Skin rash

treatment

General: Treatment depends on the cause of the rash. If an allergic reaction causes a rash, oral antihistamines may be taken or hydrocortisone may be applied to the skin. Anaphylaxis, the most severe allergic reaction, must be treated with an injection of epinephrine as soon as possible. Antimicrobials are used to treat infections that cause rashes. Autoimmune disorders are treated with corticosteroids and other medications. Rashes caused by poisonous plants may be treated with antihistamines, calamine lotion, hydrocortisone, and/or baking soda solutions. Diaper rash may be treated with zinc oxide ointments. Skin disorders like atopic dermatitis may be treated with topical corticosteroids. If a patient develops Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) in response to medication, the patient should stop taking the offending drug immediately. No specific drug treatment exists for SJS. Recovery may take two to six weeks. Severe cases may require hospitalization in an intensive care unit (ICU) or burn unit where the patient will receive intravenous fluids and nutritional supplements.
Antihistamines: Oral antihistamines like diphenhydramine (Benadryl®) have been used to treat skin rashes cause by an allergic reaction. Antihistamines decrease redness and itchiness associated with the rash.
Antimicrobials: Medications called antimicrobials are used to treat skin rashes caused by infection. Antibiotics are used for bacterial infections (like Lyme disease), antifungals are used to treat fungal infections (like yeast infections), and antivirals are used to treat viral infections (like herpes). Depending on the type and severity of the condition, these agents may be administered in topical, oral, or injectable forms. Treatment duration and doses also depend on the type and severity of the infection. Many viral infections will resolve on their own and do not require medications.
Aloe vera gel: Aloe vera gel has been applied to affected areas of the skin to relieve itching and help rashes heal. Aloe vera is used most often to treat rashes from sunburn, heat rash, or poisonous plants. Aloe vera gel should not be applied to open cuts, blisters, or sores on the skin.
Baking soda: A solution of baking soda and water may help treat allergic skin reactions caused by poisonous plants. Three teaspoons of baking soda has been mixed with one teaspoon of water and applied to affected areas of the skin.
Calamine lotion: Calamine lotion (Calamox®) can be applied to the skin to reduce itching and blistering caused by poisonous plant exposure.
Cool compress: Applying a cool compress to affected areas of the skin may help relieve itching and swelling associated with rashes.
Epinephrine: A medication called epinephrine is used to treat anaphylaxis. Epinephrine is injected into the skin at a hospital. Patients with a history of anaphylaxis should carry an auto-injectable epinephrine (EpiPen®) with them at all times. If symptoms of anaphylaxis appear after exposure to an allergen, the patient uses the device to inject the epinephrine into his/her thigh. Epinephrine acts as a bronchodilator because it opens the patient's airway. It also constricts the blood vessels, which increases blood pressure. Patients who experience anaphylaxis may also be admitted to the hospital to have their blood pressure monitored and possibly to receive breathing support.
Hydrocortisone: Hydrocortisone cream has been applied to the affected area to temporarily relieve itching associated with allergic reactions and exposure to poisonous plants. Hydrocortisone 1% cream, which is available over-the-counter, has anti-inflammatory effects and relieves swelling and redness in addition to itching. Prescription hydrocortisone has been used to relieve itching, redness, dryness, crusting, scaling, inflammation, and discomfort associated with the reaction.
Sunscreen: Patients who are sensitive to sun exposure should wear ultraviolet-blocking sunscreens to prevent or reduce the development of a skin rash.
Oral corticosteroids: Autoimmune disorders are often treated with oral corticosteroids like methylprednisolone (Adlone®, Medrol®, Solu-Medrol® or Depopred®) and prednisone (Deltasone®, Orasone® or Meticorten®) to suppress the body's immune system and decrease skin inflammation. These medications may also be used short-term to treat severe rashes caused by poisonous plants. Patients should slowly taper off medication to avoid serious side effects.
Topical anesthetics: Topical anesthetics like lidocaine (Lidoderm®) have been applied to the skin to relieve pain associated with SJS lesions.
Topical corticosteroids: Topical (applied to the skin) corticosteroids (like hydrocortisone, betamethasone, or fluticasone propionate) are the most common and effective treatments rashes caused by atopic dermatitis. They are used until the rash clears up. Low-strength topical corticosteroids should be used on the face. Over-the-counter hydrocortisone (like Bactine®, Cortaid®, Dermolate®, or Aveeno Anti-Itch cream®) is a low-strength corticosteroid cream that has been used to treat young children.
