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Contact Dermatitis: Types and Symptoms

Contact dermatitis is considered as one of the common skin rashes. It is when your skin touches some chemical that causes allergies or itching. It can also come from dry skin, skin burns, sun sensitivity, and hives.

Two Types of Contact Dermatitis

We have two types of contact dermatitis, the allergic contact dermatitis, and irritant contact dermatitis.

Allergic Contact Dermatitis (ACD)

Most of the people suffer from allergic reaction. The cause of allergic contact dermatitis can be a chemical in cosmetic that is not good for your skin, it can also be latex gloves and some jewelry that can cause allergy to your skin due to direct contact to a substance or things. Hair dryers, nickel, leather and poison ivy can also trigger your allergic contact dermatitis.

Signs and symptoms don’t usually appear right after contact. It may take a few hours for your skin to react. There are some signs and symptoms of ACD, including:

  • Intense itching of skin
  • Skin red, swollen, and hot rash
  • Dry skin
  • Burning sensation
  • Stinging
  • Blisters filled with fluids
  • Hives

Allergic contact dermatitis can be prevented if you know what are the things or food that your skin are allergic and not good to your skin types, know first the labels of the cosmetic you will put to your face and use gloves for the protection of your hands from touching chemical that will give you skin problem.

Irritant Contact Dermatitis (ICD)

This type of contact dermatitis is very common. A number of substances can cause irritation of our skin. The signs and symptoms may vary with mild and strong irritants.

Mild irritants can appear like:

  • If you have an excessive drying of your skin
  • Itchy, red, swollen and scaly spots on the skin are developing due to the repeated exposure to a substance that cause the irritation.
  • Skin cracking and it became scaly.

Strong irritants can appear like:

  • Blisters filled with fluid
  • It stings and burn
  • It can be an inflamed and swollen skin.

Irritant contact dermatitis can get when a toxic substance like bleach, drain cleaners, detergents, and kerosene. Your skin gets irritates with this kind of toxic substance. It can also cause irritation if you always over expose to water and chemicals you skin first reaction to this is dryness, itching, and cracking of the skin but sometimes if this kind of reaction is prolonged and you have nothing to do to cure, it becomes painful and may spread to those areas that are not affected.

Irritant contact dermatitis can be treated with antibiotics for infection, emollient creams for healing and burns, and topical steroids. To prevent it you should avoid over exposure to toxic chemical and were gloves whether you clean your house or you wash your clothes to protect your hands from irritants.

Who can get contact dermatitis?

Everyone is prone to have contact dermatitis. But sometimes there is a higher risk of people working in some particular fields.

Here’s a list occupation that is most likely to have contact dermatitis.

  • Nurses
  • Beauticians
  • Bartenders
  • Chefs
  • Construction workers
  • Janitors
  • Mechanics
  • Plumbers

There’s also a higher possibility of being affected by contact dermatitis if you have one of these health conditions:

  • Asthma
  • Hay Fever
  • Eczema or Atopic dermatitis

Know when to see a dermatologist


Go make an appointment with a dermatologist if you have a rash that:

  • Is severe like blisters or penetrating
  • Does not heal for weeks.
  • Comes and goes.
  • Make happen by something related to your workplace.

With the help of a dermatologist, you can find out if you have any allergies. They can also help you to make a plan to prevent things that cause your rash. They also have a database wherein they can search the products you should avoid and what products you can use if you have an allergy.

Emergency Situations

There are several people who happen to experience such serious, life-threatening allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis. The most usual anaphylactic reactions are to foods, insect bites, and medications. Anaphylaxis requires immediate medical treatment, which includes a prompt injection of epinephrine and rush to the closest emergency room as soon as possible. If symptoms occur within seconds or minutes.

The person infected may experiencing:

  • Difficulty in breathing because of the swelling in the throat.
  • Having swollen face and eyes
  • Confusion

To sum it all up, your whole body reacts. If you encounter any of these symptoms better to seek immediate medical treatment right away.

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