Contact Dermatitis

  1. General information
    1. An irritation of the skin from a specific substance or from a hypersensitivity immune reaction from contact with a specific antigen
    2. Caused by irritants (mechanical, chemical, biologic); allergens
  2. Assessment findings
    1. Pruritus
    2. Erythema; localized edema; vesicles (oozing, crusting, and scaling [later])
    3. Diagnostic test: skin testing reveals hypersensitivity to specific antigen
  3. Nursing interventions
    1. Apply wet dressings of Burrow's solution for 20 minutes 4 times a day to help clear oozing lesions.
    2. Provide relief from pruritus (see Cirrhosis of the Liver).
    3. Administer topical steroids and antibiotics as ordered.
    4. Provide client teaching and discharge planning concerning
      1. Avoidance of causative agent
      2. Preventing skin dryness
        1. use mild soaps (Ivory).
        2. soak in plain water for 20-30 minutes.
        3. apply prescribed steroid cream immediately after bath.
        4. avoid extremes of heat and cold.
      3. Allowing crusts and scales to drop off skin naturally as healing occurs
      4. Avoidance of wool, nylon, or fur fibers on sensitive skin
      5. Need to use gloves if handling irritant or allergenic substances

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