Contact Dermatitis

Also known as: allergic contact dermatitis, allergic skin reaction, irritant contact dermatitis, irritant skin reaction.

What is contact dermatitis?

Contact dermatitis is a skin rash that occurs due to contact with something that irritated inflammatory response in the skin.

What causes contact dermatitis? 

Common causes of contact dermatitis are either irritants or allergens.
Common irritants include strong chemicals, bleach, soaps and detergents, urine in a diaper, perfumes and lotions.
In the case of allergy, a previously sensitized child’s body releases chemicals in response to the allergen that leads to a rash. Some metals, poison oak or ivy, makeups and perfumes, latex or a topical antibiotic are common causes.

What are the signs/symptoms of contact dermatitis? 

The skin rash may be red, painful, itchy, swollen, dry or oozing with or without blisters (hives), and/or bleeding.

What are contact dermatitis care options? 

The best care option for contact dermatitis is to identify and avoid contact with the irritant or allergen. Management includes washing with soap and water, cold compresses, over-the-counter or prescription antihistamines or corticosteroid creams, or ointments, oral medications or allergen desensitization. 

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: 11/20/2017 2:15:19 PM

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