Zinc oxide creams: Ointments that contain zinc oxide (like Desitin® or Diaparene®) may help relieve diaper rash in babies. The ointment is applied to affected areas of the skin each time the baby's diaper is changed.

integrative therapies

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Vitamin D: A number of different approaches are used to treat psoriasis. Mild approaches include light therapy, stress reduction, moisturizers, or salicylic acid to remove scaly skin areas. For more severe cases, treatments may include ultraviolet A (UVA) light, psoralen plus UVA light (PUVA), retinoids like isotretinoin (Accutane®), corticosteroids, or cyclosporine (Neoral®, Sandimmune®). The man-made vitamin D3 analog calcipotriene (Dovonex®) appears to control skin cell growth and it is used for moderately severe skin plaques, particularly for skin lesions resistant to other therapies or located on the face. Vitamin D3 (tacalcitol) ointment has been reported as being safe and well tolerated.
Avoid if allergic or hypersensitive to vitamin D or any of its components. Vitamin D is generally well tolerated in recommended doses. Doses higher than recommended may cause toxic effects. Individuals with overactive thyroid, kidney disease, sarcoidosis, tuberculosis, or histoplasmosis are at a higher risk of experiencing toxic effects. Vitamin D is generally considered safe for pregnant women. It may be necessary to give infants vitamin D supplements along with breast milk. The recommended intake of vitamin D for normal infants, children, and adolescents is 200 IU daily.
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Aloe vera: Early evidence suggests that extracts from aloe in a hydrophilic cream may be an effective treatment of psoriasis vulgaris. Additional research is needed in this area before a strong recommendation can be made.
Avoid if allergic to aloe or other plants of the Liliaceae family (garlic, onions, tulips). Do not inject aloe into the skin. Do not apply to open surgical wounds or pressure ulcers. Patients should not take aloe by mouth if they have diarrhea, bowel blockage, intestinal diseases, bloody stools, hepatitis, a history of irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia), electrolyte imbalances, diabetes, heart disease, or kidney disease. Avoid taking by mouth if pregnant or breastfeeding.
Evening primrose oil: Several small human studies suggest that taking evening primrose oil by mouth may help treat atopic dermatitis (eczema) in adults and children. Large well-designed studies are needed before a strong recommendation can be made.
Evening primrose oil is approved for atopic dermatitis in several countries outside of the United States. Individuals who are allergic to plants in the Onagraceae family, gamma-linolenic acid, or other ingredients in evening primrose oil should avoid the substance. Individuals with seizure disorders and pregnant or breastfeeding women should also avoid evening primrose oil.
Probiotics: Probiotics show promise for reducing or preventing atopic eczema/dermatitis syndrome in children. Infants benefit when their mothers take probiotics during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Direct supplementation of infants may reduce the incidence of atopic eczema by as much as half. It may also reduce cow's milk allergy and other allergic reactions during weaning. Probiotics may stabilize the intestinal barrier function and decrease gastrointestinal symptoms in children with atopic dermatitis. Children do differ, however, in their responsiveness to specific probiotics.
Probiotics are generally regarded as safe for human consumption. Long-term consumption of probiotics is considered safe and well tolerated.
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Acupuncture: Further research is needed to determine whether acupuncture can effective treat skin disorders such as hives (itchy, red welts that form on the skin).
Needles must be sterile in order to avoid disease transmission. Avoid with heart valve disease, infections, bleeding disorders or with drugs that increase the risk of bleeding (anticoagulants), medical conditions of unknown origin, and neurological disorders. Avoid on areas that have received radiation therapy and during pregnancy. Use cautiously with pulmonary disease (like asthma or emphysema). Use cautiously in elderly or medically compromised patients, diabetics, or with history of seizures. Avoid electroacupuncture with arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) or in patients with pacemakers.
Agrimony: It remains unclear whether agrimony can effectively treat skin disorders and rashes. Further research is needed to determine if the herb is safe and effective.
Avoid if allergic or hypersensitive to agrimony or its related species. When used as recommended, agrimony is considered to be safe. Avoid with bleeding disorders, kidney or liver disease, or diabetes. Use cautiously with drugs that lower blood pressure.
Avocado: Early scientific research showed promising results using avocado in a cream for psoriasis. Additional studies are needed in this area before a firm recommendation can be made.
