Contact Dermatitis Pictures, Treatment, Causes, Symptoms

Contact dermatitis or contact eczema is caused by contact with allergens in the form of substances like shampoo, jewelery, food etc. When this potential allergen comes in contact with the irritant skin, it is medically termed as irritant contact dermatitis. An allergic reaction is likely to develop which is then called as allergic contact dermatitis.

Contact Dermatitis Pictures

Symptoms of contact dermatitis

Allergic Contact Dermatitis symptoms

Allergic contact dermatitis happens when the allergen or substance that the individual is allergic to, comes in contact the skin. The person gets these symptoms from this kind of contact dermatitis.
• Scratchy, inflamed, and red skin or dry and rough skin

• Blisters may develop if the reaction is more severe

• Blisters that break, leaving crusts and scaly formations

• Flaky skin which can crack
• The skin can become thick, scaly. With time, the skin becomes leathery and dark.

Irritant contact dermatitis symptoms

Irritant contact dermatitis happens when the person is exposed frequently to an irritant like detergent. The symptoms of this type of contact dermatitis includes
• Dry, chapped skin that in time, becomes red, scaly and swollen. The skin can also sting when brought into contact with the allergen. Continuous exposure with the substance can make the skin crack and become too dry and scaly. There are chances of blisters developing into crusty formation and scales.
• If the irritant is strong like acid, the skin can sting, itch and burn. There can be blistering, redness and swelling with scaly formation on the skin.
Once irritant contact dermatitis begins to take form s, exposure to even mild things like water and baby shampoo can make the skin irritate and itch.

Substances that causes allergic contact dermatitis

There are more than 3000 allergens that can lead to allergic contact dermatitis. Some of these substances include
1. Metals: Nickel is one of the most common metal that causes allergic reaction to the skin. Nickel is present in jewelry, foods like chocolates, tomatoes, soy, nuts. The other mental is mercury used in dental fillings that can cause allergic contact dermatitis Gold, chromate, cobalt can also cause allergic contact dermatitis.
2. Clothing and footwear: Detergents that are not washed from clothes, dyes, dirt in clothes and leather, rubber or glue in shoes can also cause allergic contact dermatitis.
3. Fragrances: The scents found in perfumes, makeup, hair and skin, makeup products can trigger an allergic reaction on the skin. If you think that you are using an ‘unscented’ product, you are still at dark because the fragrance may be masked. Go for products that are labeled ‘fragrance free’.
4. Plants: Plants like poison ivy, poison sumac and other plants that make your skin itch can cause contact dermatitis.
5. Concrete-Concrete is one of the leading causes for hand dermatitis, it is known to cause problems long after one stops being in contact with concrete
6. Rubber accelerators found in gym equipment and mouse pads can also cause contact eczema
7. Antibiotic ointment: Over the counter topical antibiotics as well as using prescription creams without listening to the doctor’s advice can also cause allergic contact dermatitis.
8. Exposure to Ultra Violet Rays: This happens when a product like sunscreen cream or a fragrance is applied to the skin and then exposed to the UV rays of the sun. This is known as photo-allergy.
9. Sweating: Sweating can trigger allergic contact eczema. For instance, the person who has an allergy for nickel may not really get the itch, till it comes into contact with the skin.

Irritant contact dermatitis causes

When a substance damages the skin more rapidly than the time the skin can take to heal itself of the irritation, it gives rise to irritant contact dermatitis. Substances that act as trigger here include soaps, detergents, dyes, paints, metals, foods, varnishes, fiber glass, hair dye, cleaners, solvents etc.

Risk factors for contact dermatitis

1. Medical history: If a person has a history of eczema or its common type atopic dermatitis, there can be a risk of allergic contact dermatitis. Genes also play a role.
2. Environment: Extreme heat or a job that increases exposure to allergens can cause contact eczema. For instance, a housewife who is constantly washing clothes with a detergent or cleaning fish can be at risk
3. Age: People below the age of 13 and older people are at risk of contact dermatitis because their immune system is not so strong.
4. Gender: Females are known to be at higher risk for contact eczema
5. Occupation: People who work in certain vocations lke mechanics, janitors, hair-dressers, makeup artists etc are at higher risk of contact dermatitis.

Contact Dermatitis Diagnosis and tests

1. The testing and disagnosis begins with the doctor taking the complete medical history of the patient, including asking questions to the person about his skin condition and maintenance.
2. Patch testing is done to find out the allergen that is causing contact dermatitis. During patch test, tape strips that have few amounts of possible allergens are applied to the back of the patient. The amounts are quite small to cause a reaction, if the person is allergic, it is identifiable easily. After 2 days, the patient is asked to return and the tape is removed. If there is a little red spot, it means that the substance is most likely an allergen. The person is also checked again after 96 hours to see if the skin breaks out later.

Contact Dermatitis Treatment

The first thing is to remove the allergen or irritant that is causing problems to the skin. If the substance continues to come in contact with the skin, the eczema can become even more tougher to treat. For patients who are in a profession or job that makes them come in touch with the allergen they may be asked to overcome this problem by wearing gloves or using a barrier cream.

The treatment for contact dermatitis begins with applying moisturizers and emollients throughout the skin. The doctor may prescribe an oral antihistamine to stop the itch and she may also ask you to apply a topical corticosteroid or a calcineurin inhibitor to suppress the inflammation. In some cases, where there is severe contact dermatitis, the person may be asked to take phototherapy treatments. In case of an infection, antibiotics may be given. If the eczema continues, then corticosteroids may be injected or given orally for a short time to treat the inflammation.

The patient has to avoid the allergens or irritants that are identified. For instance, if nickel is causing the problem, then the person has to avoid it not just in the form of jewelery but also in foods where nickel is present like tomatoes, canned food etc. Your dermatologist will be the best person to help you with this.


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