Contact Dermatitis – Causes, Treatment | Allergic Contact Dermatitis


Last Updated : 9/8/2008
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Dr. Ira Shah

What is contact dermatitis


Contact dermatitis is a reaction of the skin, which some people develop on contact with substances usually harmless to others.

Irritant contact dermatitis

is caused by exposure to soaps, detergents, bleach or engine oils.

Allergic contact dermatitis

is a hypersensitivity reaction to substances such as nickel (in costume jewellry), rubber, perfumes, dyes, cosmetics and metals.

How does allergic contact dermatitis occur?
When an allergen comes in contact with skin, certain chemicals are produced that lead to itchy rashes. This occurs after repeated exposure to the offending agents. Usually the offending agent can be identified. In some cases, skin tests to different materials may lead to the offending allergen.

What is the
treatment of contact dermatitis

The treatment consists of removing the precipitating cause. Allergic contact dermatitis is a life long condition. Treatment in the form of wet dressings, creams, tablets and medications can help to relieve symptoms. In case of irritant contact dermatitis, the hands should be protected with rubber or plastic gloves when working with solvents and greases.

Contributor Information and Disclosures Dr. Ira Shah
Consultant Pediatrician, B.J.Wadia Hospital for Children, Mumbai, India

First Created : 2/5/2001
Last Updated : 9/8/2008
Contributor Information and Disclosures

Last Updated : 9/8/2008
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