Treatments and drugs

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Key treatments for contact dermatitis include:

  • Avoiding the irritant or allergen. The key to this is identifying what's causing your rash and then staying away from it. Your doctor may give you a list of products that typically contain the substance that affects you.
  • Applying prescription steroid creams. If self-care measures haven't worked, your doctor may prescribe a steroid cream.
  • Applying medications to repair the skin. You can help repair the skin and prevent relapse with creams and ointments containing drugs that affect the immune system, such as calcineurin inhibitors tacrolimus (Protopic) or pimecrolimus (Elidel). This solution is recommended for long-term treatment of contact dermatitis. But the Food and Drug Administration has warned about a possible link between these drugs and lymphoma and skin cancer.
  • Using oral medications. In severe cases, your doctor may prescribe oral corticosteroids to reduce inflammation, antihistamines to relieve itching or antibiotics to fight a bacterial infection.
Jul. 16, 2014

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