Avoid if allergic or hypersensitive to avocado, banana, chestnut, or natural rubber latex. Use cautiously with anticoagulants (like warfarin). Avoid with monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). Doses greater than found in a normal diet are not recommended if pregnant or breastfeeding. Some types of avocado may be unsafe when breastfeeding.
Butterbur: There is limited human evidence in this area, although preliminary research suggests that butterbur may not suppress allergic skin reactions when compared to the prescription drug fexofenadine (Allegra®), which does suppress these reactions. Additional research is needed.
Use cautiously if allergic or sensitive to Petasites hybridus or other plants from the Asteraceae/Compositae family (like ragweed, marigolds, daisies, and chrysanthemums). Raw, unprocessed butterbur plant should not be eaten due to the risk of liver or kidney damage or cancer. Avoid if pregnant or breastfeeding.
Calendula: Limited animal research suggests that calendula extracts may reduce inflammation when applied to the skin. Human studies are lacking in this area.
Avoid if allergic to plants in the Aster/Compositae family like ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, and daisies. Severe allergic reaction (anaphylactic shock) has been reported after gargling with a calendula preparation. Caution is advised while driving or operating machinery. It is not clear if calendula is safe for use during pregnancy or breastfeeding.
Chamomile: Topical chamomile preparations have traditionally been used to soothe skin inflammation. The existing human evidence shows that chamomile may be of little, if any, benefit while animal studies support its anti-inflammatory action. Additional human research is needed in this area.
Avoid if allergic to chamomile or any related plants such as aster, chrysanthemum, mugwort, ragweed, or ragwort. Stop use two weeks before surgery/dental/diagnostic procedures with bleeding risk, and do not use immediately after these procedures. Use cautiously if driving or operating machinery. Avoid if pregnant or breastfeeding.
Chondroitin sulfate: Early research suggests that chondroitin may help treat psoriasis. Well-designed clinical trials are needed to confirm these results.
Use cautiously if allergic or hypersensitive to chondroitin sulfate products. Use cautiously with bleeding disorders and with blood-thinners like warfarin (like Coumadin®). Avoid if pregnant or breastfeeding.
DHEA: DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) is a hormone that is produced by the adrenal glands in the body. Overall, study results suggest that DHEA likely offers no benefit to individuals with psoriasis, but some disagree. Additional research is needed before a firm conclusion can be made.
Avoid if allergic to DHEA. Avoid with a history of seizures. Use with caution in adrenal or thyroid disorders or anticoagulants, or drugs, herbs, or supplements for diabetes, heart disease, seizure, or stroke. Stop use two weeks before surgery/dental/diagnostic procedures with bleeding risk, and do not use immediately after these procedures. Avoid if pregnant or breastfeeding.
Euphorbia: Early research of Euphorbia acaulis has demonstrated an effect on patients with eczema. More trials are needed to evaluate the effect of Euphorbia acaulis for eczema.
Avoid if allergic or hypersensitive to pollen from Euphorbia fulgens. Use cautiously with history of Epstein Barr virus infection or stomach conditions. Avoid if pregnant or breastfeeding.
Gamma linolenic acid (GLA): A number of randomized clinical studies have been conducted to treat atopic dermatitis in adults and children, and in one case, a study attempted to prevent atopic dermatitis in infants. Changes in linolenic acid metabolism have been related to eczema where conversion of linolenic acid to GLA is inhibited in persons with atopic dermatitis. However, the studies in the past 20 years reveal minimal therapeutic improvements with GLA as therapy for atopic dermatitis, noted by only marginal to no improvement in inflammation and itching.
GLA is generally considered nontoxic and well tolerated for up to 18 months. Use cautiously with anticoagulants (blood thinners) and avoid if pregnant or breastfeeding.
Gamma oryzanol: A few studies have used gamma oryzanol by mouth or applied on the skin to treat skin conditions. Although these studies seem to indicate that gamma oryzanol may be useful, additional research is needed to assess gamma oryzanol's effects.
Avoid if allergic/hypersensitive to gamma oryzanol, its components, or rice bran oil. Use cautiously if taking anticoagulants (blood thinners), central nervous system (CNS) suppressants, growth hormone, drugs that alter blood sugar levels, immunomodulators, luteinizing hormone or luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone, prolactin, cholesterol-lowering agents, thyroid drugs, and herbs or supplements with similar effects. Use cautiously with diabetes, hypothyroidism, hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia, or high cholesterol. Avoid if pregnant or breastfeeding.
