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Allergic Contact Dermatitis Blisters

by
author image Diane Marks
Diane Marks started her writing career in 2010 and has been in health care administration for more than 30 years. She holds a registered nurse license from Citizens General Hospital School of Nursing, a Bachelor of Arts in health care education from California University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Science in health administration from the University of Pittsburgh.
Allergic Contact Dermatitis Blisters
Nickle is a common allergen that causes contact dermatitis blisters. Photo Credit jefferson nickle image by Jon Yuschock from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>

Allergic contact dermatitis blisters are the result of an allergic skin reaction to a particular substance, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Allergic contact dermatitis is a hypersensitivity of the immune system that causes a skin reaction, leading to the formation of water blisters that can crack, ooze and leave the skin open and susceptible to secondary infections, according to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology.

Cause

The American Osteopathic College of Dermatology states that the cause of allergic contact dermatitis blisters is direct contact with an allergen. The most common allergens that cause allergic contact dermatitis blisters are nickel, latex and rubber. When the substance touches the skin, the immune system reacts as if it is being harmed and fights back by releasing antibodies. The antibodies cause the cells in the area to produce histamine, which leads to the development of the blisters.

Symptoms

The Merck Manuals state that common symptoms will show within four to 24 hours after the person’s skin has contacted the allergen. Symptoms include skin swelling, redness, itchiness and water blisters. Because the skin becomes itchy, most of the blisters end up opening, leaving the skin vulnerable. The condition is not contagious, although people may be leery of touching the affected skin.

Treatment

Treating allergic contact dermatitis blisters begins by identifying the substances that the person is allergic to, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Talk with an allergist to determine the various allergens that need to be avoided. Severe cases of the condition may need prescribed topical corticosteroid or antihistamine lotions. A doctor may recommend the use of injections to reduce the swelling. Cover the affected area with a cool cloth to prevent infection and to relieve pain or itching. The Merck Manuals state that a doctor may drain large blisters, but will not remove them.

Complications

Cracked and open blisters are susceptible to certain skin infections, such as impetigo. Impetigo is a bacterial infection of the skin that causes a rash to develop on the face and limbs. It is highly contagious and should be treated as soon as possible with antibiotics, according to MayoClinic.com.

Considerations

People who suffer from allergic contact dermatitis should inform their employers of the condition to avoid the use of certain products. Wear a medical bracelet to inform bystanders in case of a severe allergic reaction.

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