Contact Dermatitis

Contact Dermatitis occurs as a result of a reaction to something that has touched the skin, causing the skin to be itchy, red and inflamed. Symptoms vary on the severity of the reaction, or how sensitive you are to the substance which is causing the rash.

There are a number of different types of contact dermatitis, with the main two being:

  • allergic contact dermatitis
  • irritant contact dermatitis

Symptoms associated with allergic contact dermatitis include: dry, scaly and flaking skin, skin redness, extreme itching, sun sensitivity, skin that burns with or without sores, hives, oozing or dry blisters, skin that appears darkened or leathery and swelling, especially in the eyes, face, or groin areas.

Irritant contact dermatitis occurs when the skin comes into contact with a toxic material. It may cause slightly different symptoms, such as: swelling, skin that feels stiff or tightened, blistering, cracking skin due to extreme dryness, open sores that form crusts and ulcerations.

Common triggers for contact dermatitis are:

  • Poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac
  • Hair dyes or straighteners
  • Nickel, a metal found in jewellery and belt buckles
  • Leather (specifically, chemicals used in tanning leather)
  • Latex rubber
  • Citrus fruit, especially the peel
  • Fragrances in soaps, shampoos, lotions, perfumes, and cosmetics
  • Some medications you put on your skin
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