Wednesday, February 4, 2009

What is Contact Dermatitis?

Contact dermatitis is a skin condition or rash that occurs from contacting certain substances. Dermatitis is the medical term for the condition when the skin has redness, swelling, drying or cracking. There are two types of contact dermatitis: Allergic and Irritant.

What causes contact dermatitis?

Allergic Contact Dermatitis: This occurs when your skin is in contact with substances to which you are allergic. This includes but is not limited to the following: poison ivy, metals in jewelry, cosmetics or fragrances, antibiotic ointments or creams, and rubber products.

Irritant Contact Dermatitis: This occurs from exposure to a substance that damages the skin. This includes but is not limited to the following: skin cleansers, detergents, solvents, acids and alkalis, and oils.

How will ADAC evaluate me for contact dermatitis?

Diagnosis is based on history, physical exam, patch testing and possibly skin testing. Occasionally, bloodwork is warranted.

How can ADAC help me treat contact dermatitis?

1. Identify triggers and educate on avoidance
2. Oral antihistamines
3. Topical corticosteroids
4. Oral steroids are used in severe cases

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