Contact dermatitis

Contact dermatitis refers to an allergic or irritant reaction of the skin. It occurs when your skin comes into contact with a substance that causes your immune system to make a specific or nonspecific response. The first time you are in contact with the substance, you are not sensitized, but after repeated exposures, your body learns to recognize the stimulus and it produces a red, itchy rash. Irritant contact dermatitis is typically caused by exposure to soaps, detergents, and other chemicals. Allergic contact dermatitis is caused by allergens such as poison ivy and other plants, antibiotics, fragrances, and metals. Many other substances can cause either type of contact dermatitis. Consider working with an allergist to determine your particular triggers.

In addition to an itchy rash, contact dermatitis can cause dry or cracked areas of the skin, blisters, and pain. If left untreated, continued reactions can lead to complications, including skin infections caused by bacteria or fungi, leathery, thickened skin or pigment changes. Your allergist might prescribe medications, such as antihistamines or corticosteroids, and help you identify your triggers so you can avoid them.

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Posted in Other Health and Medical Post Date 05/25/2015


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