Treatments and drugs

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Key treatment strategies for contact dermatitis include:

  • Avoiding the irritant or allergen. The key to avoidance involves identifying what's causing your symptoms and then eliminating your exposure to the culprit. It may take two to four weeks for your skin reaction to clear up.
  • Applying anti-itch creams or wet compresses. In mild to moderate cases, self-care measures, such as using over-the-counter creams containing hydrocortisone or applying wet dressings, can help relieve redness and itching. If over-the-counter steroid creams don't relieve your symptoms, your doctor may prescribe a higher-strength cream.
  • Using oral medications. In severe cases, your doctor may prescribe oral corticosteroids to reduce inflammation, or recommend antihistamines to relieve intense itching.
Jul. 30, 2011