October 12, 2020 scarwoundcentre

How to Deal with Irritant Contact Dermatitis & Medical Adhesives

Adhesive tape is nearly always required when securing dressings, it is often needed for securing IV lines, holding dressings in place or protecting scars. Irritant Contact Dermatitis and allergies may present themselves as burning, redness, and in drastic cases blistering. This is usually painful for patients. It is important to be able to differentiate and administer the best treatment for patients who have adhesive sensitivities.

Irritant Contact Dermatitis (ICD)

ICD is a type of contact dermatitis, Irritant Contact Dermatitis happens when the skin is damaged or injured due to a direct reaction from friction, rubbing, or the surrounding environment. This also includes cold temperatures, long-term exposure to water, and chemicals such as alkalis, acids, etc. It can appear within minutes or hours after the reaction and can last from short to long periods of time. The skin’s reaction varies depending on their skin condition and how long it was exposed to the irritant. In addition, 80% of contact dermatitis is mostly irritant type and doesn’t comprise of allergic reactions. The reactions are often observed on sensitive skin of infants and the elderly, it mostly presents on the body parts with thin skin such as the face,  arms, and back of the hand. A lesser reaction can be observed in parts with thick skin which includes fingertips, palms, and soles of the feet.

Allergic Contact Dermatitis (ACD)

ACD is caused by an irritating substance to the skin, Allergic Contact Dermatitis is triggered by the response of the immune system hence causing the reaction during skin contact. Compared to Irritant contact dermatitis, it is less common in patients. A variety of substances can trigger Allergic Contact Dermatitis, it often appears on the skin as red, swelling and watery blisters. When broken, these blisters form crust and scales that when left untreated, can cause the skin to be leathery, cracked and darkened.  Most common allergens include plants like poison ivy and materials like nickel, latex, rubber and many more.

Procedure for Patients that Experiences Allergic or Contact Dermatitis

If the medical adhesive or dressing is causing a skin reaction to the patient, the first thing to do is to remove the bandage or dressing. In order to remove any residue from the adhesive,  It is essential to clean the area with water and mild soap. Make sure to leave it uncovered if possible. However, if it needs to be covered by a bandage, use sterile gauze and a latex-free, non-reactive tape. This is needed to prevent any further irritation on the skin. If problems on skin persist such as showing signs of a blister or spreading redness, make sure to contact a medical professional.  

Treatment and Prevention

One way to prevent contact dermatitis is to practice a good skincare routine. Making sure that your skin is not placed in the presence of any other stresses, this will strengthen your skin along when used in conjunction with a good skincare regime. This also increases the body’s natural defenses against allergens.

Make sure to read the ingredients that are present in any soap or body wash you use. Try to select products that are perfume and dye-free. Taking short, warm baths is also recommended to ensure you keep the skin’s integrity intact. After taking a bath or shower, gently dab off any excess moisture instead of wiping it off. Lastly apply a skin moisturizer or lotion that does not have any dyes, alcohol or perfumes. 

Drinking plenty of water is also important to keep your skin healthy inside and out. A balanced diet and eating healthy foods that are rich in omega-3, fruits and vegetables, and foods that have known anti-inflammatory properties. There are many resources online that can assist you to choose a diet plan for you.

Doing exercises regularly helps in increasing the blood flow in the body as well as oxygen and nutrients. Just make sure to wear proper sun protection when exercising outdoors especially when you have a scar on your body.  

Seeking advice from a medical professional is essential when a skin condition appears on your body. They will help monitor and provide you with the right medications to help you deal and treat any form of dermatitis.  For example, Dermatologists do patch testing on the skin to determine what substances the patient needs to avoid on their skins.

Though this may not be the best option for patients with bandages or wounds. 

Choosing the right kind of tape is a very important consideration for your skin. Properties such as being waterproof, gentle on the skin, sun protection is essential to consider as it helps in faster recovery of the wound and also allows you to have a more active lifestyle. Being a leader in the field of a patient with skin sensitivity, Hytape has all the characteristics needed for a patient’s skincare. HyTape is waterproof for long-term use even when soaked, contains zinc-oxide for soothing effect and relief on the skin, and holds firm but releases gently on the skin. The best thing is it also has UFP 50 that helps in sun protection for scars and wounds. It is perfect to use for patients with chronic wounds, scars, and ostomy. If you want further information, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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