Contact Dermatitis Alternative Treatments

Written by the Healthline Editorial Team | Published on July 14, 2014
Medically Reviewed by George Krucik, MD, MBA on July 14, 2014

Alternative Treatments for Contact Dermatitis

Alternative treatments are treatments that have not been proven effective in scientific studies. This does not mean they won’t help. You should always consult your doctor before trying alternative treatments. Some might not be right for you.

Herbal Treatments for Contact Dermatitis

The following herbal therapies are often used to treat skin conditions.

Aloe and Calendula

Aloe and calendula are commonly used in creams and ointments to treat allergic skin symptoms. Studies show that both plants have anti-inflammatory properties. Diaper rash is a form of contact dermatitis. A recent study compared aloe and calendula in treatment of diaper rash. Calendula was found to be a little more effective than aloe.

Goldenseal and Peppermint

Poison ivy can cause extreme itching. Several kinds of pastes and ointments can be used to treat these symptoms. Common ones include mixtures of clay with goldenseal or peppermint, salt, and water.


Even in the field, you may prevent the effects of poison ivy with the quick application of leaves of jewelweed, which often grows nearby.

Light Therapy

Light therapy (or phototherapy) is a popular treatment option for eczema. Some skin care physicians may also recommend light therapy for contact dermatitis. In a phototherapy session, your skin is exposed to  controlled amounts of sunlight. In some cases, it may include controlled exposure to artificial ultraviolet A or ultraviolet B light. Because there are some potential long-term effects of UV exposure, consult with your doctor before you use phototherapy to treat skin allergies. If you have photoallergic contact dermatitis, this treatment should be avoided.

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