In contact with certain products or materials, your skin reacts causing itching and red patches? It is definitely contact eczema ! An allergic reaction also called contact dermatitis caused by different chemicals and everyday objects. A non-serious reaction mechanism that affects babies as well as children and adults. In order to avoid discomfort and some complications, you need to identify the cause of this dermatitis and treat it. The best solution to limit eczema flare-ups lies in prevention by avoiding contact with irritable products. The daily application of a so-called barrier cream also effectively protects your skin or that of your child. Like the face and body emollient cream from Laboratoires Téane, designed without allergens, which acts as a protective film for the skin.
What is contact eczema?
Contact eczema or contact dermatitis refers to an inflammatory skin disease. It appears on contact with a chemical substance that causes a delayed skin reaction. Concretely, as soon as your skin or that of your child comes into contact with an allergenic product, it reacts.
This skin disease mainly affects women and young children who have a more fragile skin barrier . There are 2 forms of contact eczema:
- Irritant contact eczema triggered by skin contact with a chemical agent. In this case, the skin manifestations appear almost immediately.
- Allergic contact eczema due to skin sensitivity to a particular allergen. This form of dermatitis is characterized by a delayed appearance of the first symptoms (between 24 and 48 hours)
What are the symptoms of contact eczema?
Whatever the origin of atopic eczema, it manifests itself in the same way:
- Appearance of red patches, a sign of inflammation
- Blisters (with clear fluid) that itch and ooze
- Formation of scabs
- Burning sensation with pain for irritative contact dermatitis
- Intense itching when the contact eczema is of allergic origin
Typically, the symptoms remain localized to the contact area , but can nonetheless spread to the rest of the body. In addition, there is an acute form of contact eczema (the most common) and a chronic form, less common.
Good to know : when contact eczema appears on the feet and hands , it is called dyshidrosis. It is a particular form characterized by the appearance of hard vesicles like large bubbles.
What causes contact eczema
The responsible allergens
There are many allergens and irritants present in our environment. However, certain substances are regularly implicated in contact eczema :
- Metals: nickel (present in “fancy” type jewellery, trouser buttons and belts), chrome salts, cobalt chloride or certain alloys such as gold.
- Products present in clothing: dyes, glue, rubber, leather, etc.
- Identifiable preservatives in detergents, paints, pesticides and cosmetics
- Drugs applied to the skin (anti-inflammatory cream, for example)
- Latex and neoprene additives
- some plants
There is also contact eczema of occupational origin . Indeed, in certain professions, professionals are exposed every day to highly irritating or allergenic products (hairdressers, building professionals, health professionals and horticulturists).
Mechanism and evolution
Contact eczema appears according to a well-defined mechanism:
- A sensitization phase : the substance comes into contact with the skin barrier and sensitizes your skin. Your immune system activates, but no symptoms appear.
- A phase of revelation : at a time T, contact with the same product triggers a reaction of the immune system and triggers the symptoms of contact eczema.
Generally, lesions caused by contact eczema heal naturally within 10 to 15 days. However, you need to identify the offending allergen to avoid a form of chronic contact dermatitis. In addition, it is advisable to treat the first symptoms of contact dermatitis to avoid certain complications such as bacterial superinfection.
Importance of the skin barrier
Our skin is made up of several layers. Among them, the outer layer called “ cutaneous barrier ”. Its role is to protect the body from external aggressions (allergens and viruses) and to maintain a good level of hydration. When a person has contact eczema or atopic dermatitis (the most common form of eczema), their skin barrier is impaired .
Thus, to prevent eczema flare-ups and allergic reactions, it is essential to maintain a good skin barrier through several daily actions:
- Hydration: drink enough water and apply moisturizer every day
- Reducing allergens and irritants: bet on natural and organic products
- Treat your skin problems as soon as they appear with natural and targeted treatments
Our advice to prevent and treat contact eczema
Avoid contact with the causative allergen
The best way to prevent contact eczema flare-ups is to avoid contact with irritants and allergenic substances. If symptoms appear, you must identify the responsible product:
- Consult a dermatologist to diagnose contact eczema
- Perform an allergy test using skin patch tests
In addition, the area of the body affected by contact eczema can help you identify the substance that triggers it:
- Earlobe, neck and wrist: this is often a reaction to the metal in your jewelry such as nickel
- Stomach: reaction to the metal of a belt or trouser button that also contains nickel
- Hands: allergy to preservatives present in varnishes, hand cream or the use of latex gloves
- Feet: substances present in the shoes (neoprene glues, chrome VI, etc.)
- Genitals: latex condoms
- Whole body: in this case, you must turn to the used detergent or soap
Important : If the allergenic substance is in your workplace and you cannot circumvent it, you must protect your skin by wearing gloves and protective clothing. Do not hesitate to discuss this with your employer and the occupational physician.
Use gentle and natural products
Once the substance responsible for contact eczema has been identified, you must treat the lesions. This helps to quickly cure the infection and prevent superinfection . Typically, doctors will prescribe cortisone creams and sometimes antibiotic treatment if the infection is severe.
Beyond the treatment of contact eczema at the moment T, it is essential to take care of your skin. Thanks to good hydration, you maintain your skin barrier which acts as a protective film to resist external aggressions.
- Wash your face and your body with a neutral soap: find our cleansing softness without soap , nor irritating agent and certified organic. This gel is particularly suitable for sensitive skin with atopic tendency
- Use an oil applied directly to the skin before bathing to protect the skin from drying effects. Our multi-care oil is ideal for preventing skin dryness and tightness after bathing.
- Apply an emollient, moisturizing, soft and protective cream daily: our certified organic emollient cream treats and relieves atopic eczema thanks to a patented active ingredient, Cassia Alata. In addition to providing long-lasting hydration, it soothes symptoms from the first application.
Find our organic products for babies and children for atopic eczema on our website!Téane Laboratories develop formulas specially designed for fragile skin. Our formulation commitments: allergen-free cosmetics with a fragrance of natural origin (formulated specifically for our laboratory), 100% natural and certified organic ingredients. A set of products suitable for babies and mothers with targeted care, particularly for contact eczema and atopic eczema (another form of eczema).