How to Calm a Topical Allergic Reaction

As a girl with very sensitive skin, I know firsthand the irritations (sometimes called contact dermatitis) that can come from using subpar skincare products.Lotion and creams are designed tohydrate the skin or calm acne, but many products contain harsh fragrances and chemicals that can cause a minor allergic reaction.

Minor rashes can also show up because of extreme heat (say, in the shower or your home), viruses or bacteria, a bout of eczema, or evenheavy winds!

Here’s what you need to do if your skin flares up.

Note: This remedy is for a mild topical reaction only. If your face or throat swells, or you have trouble breathing, seek medical attention immediately.

How to Calm a Topical Allergic Reaction

Portrait of pretty woman stroking her face

Most minor allergic reactions to skincare products show up on the skin as an irritated, itchyred rash. If you notice this happening to your skin, stop using the productand follow the steps below.

1) Remove All Traces ofthe Product

First things first, if your reactionwas most likely caused by a new product, remove all traces of it on your skin. Find a very mild soap (I recommend a few drops of Castile soap) and wash with lukewarm or cool water.

If you’re reacting more strongly, massagehalf a teaspoon of olive oil into the skin, then gently wipe off with a moderately warm wet washcloth.

Once the product has been removed, leave your skin clean and bare. Don’t add new lotions or cosmetics; just let your skin heal for a few hours.

2) Soothe InflammationWith a Cold Compress

Pull out your handy ice pack, wrap in a cloth, then press to the skin to sooth and reduce inflammation. Don’t have an ice pack? Use a cool, damp washcloth instead. Sometimes all your body needs is a little time!

3) Seek Gentle Hydration

Once your skin has been clean for a while, consider using a very mild lotion or cream to rehydrateit. Avoid anything that has a complex list of chemical ingredients, lists “fragrance” or “parfum”on the label, or is likely to irritate your already recovering skin.

I suggest using a colloidal oatmeal lotion or pure aloe vera to be safe.

4) Try a Mild Hydrocortisone Cream

Consider using a mild hydrocortisone cream to reduce itching and inflammation from contact dermatitis. It will soothe your body’s allergic reaction to whatever substance caused the flare up. These are available over-the-counter.

Still struggling? Ask your doctor about taking anantihistamine.

Additional Tips

How to Calm a Topical Allergic Reaction

Manyplants, flowers and herbs have anti-inflammatory, soothing properties that can heal the skin after a mild allergic reaction. If you’re still struggling to get your skin back to normal, try a few of these natural remedies!

1) Cucumber Slices

There’s a reason “cool as a cucumber” is a common saying. Cucumbers are full of vitamins and cool on the fleshy inside, making them a wonderful little remedy for a rash.

Just pull your cucumber out of the fridge, cut up a few thin slices, and place them on the affected area.

2) Chamomile Wash

Chamomile tea is a natural anti-inflammatory. The flower actually soothes discomfort and reduces pain brought on by rashes. In fact, chamomile can actual accelerate healing.

To use to soothe a rash, just place wet chamomile tea bags on the skin and wait to dry. Rinse of leftover tea or leave it on.

3) Oatmeal Facial

Oatmeal has wonderful natural healing properties that can help sooth skin irritations. Ever take an oatmeal bath during a bout of chicken poxas a kid? That’s why!

For an oatmeal bath, add a cup of uncooked oatmeal to your bath and soak. For a simple oatmeal facial, make a paste from oatmeal flour (grind in your food processor before hand) and a little bit of raw honey.

How do you soothe a mild rash? Let me know your secret remedies!

94 comments

Peggy B
Peggy B7 months ago

I'll also add that this can't be blamed on Republicans exclusively since Democrats have had control for the last 50 years. This was a joint decision between them. Sad that the only time they do agree is to benefit corporations and the rich. Wake up. Both parties are full of corrupt politicians.

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Peggy B
Peggy B7 months ago

It's not easy to know what products will cause reactions from known allergens since the US doesn't make manufacturers list all ingredients anymore. They use to make them, but that's gone now. Hooray for capitalism that allows corporations total control.

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aj E
aj E7 months ago

thanks for putting on one page.

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Sarah H
Sarah Hill7 months ago

I'm beginning to have a reaction to the deodorant I've been using for years.

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Gino C
Gino C7 months ago

Good advice. Thanks.

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Lindsay K
Lindsay K7 months ago

Thanks for sharing. I have allergic reactions to fragrance, but not all the time. I think stress and tiredness can play a part. I also use fragrance free products to keep my skin hydrated all the time, and this helps. Thinking about what cleaning products you are using is also sensible.

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Elena Poensgen
Elena Poensgen7 months ago

Thank you

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Elena Poensgen
Elena Poensgen7 months ago

Thank you

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Mostapha Z
Mostapha Z7 months ago

Interesting article.

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Peggy B
Peggy B7 months ago

I've tried most of these.

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