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Contact Dermatitis : Prevention
Western Medicine Chinese Medicine
The only means of prevention of the dermatitis in a sensitized patient is avoidance of the offending allergen. Identification and elimination of the responsible allergen is the most important goal and the following should be noted:

Nickel sensitivity: Some patients with mild nickel sensitivity can tolerate jewelry that is treated with a protective coating.
Poison ivy: Rhus dermatitis can probably be lessened, if not prevented, if the skin is thoroughly washed with water immediately after contact. Some patients appear to lose sensitivity after repeated natural exposure, a phenomenon known as "hardening", but this remains to be documented.
Industrial prevention: Preventive measures in industrial dermatitis depend on the use of protective gloves and clothing, improved ventilation, or the substitution of non-allergenic chemicals. In extreme cases (such as with chromate sensitivity in builders), it may be necessary to change occupation or hobbies.
Protective measures

Unfortunately, many common allergens are hard to identify and allergen avoidance may be difficult to achieve.


Prevention of contact dermatitis depends on the following:
Investigation of the medical history to identify irritants for future avoidance.
If the irritant is occupation-related, working procedures should be modified or the environment improved to avoid the irritant. Precautionary measures should be re-enforced such as the wearing of protective clothing and gloves to cover the skin if working with an irritating substance.
Hot baths should be avoided when a rash is present as this may make the condition worse. Lesions should not be scratched. If Western drugs are needed, they should be applied only under medical advice.
Hot baths worsen the condition

Dietary measures
From the TCM viewpoint, both food and drugs come from the same source and food can vary in character. This means that food can promote health or have an adverse effect on it. Seafood, spicy and hot food trigger the body to produce more wind, heat or dampness evils, which are causative factors in contact dermatitis. In TCM, dietetic restraint is urged, meaning that some foods should be avoided in certain disorders or while certain medicines are being taken. For example, intake of salty food should be limited in persons who are edematous have fluid retention and a greasy diet avoided in cases of diarrhea. For contact dermatitis, a balanced diet should be eaten. Individuals susceptible to this disorder should avoid alcohol, and eat less seafood or spicy and hot food. Drinking plenty of water is also advisable to clean the toxins from the body and prevent illness.

Food pyramid