irritants, and symptomatic treatment. If you come in contact with a substance that burns or rashes immediately, remove the object or get away from it, and then wash the affected area with mild soap and moderate water. Consider oral histamines (e.g. benadryl) and a mild OTC hydrocortisone ointment. If the rash isn’t better within a few days, or if you ever feel short of breath or as if your throat is closing, contact your physician or the local emergency room immediately for evaluation. Unless you have an underlying condition like eczema or psoriasis, contact dermatitis should resolve within 2-4 weeks with this approach to management.
So in closing, remember: it’s not just the more you itch, the more you scratch. It’s also the more you scratch, the more you itch. Break the cycle.
Feel free to ask any questions you may have on this topic.
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at jeffreysterlingbooks.com, iTunes, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2016 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: Contact Dermatitis, Diaper Rash, Poison Ivy and the Like

contactderm1

Let’s pick up where we left off. In our discussion of eczema and psoriasis, we described the common theme of underlying inflammation manifesting in rashes of different appearances. The theme continues today, with the difference being overlying inflammation. Contact dermatitis (dermatitis = skin inflammation) results from some external entity becoming a nuisance to your skin and generating a response in the form of a rash. You know this in many different forms (shown in the pictures below) – think about those old nickel coated watches, piercings gone bad (piercings also cause actual infections, which is a different consideration), clothing (below is a picture of contact dermatitis caused by flip-flop slippers), poison ivy and diaper rash. I bet the lead picture, which seems like a brand of a butterfly necklace pendant, as well as the following pictures look familiar to many of you.

contractdermwatch

contactdermearcontact-dermatitis-feet

poison-ivy-rash

diaperrash

These rashes are examples of allergic contact dermatitis. Your immune system is generating a response because it believes it is under attack by whatever has touched you. The way the body defends itself leads to release of various chemicals (most notably histamines) that cause the rash. The reason I picked the illustration of the diaper rash is to remind you that the rash actually is in the distribution of the diaper (not just under it), meaning that it may be the diaper that’s the culprit. In other words, don’t just zone in on feces and urine as the problem.  Allergic contact dermatitis can occur from – well, anything you’re allergic to, but it’s commonly associated with latex, fruit peels (especially citrus), lotions, perfumes and other topical substances applied to the skin.
When we discussed eczema earlier, we were describing irritant contact dermatitis, which occurs because something damages the skin (remember eczema is called “the itch that rashes”). Imagine that you’ve sensitized and damaged your eczematous skin by scratching away at it and then place something irritating on it. That’s what this is. The longer the new irritant stays on the already damaged skin, the worse the inflammation is, and the more violent the rash appears.
So let’s get to the bottom line: the name of the game is avoidance (as in poison ivy, latex or other known irritants), prompt recognition and removal of irritants, and symptomatic treatment. If you come in contact with a substance that burns or rashes immediately, remove the object or get away from it, and then wash the affected area with mild soap and moderate water. Consider oral histamines (e.g. benadryl) and a mild OTC hydrocortisone ointment. If the rash isn’t better within a few days, or if you ever feel short of breath or as if your throat is closing (as described in greater detail here), contact your physician or the local emergency room immediately for evaluation. Unless you have an underlying condition like eczema or psoriasis, contact dermatitis should resolve within 2-4 weeks with this approach to management.
So in closing, remember: it’s not just the more you itch, the more you scratch. It’s also the more you scratch, the more you itch. Break the cycle.
Copyright © 2013 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: When Allergies Strike

allergy
Bee stings.  Medication reactions.  Food allergies.  Latex.  Animals.  Dust.  Cosmetics.  What do these things have in common?  You get allergic to them, and in differing degrees, they make you come to me huffing and puffing and puffy and thinking about not breathing anymore.
The basis of allergies is that your body is trying to defend you from infections.  Sometimes our defense mechanisms are ‘inaccurate’, and the body overreacts to what normally might be harmless substances by producing a system wide reaction (antibodies) to certain triggers (allergens).  This overreaction leads to our bodies fighting a war that isn’t meant to be fought.  That manifests itself clinically by some subset of itchy rashes (wheals, urticaria or angioedema), shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting and other systemic systems.  Again, it’s important to note that this can be both a systemic overreaction or just a local reaction.
One question I commonly get asked is “Why I am allergic to this now?”  In other words, sometimes allergies occur after the initial exposure to seafood or peanuts, or maybe you had been stung by a bee in the past.  That occurs because the first allergic exposure doesn’t always cause a visible reaction.  However, it will sensitize the body such that you’re mobilized for subsequent exposures and will be prepared to ‘unload both barrels’ if it’s needed.  Unfortunately, this reaction can be itself life-threatening.  This life-threatening response is called anaphylaxis, and you’ll know it because more than one organ system of your body (heart palpations, breathing difficulties, gastric upset, itchy skin rashes, dizziness as your body goes into shock, etc.).
Although allergic reactions are more likely to occur in those with conditions like asthma, eczema, allergic rhinitis, seasonal allergies, and sleep apnea, to be clear, the acute allergic reaction is a different animal than seasonal allergies.  If you have any sensation that you’re short of breath, your throat feels like it’s closing, you have any dizziness or altered mental status, palpitations, or if the rash is diffuse and spreading, please get to your closest emergency room.  I wouldn’t be upset if you took the recommended dose of Benadryl along the way.
Final tip: Those of you who’ve suffered any type of allergic reaction to medication, food, animals, etc. should ask your physician about the utility of carrying an epipen, benadryl or steroids in the event of an emergency.  If your risk profile warrants it, any or all of these could prove life saving.  However, these medicines aren’t without risk, so you shouldn’t take any of them unless recommended by your physician.