Allergic Contact Dermatitis of the Thigh Symptoms, Causes & Treatment Options

Dermatitis is the medical term for general inflammation of the skin; in this case, the thigh has been exposed to a substance or element that is irritating or causing an allergic reaction. This article will cover symptoms, causes, treatment, and prevention.

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Contents

  1. Overview
  2. Symptoms
  3. Potential Causes
  4. Treatment, Prevention and Relief
  5. When to Seek Further Consultation
  6. References

What Is Allergic Contact Dermatitis of the Thigh?

Summary

Dermatitis is the medical term for general inflammation of the skin. When the terms “allergic” or “contact” are added, it signifies that the skin has been exposed to a substance or element that is irritating or causes an allergic reaction. The thigh is a major weight-bearing component of the body, and injury or pain in this area can make flexion and extension of the knee, flexion, and extension of the hips, and the generation of power for movements like jumping and running difficult.

Allergic contact dermatitis of the thigh can result from ingredients in fabrics to laundry detergents and plants to lotions. Allergic contact dermatitis is a specific type of inflammation that involves an immune reaction. Symptoms may include itchiness pain, red rash or bumps, a burning sensation, blisters and blistering of the skin. The process your body completes to identify a substance (cream, lotion, fabric, etc.) as bothersome is not immediate, and symptoms may not develop until after 24 to 36 hours.

Treatment focuses on soothing the itch and limiting scratching and inflammation, as well as moisturizing the skin to allow healing.

Recommended care

Allergic Contact Dermatitis of the Thigh Symptoms

Main symptoms

Skin allergies vary from person to person. The severity of the symptoms can also vary from person to person and last for different amounts of time. Scratching is also an important symptom of upper leg itch. Though scratching can be helpful in relieving an itchy sensation, it only offers temporary relief. Scratching can also result in breaks in the skin that can lead to bleeding or infection, further exacerbating the issue. For the most part, allergic contact dermatitis of the thigh is mostly itchy, sometimes painful, and always very annoying for anyone suffering from the condition. The most common types of symptoms people experience include:

  • Itchiness
  • Pain
  • Red rash or bumps
  • Burning sensation
  • Blisters and blistering of the skin

Other symptoms

Over time, you may also feel other symptoms if the primary allergic symptoms persist.

  • Swelling
  • Cramping or soreness
  • Feeling of heaviness
  • Stretched or shiny skin
  • Stiffness
  • Limited range of motion

Allergic Contact Dermatitis of the Thigh Causes

As mentioned above, allergic contact dermatitis occurs when the body’s immune system identifies a substance as foreign and attacks to protect the body from harm. This is known as a type 4 hypersensitivity reaction. Multiple different substances can trigger this type of reaction in the body. The location and morphology of the dermatitis are factors that can give clues to the offending agent. For example, if symptoms are found around the wrist it may indicate an allergic response to a bracelet or watchband. In regards to the thigh, substances in soaps, lotions, and even clothing and medications can cause this type of allergic contact dermatitis as well.

Environmental

Environmental causes of allergic contact dermatitis are the most common trigger of this condition. There are various different kinds of environmental substances and it is difficult to know what can trigger a reaction. Examples of environmental causes include:

  • Plants/vegetation: Chemicals found in plants such as poison ivy, oak, and sumac often trigger allergic contact dermatitis.
  • Clothing: It may sound surprising, but synthetic materials in clothing can also trigger immune responses. Since pants, shorts, and skirts all come in contact with the thigh, it is important to take note of clothing that cause a rash and avoid them in the future.
  • Household products: Many household products are full of chemicals that can trigger an allergic reaction in the body. For example, everything from cosmetics, shampoos and skin lotions to laundry detergents, soaps, and cleaning products can cause allergic contact dermatitis if they come in contact with the thigh.

Medication

Medications that come in direct contact with the skin such as creams and ointments can also cause allergic contact dermatitis. Medication-induced allergic contact dermatitis may be difficult to diagnosis, so make sure to bring up any new prescriptions or over-the-counter medications with your healthcare provider.

Allergic Contact Dermatitis of the Thigh Symptom Checker

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Treatment Options, Relief, and Prevention for Allergic Contact Dermatitis of the Thigh

Treatment

Treatment for allergic contact dermatitis is tailored to combat the three following problems that arise with allergic contact dermatitis.

  • Control the itch: Your doctor will prescribe medications called antihistamines that fight the immunologic response that your inflammation and itching. Some names of these medications include: Zyrtec, Claritin, and Benadryl

  • Relieve skin inflammation: Topical corticosteroid creams directly combat the inflammation of allergic contact dermatitis. Corticosteroids are helpful given their anti-inflammatory effect in addition to their immunosuppressive role.

  • Moisturize the skin: Using unscented, dermatologically tested lotions and moisturizing cream on the upper leg can prevent skin dryness that can cause itchiness. You can try lotions such as petroleum jelly, Cetaphil or Eucerin.

Prevention

In general, you can prevent contact dermatitis by avoiding exposure to irritating chemicals, plants, jewelry and other substances that trigger irritant or allergic contact dermatitis. Specifically for the thigh, take care to wear loose clothing in natural fabrics such as cotton and linen. They may have less tendency to trigger an immune response. Be very careful about personal products such as lotions and soaps that have strong scents or very artificial ingredients.

When to Seek Further Consultation for Allergic Contact Dermatitis of the Thigh

If you have symptoms of fever or notice the following characteristics of your rash, seek medical health as soon as possible:

  • Painful or burning sensation
  • Swelling or raised appearance
  • Leaking fluid
  • Cracking or blistering

References

  1. Murphy PB, Hooten JN, Atwater AR. Allergic Contact Dermatitis. [Updated 2019 Feb 3]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2019 Jan-. NCBI Link

  2. Kostner L, Anzengruber F, Guillod C, Recher M, Schmid-Grendelmeier P, Navarini AA. Allergic Contact Dermatitis. Immunol Allergy Clin North Am. 2017;37(1):141-152. PubMed Link

  3. Litchman G, Nair PA, Atwater AR. Contact Dermatitis. [Updated 2019 Jun 10]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2019 Jan-. NCBI Link