ABC Medical Center > Contact dermatitis

What is Contact dermatitis?

21:54 - 4 May , 2021


It is a condition that produces reddish skin rashes when in contact with a substance or when experiencing an allergic reaction to it. The rash, which produces excessive itching, usually appears on body areas that had direct contact with the allergen and usually develops in a matter of minutes and lasts about a month.

This dermatitis is classified into:

  • Irritant contact dermatitis. It is the most common and appears as a result of irritating substances that damage the dermis, such as:
  • Alcohol.
  • Sawdust.
  • Bleaches and detergents.
  • Cement.
  • Insecticides and fertilizers.
  • Rubber or latex gloves or shoes.
  • Plants, such as poison ivy.
  • Dyes.
  • Hair products.
  • Solvents.
  • Allergic contact dermatitis. It occurs when an allergen that affects you, in particular, causes a reaction from your immune system at the skin level, such as:
  • Antibiotics.
  • Perfumes, lotions, cosmetics, and soaps.
  • Metals like nickel.
  • Fabrics and clothing.

When you are allergic to a substance, a small amount is enough to cause a reaction in your body.

Signs and symptoms Contact dermatitis

The characteristic symptoms consist of:

  • Red skin rashes.
  • Medium to high-intensity itching and irritation.
  • Inflammation.
  • Skin hypersensitivity.
  • Small blisters that are susceptible to infection when they burst.
  • Skin dryness that causes scales and cracks.

To avoid infection by constantly scratching, it is recommended that you go to a dermatologist who will assess your case and indicate the treatment to follow.

Diagnosis and treatment Contact dermatitis

Through a skin check, analysis of your medical history and your symptoms, your doctor can diagnose contact dermatitis without the need for laboratory tests but may require patch tests to identify allergens causing the irritation or some additional test to make sure that there are no other skin conditions that can worsen the case.

Once the allergen has been identified, you must avoid future contact with the substance that caused dermatitis.

In addition to the personal care and hygiene habits that you should adopt, treatment may include:

  • Application of wet and cold compresses.
  • Steroid ointments and lotions.
  • Antihistamines.
  • Antibiotics.

At ABC Medical Center’s Internal Medicine Department, we offer health care services with the highest quality and safety, from the prevention, diagnosis, timely treatment, and monitoring of infectious, respiratory, endocrinological, dermatological, rheumatic, nephrological, gastrointestinal, and hematological pathologies of both chronic-degenerative diseases and acute conditions, through a comprehensive and multidisciplinary model.


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  • García-Flores JB, Garza-Garza GG, Rivera-Silva G. Dermatitis de contacto aerotransportada causada por resina epóxica: Reporte de un caso. Med Sur. 2016;23(1):51-52.
  • Vera E, Bergón M, Lopéz AE, et al. Dermatitis de contacto por pseudotatuajes en niños. A propósito de dos casos. Med Cutan Iber Lat Am. 2003;31(3):179-181.
  • Hernández ZSI, Alonzo-Romero PL. Dermatitis por contacto a proteínas. Rev Cent Dermatol Pascua. 2009;18(2):47-56.

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    The dissemination of the content of this material is for informational purposes only and does not replace, under any circumstance or condition, a consultation with a specialist doctor, for which the ABC Medical Center is not responsible for the different use that may be given to it. If you require more information related to the subject, we suggest you contact the specialist doctor you trust directly.