Contact allergic dermatitis in children: the most common causes

Contact dermatitis is inflammation of the skin where it has come into contact with an irritating substance or environmental factor. The disease is most susceptible to children under 12 years of age. The point is in the structural features of children’s skin and the weakness of its protective mechanisms. The disease manifests itself in any area that has been in contact with an irritant, but more often on the face, arms, neck, and groin.

If the provoking agent is recognized in time and the child is protected from it, the inflammation is well treated and the symptoms pass quickly. When the cause is difficult to identify or the parents do not go to the doctor on time, the course of the disease is aggravated.  

Contact dermatitis can be:

  • simple – local irritation by any factor;
  • allergic.

The second option will appear when the child has an increased susceptibility to this substance. The first interaction with it is outwardly imperceptible, but chemicals are formed in the skin that bind to immune cells – T-lymphocytes. Immune cells remember the stimulus. On repeated contact, which can occur after a long time, T-lymphocytes trigger an allergic reaction and cause skin symptoms.

How to recognize allergic contact dermatitis in a child

The contours of the inflammation often coincide with the contours of the irritating object. The rash spreads little beyond the area of ​​the skin that was in contact with the causative factor. The skin here reddens and swells, it itches a lot, bubbles, wounds and crusts appear.

Fungal and bacterial infection easily joins the wounds, suppuration occurs. Babies may have a general fever.

Frequent exacerbation in the same places leads to unpleasant outcomes: areas of increased or decreased pigmentation, scars, thickening and coarsening of the skin.

If you notice a rash or red spots on the child’s skin, be sure to see a doctor to do tests, determine the exact cause and start treatment.

The disease can worsen. To prevent this from happening, you need to find and eliminate provoking reasons.

Internal causes of childhood dermatitis

The disease can be provoked by:

  • hereditary predisposition to allergies;
  • concomitant atopic diseases – bronchial asthma, allergic rhinitis;
  • diseases of the stomach and intestines;
  • eating food with preservatives, dyes, flavorings;
  • stress.

More often, the ailment develops in people with dry white skin, less often, dark skin of an oily type suffers.

External causes of the development of allergic dermatitis in children

An ailment can be caused either by one of the factors or by a combination of several.

  1. Physical – friction or pressure on the skin of fabrics, leather products, high or low temperatures, humidity, electric current, ultraviolet or x-rays.
  2. Chemical – various acids and alkalis, substances that make up creams and hygiene products, medicines, tobacco smoke.
  3. Biological – sap and pollen of plants, bites and excretions of insects and animals.

Of the plant agents, the most dangerous are the juice of celandine, hogweed, nettle, pollen of meadow and weed grasses.

In industrial cities in winter, there are massive cases of contact dermatitis under the eyes and on the arms of a child. Three factors are combined here at once: cold, chemical impurities in the air and touching the skin with wet mittens.

In infants, allergic inflammation can be caused by a combination of high moisture in diapers, friction of the fabric and the action of an inappropriate cream.

A special type of contact dermatitis is phototoxic , when sunburn creams decompose in the sun and cause allergic damage to the epidermis.

What metals can harm

Any metals can cause skin damage. Least of all – gold, platinum, silver. More often nickel. The predisposition can be hereditary or formed during life, under the influence of unfavorable factors. If you are allergic to nickel, a special diet is prescribed: exclude rye bread, canned food, and some vegetables.

Dermatitis in a child and psychosomatics

Skin health directly depends on the mental well-being of a person. Stress changes hormones and metabolism, and causes malfunctioning of the immune system. Therefore, a calm emotional state will prevent an exacerbation of the disease and delay the first onset of symptoms.

When faced with contact dermatitis, analyze the causes, identify the allergen that caused it. It’s not always easy. To be calm about the correct diagnosis, carry out the necessary tests and receive treatment – come for a consultation at our center. In addition to treatment, you will learn how to properly prevent this disease. 

event_note July 22, 2021

account_box Dr. Peter B Milburn

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