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FAQ Frequently asked questions
What is contact dermatitis?
Contact dermatitis is inflammation of the skin caused by direct contact with something that causes irritation or an allergic response. The condition is characterized by a red and inflamed skin rash, often accompanied by oozing blisters and dry, cracked skin. …
What causes contact dermatitis?
Irritant contact dermatitis is caused by particularly acidic or alkaline substances, such as detergents, soaps, perfumes, preservatives and chemicals. These substances damage the outer layer of skin, leading to inflammation. In allergic contact dermatitis, …
Are there different types of contact dermatitis?
Contact dermatitis can be caused by something that causes irritation or an allergic response. Given these distinct causes, the condition can be broken down into two types - irritant contact dermatitis and allergic contact dermatitis. The …
What are the symptoms of contact dermatitis?
Contact dermatitis is most common on the hands and often first appears as skin dryness in the webbing between the fingers. However, the condition can develop anywhere on the body that has been exposed to an irritating substance. Common symptoms …
How is contact dermatitis treated?
While there is no cure for contact dermatitis, one or more treatment options may be recommended by your doctor to reduce redness and itching. Common treatments include home care measures, moisturizing products, medications or light therapy.
How is patch testing used to diagnose contact dermatitis?
To diagnose allergic contact dermatitis, a doctor may attach very small amounts of different substances to the skin on the back or arms using a special type of tape. After two days, the patches of tape are removed and the skin is …
Can contact dermatitis be prevented?
Developing contact dermatitis in the first place cannot be avoided, but future cases can be prevented by maintaining good skin care habits and avoiding the substances or materials that cause it. Some common measures for prevention include wearing …
What is photoallergic contact dermatitis?
Some substances will only cause an allergic reaction after they have been applied to the skin, then exposed to sunlight. In these situations, the condition is known as photoallergic contact dermatitis.
About this article
Author: Lauren Donley BSc (Hons)
First answered: 18 Sep 2014
Last reviewed: 19 May 2018
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Votes: 257 (Click smiley face below to rate)