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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Contact Dermatitis
      Category : Health Centers > Skin Conditions

Contact Dermatitis

Alternate Names : Allergic Contact Dermatitis, Irritant Contact Dermatitis

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

Contact dermatitis is a bumpy patch of red, itchy, flaky skin. It occurs when someone has an allergic reaction after coming into contact with something that irritates his or her skin. The substance that irritates the skin is known as an allergen, and it triggers the allergic reaction.

What is going on in the body?

Contact dermatitis occurs when someone has been exposed to a substance that irritates the skin or causes an allergic reaction. People are more likely to have contact dermatitis if they have sensitive skin or a pre-existing skin condition.

What are the causes and risks of the condition?

Some of the more common allergens that trigger contact dermatitis include the following:

  • soaps
  • fabric softeners
  • perfumes
  • cosmetics
  • nickel, which may be found in jewelry, zippers, buckles, hair ornaments, and other accessories
  • deodorants
  • plants, such as poison ivy, poison oak, or poison sumac
  • rubber, such as in shoe linings or latex gloves
  • hair dyes, especially permanent dyes containing paraphenylenediamine, or PPD
  • dyes used in clothing, which may contain PPD
  • certain local anesthesia medications, including benzocaine, which is chemically related to PPD
  • neomycin, an antibiotic commonly found in over-the-counter antibiotic ointments
  • chromates, which are chemicals commonly found in cement, leather, paints, matches, and anti-rust products


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    Contact Dermatitis: Symptoms & Signs

    Author: Lynn West, MD
    Reviewer: Barbara Mallari, RN, BSN, PHN
    Date Reviewed: 07/27/01

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