Contact dermatitis is a type of skin inflammation that occurs when the skin comes into contact with an irritant or allergen. It can affect people of all ages and can be caused by a wide range of substances, including soaps, detergents, cosmetics, metals, plants, and chemicals.
The symptoms of contact dermatitis can vary depending on the cause and severity of the reaction, but they often include redness, itching, burning, and a rash. In some cases, blisters may also form on the skin.
Contact dermatitis can be either irritant or allergic. Irritant contact dermatitis occurs when the skin is exposed to a substance that damages or inflames the skin, such as harsh chemicals or repeated exposure to water. Allergic contact dermatitis occurs when the skin is exposed to a substance that triggers an allergic reaction, such as nickel, latex, or poison ivy.
Treatment for contact dermatitis typically involves avoiding the offending substance and taking steps to soothe the affected skin. This may include using over-the-counter or prescription topical creams or ointments, taking oral antihistamines, and applying cool compresses to the affected areas. In severe cases, prescription-strength medications such as oral prednisone may be necessary.
Preventing contact dermatitis involves identifying and avoiding the substances that trigger the reaction, as well as using protective measures such as gloves or barrier creams when coming into contact with potential irritants. It's important to consult with a board-certified dermatologist to determine the most appropriate treatment and prevention strategies for each individual case.