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Contact dermatitis is a form of eczema caused by an allergen or irritant. If you’ve ever used a new beauty or cleaning product and noticed your skin became red and irritated, you’ve likely experienced contact dermatitis. It is a relatively common condition that can be treated through a combination of medicine and avoidance techniques. Most contact dermatitis reactions are mild, but they can be unpleasant until symptoms subside. 

Symptoms

After coming into contact with the allergen or irritant, the skin may exhibit the following symptoms:

  • Hives
  • Redness
  • Itching
  • Swelling
  • Dry, flaky skin
  • Blistering

Causes

Allergic contact dermatitis is caused by an allergic reaction after being exposed to a foreign substance. 

Common allergens include:

  • Nickel or gold jewelry
  • Latex
  • Perfumes
  • Poison oak or poison ivy

Irritant contact dermatitis occurs when the skin comes in contact with toxic material. Common irritants include:

  • Bleach
  • Pepper spray
  • Kerosene
  • Drain cleaners

Treatment

Most cases of contact dermatitis will subside on their own with little medical intervention. While the skin heals, it is important to avoid scratching the area and keep the area clean to remove any irritants or allergens. Anti-itch creams and antihistamines can help reduce itching and the allergic response. With allergy patch testing, skin testing, or blood testing, we can discover hidden triggers, confirm suspected triggers and provide additional treatments. 

If the rash worsens, contact Northeast Allergy, Asthma & Immunology today to schedule an appointment.

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