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Understanding and Managing Leather-Based Contact Dermatitis

Dermatitis On Wrist
Allergic reactions take on many different forms, including contact dermatitis. Contact dermatitis develops when a person's skin touches an item they are allergic to. When this condition occurs, the skin will break out into a series of rashes that are painful to the touch.
While leather may not be as common a contact dermatitis trigger as metal or even hay, leather can cause allergic outbreaks. Individuals who believe that they have leather allergies should learn more about how it affects them and the many treatment methods available for contact dermatitis caused by leather allergies.

Leather May Trigger Contact Dermatitis

Leather-based products typically contain a large number of chemicals and animal products to preserve the leather surface. These chemical products are often what people with leather-based allergies react to.
Like with other types of allergies, contact dermatitis occurs when the body releases excessive histamine to fight what it believes is a dangerous element on the skin, such as the chemicals and products in leather. As histamine spreads across a person's skin during an allergic attack, the surface of the skin will break out into painful blisters and rashes.

Leather Items Cause Allergic Reactions

Living with contact dermatitis can be very painful, and a person with leather-based allergies may experience a high level of outbreaks due to the commonality of leather products on the market.
Shoes and sofas might be the most common triggers for leather allergy reactions. Leather wallets also trigger minor outbreaks if handled for too long.
Individuals allergic to leather shouldn't experience a reaction when touching, handling, or petting the skin of a live cow. However, allergies to cow dander can trigger allergic reactions that are very similar to contact dermatitis caused by leather. That said, these allergies are not the same and should not be confused.

Allergy Rashes May Occur Anywhere

Contact dermatitis occurs wherever the allergic item touches the skin. The multitude of leather-based items on the market means that contact dermatitis could happen in many areas. For example, people wearing leather jackets may have outbreaks on their arms, their back, their stomach, their neck, and other places touched by the coat.
Likewise, people with leather shoes, watches, wallets, or even furniture may experience rashes when touching these items. The irritation caused by leather exposure can quickly spread across the skin and became very painful. Thankfully, individuals with leather allergies can manage their contact dermatitis through prevention and treatment methods.

Leather Allergies Can Be Managed

Contact dermatitis is not dangerous, and many people with leather allergies may tolerate allergy rashes as a part of their life. However, preventing and treating leather allergies helps a person live a more comfortable life without painful skin outbreaks.
Prevent allergic reactions by avoiding leather triggers as much as possible. For example, individuals with leather allergies may need to get non-leather shoes to protect their ankles, calves, feet, and toes. People who want to keep their leather shoes may wear long socks to protect their feet. Replacing a leather sofa may also be necessary for avoiding allergic reactions while watching television or relaxing.
When allergic reactions occur, those with leather allergies must manage the rash with an anti-allergy cream. Rub the cream directly on the skin on and near the outbreak. Don't press too hard, or the skin might get further irritated. Lightly rub in a circle to work the cream into the skin.
Follow these steps to prevent and treat leather allergies safely and effectively. While not dangerous to the health, leather allergies may exacerbate health problems such as eczema. Please don't hesitate to contact the Allergy and Asthma Clinic of Fort Worth to learn more about leather allergies and their treatment methods.