Contact dermatitis refers to an inflammation of the skin resulting from direct contact of a substance with the surface of the skin. Unlike atopic dermatitis, there is not necessarily a pre-disposition to allergic disease.
Symptoms of contact dermatitis include:
There are two types of contact dermatitis:
Irritant contact dermatitis is the most common form and is caused when substances such as solvents or other chemicals irritate the skin. The exposure produces red, often more painful than itchy, patches on the involved skin areas.
Allergic contact dermatitis occurs when a substance triggers an immune response. Nickel, perfumes, dyes, rubber (latex) products, topical medications and cosmetics frequently cause allergic contact dermatitis.
Learn more about skin allergy symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and management.