Get your health question answered instantly from our pool of 18000+ doctors from over 80 specialties
188 Doctors Online

By proceeding, I accept the Terms and Conditions

Dr. Andrew Rynne
MD
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

HCM Blog Instant Access to Doctors
HCM BlogQuestions Answered
HCM Blog Satisfaction
Article Home Skin Disorders Contact Dermatitis

Contact Dermatitis

By :
Publisher
5055 Views
Contact dermatitis is acute inflammation of the skin caused by irritants or allergens. The primary symptom is pruritus; skin changes range from erythema to blistering and ulceration, often on or near the hands but occurring on any exposed skin surface.

Irritant contact dermatitis: It accounts for 80% of all cases of contact dermatitis (CD). It is a nonspecific inflammatory reaction to substances contacting the skin


Numerous substances are involved, including chemicals (eg, acids, alkalis, solvents, metal salts), soaps (eg, abrasives, detergents), plants (eg, poinsettias, peppers), and body fluids (eg, urine, saliva)


Allergic contact dermatitis: It’s a hypersensitivity reaction

Symptoms and Signs

  • Primary symptom is intense pruritus; pain is usually the result of excoriation or infection. Skin changes range from transient erythema through vesiculation to severe swelling with bullae and/or ulceration
  • Any surface may be involved, but hands are most common due to handling and touching potential allergens. With airborne exposure (eg, perfume aerosols), areas not covered by clothing are predominantly involved
  • The dermatitis is typically limited to the site of contact but may later spread due to scratching

Diagnosis

  • Diagnosed by skin changes and exposure history
  • Patch testing, standard contact allergens are applied to the upper back using adhesive-mounted patches containing minute amounts of allergen
  • Skin under the patches is evaluated 48 and 96 h after application
  • Common allergens used in patch test are balsam of peru, black rubber mix, resins, fragrance mix, formaldehyde

Prognosis

Resolution may take up to 3 wk. Reactivity is usually lifelong. Patients with photoallergic dermatitis can have flares for years when exposed to sun

Treatment

  • Treated by avoiding the triggering agent or allergen
  • Photo dermatitis should avoid exposure to sun
  • Topical treatment includes cool compresses and corticosteroids
  • Systemic antihistamines (eg, hydroxyzine, di phenhydramine) help pruritus.

Related questions you may be interested in

doctor1 MD

I was diagnosed with contact dermatitis about five days ago. I was given a prescription hyrdocortisone cream and told it should help the rash ....

doctor1 MD

I am very fair and have used dozens of sun blocks but my face always burns no matter what I do. What is the best facial sun block for fair skin?

doctor1 MD

Thanks again for the follow up here are the picures you requested. I do ask the you note I am an dark skinned XXXXXXX XXXXXXX woman 99 percent of...

doctor1 MD

I am a 40 year old female. I weight about 184 and am 5 feet. Recently I kept getting a cluster of little red itchy bumps behind my ear. They went...

doctor1 MD

sudden rash on 32 year old male's leg. Raised and not very itchy, Spent the day outdoors working in south XXXXXXX yesterday. pictures posted, thank...