Grapefruit: There is early but inconclusive evidence to support the use of grapefruit seed extract in the treatment of atopic eczema. Additional research is needed to confirm these findings.
Avoid if allergic to grapefruit. Grapefruit may interact with prescription drugs, herbs, and supplements. Use cautiously if taking cytochrome P450 3A4 substrates such as anticoagulant/antiplatelets (agents that affect blood/clotting), antiarrhythmics (medications used to treat abnormal rhythms in the heart), seizure drugs, antidepressants, antihistamines, drugs that affect blood pressure, benzodiazepines (a class of psychotropic drugs that have a hypnotic and sedative action), calcium channel blockers, caffeine, corticosteroids (anti-inflammatories), erectile dysfunction drugs, estrogens, immune modulators, HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, macrolide antibiotics, and protease inhibitors. Use cautiously if drinking red wine or tonic water. Use cautiously when smoking and with liver cirrhosis or at risk for kidney stones. Use cautiously in patients that have undergone gastric bypass surgery. Use cautiously if pregnant or breastfeeding.
Hydrotherapy: There is insufficient evidence to determine whether hydrotherapy is an effective treatment for atopic dermatitis (eczema) or psoriasis.
Avoid sudden or prolonged exposure to extreme temperatures in baths, wraps, saunas, or other forms of hydrotherapy, particularly with heart disease, lung disease, or if pregnant. Avoid with implanted medical devices such as pacemakers, defibrillators, or hepatic (liver) infusion pumps. Vigorous use of water jets should be avoided with fractures, known blood clots, bleeding disorders, severe osteoporosis, open wounds, or during pregnancy. Use cautiously with Raynaud's disease, chilblains, acrocyanosis, erythrocyanosis, and impaired temperature sensitivity, such as neuropathy. Use cautiously if pregnant or breastfeeding. Hydrotherapy should not delay the time to diagnosis or treatment with more proven techniques or therapies, and should not be used as the sole approach to illnesses. Patients with known illnesses should consult their physician(s) before starting hydrotherapy.
Hypnotherapy: Further research is needed to determine whether hypnotherapy is an effective treatment for skin conditions, including eczema and psoriasis.
Use cautiously with mental illnesses like psychosis/schizophrenia, manic depression, multiple personality disorder, or dissociative disorders. Use cautiously with seizure disorders.
Khella: Preliminary evidence suggests that khellin taken by mouth may be an effective therapy for psoriasis. However, additional study is needed to confirm these results.
Avoid if allergic to members of the Apiaceae family (flowering plants). May cause liver poisoning (hepatotoxicity) in high doses. Use cautiously with liver problems or asthma. Avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight or ultraviolet radiation. Avoid if pregnant.
Licorice: Topical licorice extract gel has been shown to be effective in the treatment of atopic dermatitis in preliminary human study. Further research is needed to confirm these results.
Avoid licorice if you have a known allergy to licorice, any component of licorice, or any member of the Fabaceae (Leguminosae) plant family. Avoid licorice with history of congestive heart failure, coronary heart disease, kidney disease, liver disease, fluid retention, high blood pressure, hormonal abnormalities, and/or if taking diuretics. Licorice can cause abnormally low testosterone levels in men or high prolactin or estrogen levels in women. This may make it difficult to become pregnant and may cause menstrual abnormalities.
Marshmallow: Marshmallow extracts have traditionally been used on the skin to treat inflammation. Several laboratory experiments, mostly in the 1960s, reported marshmallow to have anti-inflammatory activity but limited human study is available. Safety, dosing and effectiveness compared to other anti-inflammatories have not been examined.
Historically, marshmallow is generally regarded as being safe in healthy individuals. However, since studies have not evaluated the safety of marshmallow, proper doses and duration in humans are not known. Allergic reactions may occur. There is not enough scientific evidence to support the safe use of marshmallow during pregnancy or breastfeeding.
Neem: Limited human data on the effect of neem on psoriasis is available. Further research is needed before a firm conclusion can be made.
Avoid if allergic or hypersensitive to neem (Azadirachta indica) or members of the Meliaceae family. Use cautiously with liver disease. Avoid in children and infants. Avoid if pregnant or breastfeeding.
