Contact dermatitis

Created: 03.08.2023

Updates: 30.12.2023

Approved by: General Practitioner, Dr Binita Parmar

Eczema is an inflammation of the skin. Contact dermatitis is a type of eczema that is caused by contact with something that causes irritation or an allergic reaction.

Symptoms

Contact dermatitis manifests as a red area that often itches or stings. Blisters and skin sores may also develop. Most commonly, contact dermatitis occurs on the hands, but it can also occur in other areas of the body.

There are two types of contact dermatitis: allergic contact dermatitis and irritant contact dermatitis.

Allergic contact dermatitis is a delayed type of hypersensitivity, and symptoms appear 24 to 72 hours after exposure to the allergen. This type of dermatitis is often well-defined and improves within a few days.

In irritant contact dermatitis, the rash can appear anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours after exposure to the irritating substance. If it is a mild irritation, the reaction may not become evident until days or weeks after the exposure. This form of dermatitis is typically less well-defined, and it can take several weeks to improve.

Causes

Contact dermatitis is triggered by various substances including metals like Nickel, Cobalt, and Chromium, rubber chemicals, perfumes, and certain plants. Occupational exposure to chemicals and liquids can also cause a toxic variant of this condition. Individual sensitivities to these triggers can vary widely.

Treatment

First and foremost, you should try to identify what caused the problem and avoid contact with it.

A Dermatologist can prescribe steroids or calcineurin inhibitors to control the irritation.

Sometimes, skin irritations can get worse over time if they're not treated. If your skin is bothering you, a Dermatologist can help figure out what's causing the problem by doing an allergy test.

After the irritation is under control, it's time to take good care of your skin. Keep it clean and dry, but avoid excessive washing or drying it out. This can make it more susceptible to further irritation.

Prognosis

If the rash is caused by irritation and you have stopped being in contact with the cause of the irritation, it will pass. The time it takes depends on what the irritant was, how severe your skin reacted to this and how good the body's healing mechanisms are.

If it is the type that is caused by allergies, the prognosis is much the same only that you now know you have an allergy you need to be aware of.

How Dr.Dropin can help you

At Dr.Dropin, you can consult with experienced Dermatologists who can diagnose and treat all skin conditions. Dr.Dropin is committed to providing high-quality Dermatology services at a fixed and predictable price, with short waiting times.

For consultations and treatment of Eczema, you may visit our UK clinic.

Doctor

How Dr.Dropin can help you

At Dr.Dropin, you can consult experienced dermatologists who can diagnose and treat all skin conditions. Dr.Dropin is committed to providing high-quality dermatology services at a fixed and predictable price, with short waiting times.

For consultations and treatment of eczema, you may visit one of our clinics.

General Practitioner

At Dr.Dropin our experienced GPs provide a wide range of primary care services, similar to those provided by the NHS, either in the clinic or through video consultations.

Dermatologist

At Dr.Dropin, you will receive specialist care from our expert Consultant Dermatologists provided by skindoc. With extensive experience from both public and private hospitals, we can assess and treat most chronic and acute skin disorders – either in the clinic, through video, or via a photo upload service.