Contact Dermatitis

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This usually causes skin redness, blistering and severe itching. Symptoms may not appear for several hours or even days after exposure. The location and pattern of the skin reaction may provide clues to the cause of the problem. For example, poison ivy usually appears as a pattern of tiny lines or streaks in places where plant leaves have brushed against the skin.


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Allergies to metal jewelry often cause rings of skin inflammation around the neck and wrist. In chronic contact dermatitis, the skin eventually becomes thick, scaly and dry. Skin color changes and there are areas of hair loss. In some cases, your doctor may need to ask for the names of specific ingredients in your personal care products. In particular, the doctor will ask about:. After reviewing your history of allergies and chemical exposures, your doctor usually can confirm the diagnosis of contact dermatitis by examining your skin. If your doctor suspects allergic contact dermatitis and cannot identify the likely allergen, your doctor may refer you to a dermatologist for patch testing.

Small amounts of specific allergens are applied to the skin of your back, and then covered with tape.

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After 48 hours, the doctor removes the tape. He or she examines the skin for signs of an allergic reaction. A second reading is done after three to seven days. With proper treatment, your symptoms probably will clear up within two to three weeks. However, you must stop exposing your skin to the irritating substance.

Contact dermatitis

If you continue to have long-term exposure to harmful chemicals or allergens, you eventually may develop symptoms of chronic contact dermatitis. Prognosis depends on patient education and compliance in avoiding allergens and appropriate skin care. See smartphone apps to check your skin.

Nickel metal is the most common cause of allergic contact dermatitis

DermNet NZ does not provide an online consultation service. If you have any concerns with your skin or its treatment, see a dermatologist for advice. Allergic contact dermatitis — codes and concepts open.

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Contact allergy. Reaction to external agent. Type IV delayed type hypersensitivity, Photocontact allergy, Patch testing. L23, L C Decker.

Weaker allergens may require multiple exposures over several years to trigger an allergy. Once you develop an allergy to a substance, even a small amount of it can cause a reaction. Children develop the condition from the usual offenders and also from exposure to diapers, baby wipes, sunscreens, clothing with snaps or dyes, and so on.

Contact dermatitis can lead to an infection if you repeatedly scratch the affected area, causing it to become wet and oozing.

This creates a good place for bacteria or fungi to grow and may cause an infection. Hand-washing is essential for preventing the spread of germs. But, sometimes, all this scrubbing can cause a rash. Does this mean you're allergic to the soap? Davis says allergic dermatitis means a substance is causing an allergic reaction on your skin. But irritant contact dermatitis means your skin is inflamed from repeated exposure to something. Mayo Clinic does not endorse companies or products.

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Contact dermatitis - Symptoms and causes - Mayo Clinic

This content does not have an English version. This content does not have an Arabic version. Contact dermatitis on the wrist Contact dermatitis can appear as an itchy, red rash. Contact dermatitis on the face Contact dermatitis usually affects areas of skin directly exposed to an offending substance.

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Poison ivy blisters Blisters such as these are common in a skin reaction to urushiol, the highly allergenic oily substance in poison ivy. Request an Appointment at Mayo Clinic.

What Is Contact Dermatitis

More Information Video: Allergy or irritant: The truth about your rash. Davis says it's not always easy to tell the difference between an allergy or irritant. That way you can properly treat the rash and prevent it from happening again.

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