Allergic contact dermatitis

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1. Overview

Allergic contact dermatitis is a type of allergy resulting from cutaneous contact with a specific allergen to which a person has developed a specific sensitivity. This allergic reaction causes inflammation of the skin manifested by varying degrees of erythema, blisters and swelling.

The term contact dermatitis sometimes is used incorrectly as a synonym for allergic contact dermatitis. Contact dermatitis is an inflammation of the skin induced by chemicals that directly affects the skin and the sensitivity to an allergen in allergic contact dermatitis.

The importance of the substances that cause allergic contact dermatitis varies with the prevalence of these substances in the environment. For example, mercury compounds may underlie triggering allergic contact dermatitis but they are rarely part of the composition topical medications and as such are rarely the cause of this type of dermatitis.

Detailed medical history both before and after the analysis of tissue samples taken from the affected area is crucial in evaluating individuals with allergic contact dermatitis. Before analyzing tissue samples will identify possible causes of allergic contact dermatitis and materials to which the suspects could be allergic.

Definitive treatment for allergic contact dermatitis is to identify and remove any potential causative agents. Otherwise, the patient is at increased risk for chronic or recurrent dermatitis.


1. Overview
2. Causes of contact dermatitis
3. Symptoms of contact dermatitis
4. Healthcare
5. Investigations
6. Treatment of contact dermatitis

2. Causes of contact dermatitis

There are two types of contact dermatitis: allergic and irritant. Like all allergic reactions, allergic contact dermatitis arises as a result of immune reactions. The immune system reacts excessively to foreign substance, usually an animal or vegetable protein.

The immune system will produce antibodies against the allergen. This overreaction is often called hypersensitivity reaction. Antibodies called immunoglobulin E or IgE attaches to special cells called mast cells. When the person comes into contact with an allergen, the antibodies contribute to the release of chemicals and hormones called mediators.

Histamine is an example of mediator. Effects of mediators cause symptoms of allergic reaction, in this case a itchy rash. In allergic contact dermatitis, a skin reaction occurs as a result of skin reach an allergen. Unlike most allergic reactions, allergy triggering occurs externally rather than internally.

Initial exposure does not cause a rash. However, the skin is sensitive, so it will also react to the subsequent exposure to the agent. As the substance remains on the skin longer, the reaction is more severe.

Many chemicals, including household products and industrial cleaning or solvents can cause this condition. People who have other skin conditions such as eczema, are more likely to develop contact dermatitis.

3. Symptoms of contact dermatitis

It is difficult to distinguish allergic contact dermatitis to irritant contact dermatitis. Manifestation of allergic contact dermatitis is usually confined to the area where the allergen has reached the skin, while irritant contact dermatitis may extend over a larger area of skin.

Red rash is a common reaction. It seems that irritant contact dermatitis occurs immediately, while in allergic contact dermatitis case the rash does not appear until one to two days after exposure. On the skin may appear a rash called hives that follow a specific pattern of expression of the pathogen.

There can be itching and burning of the skin in allergic contact dermatitis. Predominant symptom of irritant contact dermatitis is pain. This type of dermatitis often affects the hands, which were exposed for long periods of time to substances containing irritating. Once debuts, the manifestations may take several weeks before they disappear completely.

4. Healthcare

If the rash does not improve or continues to increase after a several days of self-care, seek medical advice. If itching is severe and cannot be contacted the doctor on the day it occurs, it will go to a hospital emergency room.

5. Investigations

Dermatologists can diagnose contact dermatitis after observing symptoms and physical examination. Blood tests and X-rays are not relevant.

6. Treatment of contact dermatitis

Home treatment

- Avoid touching the triggers of contact dermatitis (allergens);
- Wash skin with soap and cold water will remove or inactivate substances that could trigger contact dermatitis, immediately after exposure to allergens;
- If you develop blisters, cold and wet compresses should be applied locally for 30 minutes;
- Calamine lotion, oatmeal cold baths can relieve itching;
- Oral antihistamines may help relieve itching;
- Do not apply antihistamine lotions to the skin, as it is possible to experience allergic contact dermatitis from sunscreen;
- For mild cases will grease in thin layer, small areas of skin to relieve the symptoms.

Medical treatment

Dermatitis treatment consists in the administration of medicines both for improvement and for the disappearance of symptoms.


To treat allergic contact dermatitis using:

- Corticosteroids – medications that contain corticosteroids act similar to hydrocortisone and combat inflammation localized in certain areas. They can be applied on the skin as a cream or ointment. If the reaction occurs to a relatively large portion of the skin or is severe, corticosteroids may be also prescribed as pills or injections.

- Antihistamines – are prescribed to be taken if other prescribed treatments are not effective.




  1. Any kind of allergy is because of sensitisation of body towards allergen. now desensitisation is possible through bioresonance therapy so that patient will not feel any symptom after coming in contact with the particular allergen. for more details call-9910995732

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