Coronavirus COVID-19 Information
- Information for patients who have a scheduled test, appointment or telehealth visit
- Information for hospital visitors
- Donations: How you can help
Contact dermatitis is an inflammatory disorder caused by a substance or allergen on the skin. There are two types: irritant contact dermatitis and allergic contact dermatitis.
Irritant contact dermatitis, which is the more common form, is brought on by contact with solvents, water, soap, urine, saliva, stool, and cleansers that directly affect the immune system. Allergic contact dermatitis is due to an allergic sensitization that triggers the immune response.
Common allergic causes of contact dermatitis include:
Symptoms typically include itchy rash, which can vary from a red, bumpy rash to blisters in acute cases like poison ivy or poison oak dermatitis.
A physician will examine the affected skin and ask a series of questions with a focus on solvents, paint, or chemicals used in hobbies; workplace exposure to chemicals; contact with cosmetics, fragrances, hair dye, or nail polish; exposure to jewelry and other metals. Skin patch testing may be done.
It’s vital to identify and faithfully avoid the trigger; otherwise the rash may become chronic and life-affecting.
To help prevent contact dermatitis:
For brief bouts of contact dermatitis, we recommend that you:
Oral antihistamines, preferably the newer, non-sedating ones, can be helpful for itch relief.
For chronic contact dermatitis: