Itchy, oozing skin is a general term that describes a skin irritation or rash involving the abnormal production and draining of small associated blisters. Common causes for this condition include the skin disorders eczema and allergic contact dermatitis. You can develop contact dermatitis from a wide array of sources, including poison ivy and products such as deodorants, soaps and household cleaning products.
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Eczema is a chronic skin condition that comes in three main forms, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus resource. In the most common form of the condition — called atopic eczema — itching, oozing blisters and inflammation can form anywhere on your body. In nummular eczema, circular patches of oozing, itchy skin typically form on your arms and legs and may spread to the center of your body. In dyshidrotic eczema, itchy blisters typically form on your feet or hands. Atopic eczema stems from a hypersensitive skin response that resembles an allergic reaction. Doctors don’t know what causes nummular or dyshidrotic eczema.
Allergic Contact Dermatitis
Symptoms of allergic contact dermatitis include a red, bumpy rash and potentially extreme itching. In severe cases of the condition, you may also develop oozing blisters. Allergic contact dermatitis forms when your skin comes in contact with any substance that triggers a foreign-body immune reaction in your skin. In addition to the substances listed above, common sources for this reaction include cosmetics, rubber, the metal nickel, perfumes and hair dyes. While it may take years for you to develop a reaction to a given substance, you will typically remain allergic for life once a reaction forms.
MedlinePlus lists common self-care treatments for all forms of eczema that include avoiding scratching your affected skin, avoiding any substance or food that worsens your symptoms and avoiding excessive bathing or other water exposure. Medications used to treat the various types of eczema include oral antihistamines, oral or injected corticosteroids, topical steroid creams or ointments, creams or ointments that contain coal tar and immune function-altering medications called topical immunomodulators. Your doctor can help you determine which medication is most appropriate for you current symptoms.
Contact Dermatitis Treatment
Common self-care treatments for allergic contact dermatitis include recognizing and avoiding any substance that causes a reaction; avoiding scratching your affected skin; using calamine lotion, hydrocortisone or other nonprescription anti-itch products; covering your affected skin with wet, cool compresses; and avoiding use of soaps that contain perfumes or dyes. If you have a severe case of this condition, your doctor may also prescribe oral antihistamines or corticosteroids.
If you come in contact with a triggering substance, you can help prevent a contact dermatitis reaction by promptly washing your skin with water and mild soap, according to MayoClinic.com. Although eczema is a lifelong condition, you can typically control it with appropriate care. Potential complications of eczema include skin scarring and bacterial, viral or fungal skin infections. Atopic eczema is also sometimes known as atopic dermatitis.