Omega-3 fatty acid: There is insufficient evidence to determine whether omega-3 fatty acid can effective treat skin conditions, including eczema or psoriasis. Further research is warranted.
Avoid if allergic or hypersensitive to fish, omega-3 fatty acid products that come from fish, nuts, linolenic acid, or omega-3 fatty acid products that come from nuts. Avoid during active bleeding. Use cautiously with bleeding disorders, diabetes, low blood pressure, or drugs, herbs, or supplements that treat any such conditions. Use cautiously before surgery. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends that intake be limited in pregnant/nursing women to a single six-ounce meal per week, and in young children to less than two ounces per week. For farm-raised, imported, or marine fish, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends that pregnant/breastfeeding women and young children avoid eating types with higher levels of methylmercury and less than 12 ounces per week of other fish types. Women who might become pregnant are advised to eat seven ounces or less per week of fish with higher levels of methylmercury or up to 14 ounces per week of fish types with about 0.5 parts per million (such as marlin, orange roughy, red snapper, or fresh tuna).
Polypodium: Laboratory and animal studies report that Polypodium leucotomos extract (anapsos) may reduce skin inflammation associated with skin disorders like eczema and psoriasis. However, further research is needed to confirm these results.
Avoid if allergic to ferns (in the family Polypodiaceae) or if pregnant or breastfeeding.
Psychotherapy: Atopic dermatitis is a skin disease associated with an increased anxiety level. Psychotherapy may be helpful for atopic dermatitis patients with high levels of anxiety. However, more research is needed before a recommendation can be made.
Use cautiously with serious mental illness or some medical conditions because some forms of psychotherapy may stir up strong emotional feelings and expression.
Rutin (C27H30O16) In one clinical trial O-(beta-hydroxyethyl)-rutoside offered benefit in terms of skin irritation to individuals with breast cancer undergoing radiation treatment. More well-designed clinical trials are required in this field before recommendations can be made.
Avoid if allergic/hypersensitive to O-(beta-hydroxyethyl)-rutosides or plants that rutin is commonly found in, such as rue, tobacco, or buckwheat. Use cautiously in elderly patients. Use cautiously with skin conditions. Use cautiously if taking medications for edema, diuretics, or anti-coagulation medications. Use cautiously if pregnant or breastfeeding.
Selenium: Further research is necessary to determine whether selenium can be used to effectively treat psoriasis.
Avoid if allergic or sensitive to products containing selenium. Avoid with history of non-melanoma skin cancer. Selenium is generally regarded as safe for pregnant or breastfeeding women. However, animal research reports that large doses of selenium may lead to birth defects.
Shark cartilage: Shark cartilage products have been tested by mouth or on the skin in people with psoriasis. However, no clear benefits have been shown. More research is needed before a conclusion can be drawn.
Avoid if allergic to shark cartilage or any of its ingredients (including chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine). Use cautiously with sulfur allergy. Avoid with history of heart attack, vascular disease, heart rhythm abnormalities, or heart disease. Use cautiously with history of liver or kidney disorders, tendency to form kidney stones, breast cancer, prostate cancer, multiple myeloma, breathing disorders (like asthma), cancers that raise calcium levels (like breast, prostate, multiple myeloma, or squamous cell lung cancer), or diabetes. Avoid if pregnant or breastfeeding.
St: Early research of Hypericum-cream for the topical (applied to the skin) treatment of mild to moderate atopic dermatitis shows positive results. Further studies are needed before a firm conclusion can be made.
Avoid if allergic or hypersensitive to plants in the Hypericaceaefamily. Rare allergic skin reactions like itchy rash have been reported. Avoid with HIV/AIDS drugs (protease inhibitors) like indinavir (Crixivan®), or non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors, like nevirapine (Viramune®). Avoid with immunosuppressant drugs (like cyclosporine, tacrolimus or myophenic acid). Avoid with organ transplants, suicidal symptoms, or before surgery. Use cautiously with history of thyroid disorders. Use cautiously with drugs that are broken down by the liver, with monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI) or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIS), digoxin, or birth control pills. Use cautiously with diabetes or with history of mania, hypomania (as in Bipolar Disorder), or affective illness. Avoid if pregnant or breastfeeding.
Tea tree oil: One small study shows that topical tea tree oil may reduce skin inflammation caused by an allergic reaction. Further research is needed to confirm these results.
Thyme: Historically, thyme has been applied to the skin for a number of skin conditions. Results are mixed. Additional research is needed in this area.
