Contact Dermatitis

Contact Dermatitis

What is contact dermatitis?

Contact dermatitis is a physiological reaction that occurs after skin comes in contact with certain substances.

The majority of these reactions are caused by irritants to the skin. The remaining reactions are caused by allergens, which trigger an allergic response. In allergic reactions, the reaction may not start until after several days. Contact dermatitis caused by an irritant that is not an allergic response occurs from direct contact with the irritant.

Adults are most commonly affected by allergic contact dermatitis, but it can affect persons of all ages.

What causes allergic contact dermatitis?

The most common causes of allergic contact dermatitis in adults and children include the following:

Plants, as well as metals, cosmetics, and medications may also cause a contact dermatitis reaction:

What are the symptoms of contact dermatitis?

The following are the most common symptoms of contact dermatitis. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

The most severe reaction is at the contact site. The symptoms of contact dermatitis may resemble other skin conditions. Always consult your physician for a diagnosis.

Treatment for contact dermatitis:

Specific treatment for contact dermatitis will be determined by your physician based on:

The best treatment is to identify and avoid the substances that may have caused the allergic reaction. The following is recommended by the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, for mild to moderate reactions:

If the reaction is significant and the substance that caused it cannot be determined, your physician may conduct a series of patch tests to help identify the irritant.

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