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Contact dermatitis treatment, diagnosis & prescriptions

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Can I talk to a doctor on Maple about my contact dermatitis?

Yes, you can. The healthcare practitioner will want to discuss the symptoms and signs of contact dermatitis that you’re experiencing and perform a physical exam. Making note of the observation will determine the severity of your symptoms.

The healthcare provider will also want to talk to you about any possible contact with triggers that could have instigated your contact dermatitis. If a diagnosis for contact dermatitis is not possible, you may be referred to a dermatologist, who specializes in identifying different types of skin conditions.

If your healthcare practitioner believes your contact dermatitis could have been caused by a new allergy, a patch test may be suggested.

Once your healthcare team provides a diagnosis for contact dermatitis, they can suggest appropriate contact dermatitis treatments, depending on the severity of your condition.

Can I get a prescription on Maple?

Yes, our physicians can prescribe contact dermatitis medications online during your consultation. Once you accept a prescription for contact dermatitis, you’ll have the option of picking it up from a pharmacy conveniently located to you or have it delivered right to your door at no additional cost.

You can visit our How it Works page to learn more.

What is contact dermatitis?

Dermatitis is the general term used to describe skin irritation. Dermatitis can appear in a number of different forms, resulting from different causes.

Contact dermatitis is caused by direct contact with a substance that triggers contact dermatitis symptoms, or an allergic reaction to that substance.

What are the symptoms of contact dermatitis?

While symptoms and signs of contact dermatitis are caused by direct exposure to reaction-causing substances, these signs can appear to look similar to other forms of dermatitis.

The most common symptoms and signs of contact dermatitis include:

  • Skin redness or a red-coloured rash
  • Cracked, scaly, dry skin
  • Itching (potentially severe)
  • Small red bumps or blisters, which may crust over or ooze when scratched
  • Burning or tenderness at the affected area
  • Swelling
What causes contact dermatitis?

Contact dermatitis can be caused by exposure or direct contact with irritants, allergens, and physical agents causing microtrauma and disruption to the skin barrier. Some people may have a reaction after a single exposure, while others may not develop a reaction until they’ve had multiple exposures. Occasionally, people develop tolerance to the irritants over time, resulting in less severe reactions.

The most common allergens that cause contact dermatitis include:

  • Plants containing urushiol ( e.g., poison ivy, mango, etc.)
  • Certain cosmetic or personal care products
  • Formaldehyde (found in disinfectants, clothing, and preservatives)
  • Certain medications (e.g., antibiotic creams, antihistamines, etc.)
  • Certain metals (specifically nickel)
  • Airborne substances (e.g., pollen, insecticides, etc.)
  • Known personal allergies

The most common irritants that cause contact dermatitis include:

  • Bleach (and other detergents)
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Certain plants or plant parts
  • Airborne substances (e.g., sawdust, wool dust, etc.)
  • Certain soaps and shampoos
  • Fertilizers and pesticides
  • Solvents & certain cleaning products (including laundry detergents)

The most common physical irritants that cause contact dermatitis include:

  • Wood
  • Metal tools
  • Fibreglass
  • Paper
  • Dust/soil
  • Plant parts (thorns, spines, sharp leaf edges)
How is contact dermatitis diagnosed?

The healthcare practitioner may be able to provide a diagnosis for contact dermatitis by evaluating the signs of contact dermatitis you’re experiencing. They’ll also want to discuss your medical history and known allergies, to help try to narrow down the trigger for your condition.

In many cases, the healthcare provider will want to perform a physical exam so that they can evaluate the pattern and severity of your contact dermatitis. This will help with determining appropriate contact dermatitis treatments. They may also refer you to a dermatologist, who specializes in identifying skin disorders.

Sometimes, the healthcare practitioner may suggest a patch test to check for new allergies that could be causing your contact dermatitis.

Once the healthcare team is able to provide a clear contact dermatitis diagnosis, they can suggest treatments based on the severity of your condition. This includes any prescription contact dermatitis medications that may be required as part of your treatment plan.

How is contact dermatitis treated?

To avoid worsening contact dermatitis, avoid any known allergens or irritants that could cause your skin condition to flare up.

There are a number of over-the-counter topical creams and oral medications that are designed as minor contact dermatitis treatments. Your healthcare provider may suggest trying these treatments before suggesting prescription contact dermatitis medications.

You can also make lifestyle changes to help reduce your contact dermatitis symptoms, such as:

  • Avoid scratching
  • Applying cool, damp compresses
  • Soaking in cool water (using baking soda or oatmeal-based bath products)
  • Protecting your skin from exposure to irritants and/or allergens

If these contact dermatitis treatments aren’t helping improve your conditions or in the event your symptoms are severe, the doctor may suggest prescription contact dermatitis medications. This could include corticosteroid creams or ointments, as well as oral medications to help manage your symptoms.

When to see a doctor for contact dermatitis?

If you’re showing signs of contact dermatitis, it’s a good idea to talk to a healthcare practitioner. Contact dermatitis could be an indication of new allergies you may not have known or irritants to avoid .

A healthcare practitioner from Maple can help provide a clear contact dermatitis diagnosis, so you can take steps to reduce flare ups in the future. They can also suggest any medications that you may need to reduce your symptoms.

Unfortunately, ignoring contact dermatitis symptoms will not help because this condition won’t subside over time. Book a call with Maple today and let us help you take control of your condition.

What is Maple?

With Maple, you can start talking to a doctor or dermatologist about your symptoms in a matter of minutes. We’re a healthcare app for fast, convenient 24/7 access to Canadian doctors.

Simply log in, tap a button to request a consultation, and you’ll immediately be connected to a doctor via live chat or video. Visit our How it Works page to learn more.

Our doctors can assess symptoms, and provide treatment, including prescriptions as necessary.

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