Avoid if known allergy/hypersensitivity to members of the Lamiaceae (mint) family or to any component of thyme, or to rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis).
Avoid use if allergic to tea tree oil or plants of the Myrtle (Myrtaceae) family, Balsam of Peru, or banzoin. Use caution with history of eczema. Avoid taking tea tree oil by mouth because reports of toxicity have been reported. Avoid if pregnant or breastfeeding.
Thymus extract: It remains unclear whether thymus extract can effectively treat skin conditions such as psoriasis or eczema. Early research results are inconclusive. Further research is needed.
Avoid if allergic or hypersensitive to thymus extracts. Use bovine thymus extract supplements cautiously due to potential for exposure to the virus that causes "mad cow disease." Avoid use with an organ transplant or other forms of allografts or xenografts. Avoid if receiving immunosuppressive therapy, with thymic tumors, myasthenia gravis (neuromuscular disorder), untreated hypothyroidism, or if taking hormonal therapy. Avoid if pregnant or breastfeeding; thymic extract increases human sperm motility and progression.
Zinc: Preliminary research on the effectiveness of zinc to treat skin conditions, including diaper rash, psoriasis, and eczema are inconclusive. Further research is necessary before a firm conclusion can be made.
Zinc is regarded as relatively safe and generally well tolerated when taken at recommended doses and few studies report side effects. Zinc should only be given to pregnant or breastfeeding women under the supervision of their qualified healthcare providers.
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Boron: Preliminary human research of an ointment containing boric acid does not report significant benefits in psoriasis
Avoid if allergic or sensitive to boron, boric acid, borax, citrate, aspartate, or glycinate. Avoid with history of diabetes, seizure disorder, kidney disease, liver disease, depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, skin rash, anemia, asthma, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Avoid with hormone-sensitive conditions like breast cancer or prostate cancer. Avoid if pregnant or breastfeeding.
Evening primrose oil: Initial research does not show a benefit from evening primrose oil in the treatment of psoriasis.
Individuals who are allergic to plants in the Onagraceae family, gamma-linolenic acid, or other ingredients in evening primrose oil should avoid the substance. Individuals with seizure disorders and pregnant or breastfeeding women should also avoid evening primrose oil.
Lavender: In a small clinical trial, essential oils were used in combination with massage to treat childhood atopic eczema. It was found that there was deterioration in the patient's eczema, which may have been due to a possible allergic contact dermatitis provoked by the essential oils themselves. Additional research of the effect of lavender essential oil alone is needed before any firm conclusions can be made.
Avoid if allergic or hypersensitive to lavender. Avoid with history of seizures, bleeding disorders, eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia), or anemia (low levels of iron in the blood). Avoid if pregnant or breastfeeding.

prevention

Avoid exposure to known allergens (like pollen, dust mites, animal dander, mold, and certain foods and medications).
Individuals who have experienced anaphylactic reactions should avoid allergy-causing food, medications, or substances. Individuals with a history of anaphylaxis should carry an autoinjectable epinephrine device (known as an EpiPen®) with them at all times. A trained family member or friend may help the patient administer the epinephrine, if necessary.
Avoid unnecessary exposure to other environmental irritants such as insect sprays, tobacco smoke, air pollution, and fresh tar or paint.
Patients can take precautions to avoid contracting infections that may cause rashes. Patients should thoroughly wash their hands with soap and water. Patients should talk to their healthcare providers about recommended immunizations. Patients should minimize or avoid close contact with individuals who have contagious illnesses.
To help prevent diaper rash, regularly change diapers as soon as they become wet or dirty. Thoroughly dry the baby's bottom before putting a new diaper on.
Wear sunblock when outside to help prevent a skin rash. Patients should choose a sunblock with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher. The sunblock should offer protection against both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. Also, patients should look for products that are "PABA-free." PABA is a chemical that is found in many sunblocks, and it is know to cause irritation in sensitive patients.
Individuals should learn what poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac look like in order to prevent contact with the plants. Individuals who are allergic to poisonous plants should wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts when they are in wooded areas.
Topical creams like bentoquatam (IvyBlock®), which are available over-the-counter, may help prevent or reduce allergic rashes caused by poison plants. The cream is applied to exposed areas of skin before possible exposure to poison ivy, poison oak, or poison sumac. The cream should not be applied to open cuts, sores, or wounds.