Contact dermatitis causes and symptoms

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Contact dermatitis is a type of inflammation of the skin. Some symptoms of contact dermatitis can include itchy or dry skin, a red rash, bumps, blisters, and swelling. The rash isn't contagious or life-threatening, but it can be very uncomfortable. Contact dermatitis results from either exposure to allergens (allergic contact dermatitis) or irritants (irritant contact dermatitis). Phototoxic dermatitis occurs when the allergen or irritant is activated by sunlight. Diagnosis of allergic contact dermatitis can often be supported by patch testing. Signs and symptoms Contact dermatitis is a localized rash or irritation of the skin caused by contact with a foreign substance. Only the superficial regions of the skin are affected in contact dermatitis. Inflammation of the affected tissue is present in the epidermis (the outermost layer of skin) and the outer dermis (the layer beneath the epidermis). Contact dermatitis results in large, burning, and itchy rashes. These can take anywhere from several days to weeks to heal. This differentiates it from contact urticaria (hives), in which a rash appears within minutes of exposure and then fades away within minutes to hours. Even after days, contact dermatitis fades only if the skin no longer comes in contact with the allergen or irritant. Chronic contact dermatitis can develop when the removal of the offending agent no longer provides expected relief. Irritant dermatitis is usually confined to the area where the trigger actually touched the skin, whereas allergic dermatitis may be more widespread on the skin. Symptoms of both forms include the following: Red rash:-This is the usual reaction. The rash appears immediately in irritant contact dermatitis; in allergic contact dermatitis, the rash sometimes does not appear until 24–72 hours after exposure to the allergen. Blisters or wheals:-Blisters, wheals (welts), and urticaria (hives) often form in a pattern where skin was directly exposed to the allergen or irritant. Itchy, burning skin:-Irritant contact dermatitis tends to be more painful than itchy, while allergic contact dermatitis often itches. While either form of contact dermatitis can affect any part of the body, irritant contact dermatitis often affects the hands, which have been exposed by resting in or dipping into a container (sink, pail, tub, swimming pools with high chlorine) containing the irritant. Causes Common causes of irritant contact dermatitis include solvents, metalworking fluids, latex, kerosene, ethylene oxide, paper, especially papers coated with chemicals and printing inks, certain foods and drink, food flavorings and spices, perfume, surfactants in topical medications and cosmetics, alkalis, low humidity from air conditioning, and many plants. Other common causes of irritant contact dermatitis are harsh, alkaline soaps, detergents, and cleaning products. There are three types of contact dermatitis: irritant contact dermatitis; allergic contact dermatitis; and photo contact dermatitis. Photo contact dermatitis is divided into two categories: phototoxic and photo allergic. Journal of Dermatology Research and Skin Care welcomes submissions via online submission system www.scholarscentral.org/submission/dermatology-research-skin-care.html or via email to the Editorial Office at dermatolskin@scholarlymed.com Regards Adrena Cindrella Managing editor Journal of Dermatology Research and Skin Care