Contact dermatitis: types, causes and symptoms

Filed in: Health Conditions.

Did you have a rash to use that new necklace? Millions of people suffer from contact. dermatitis throughout the world, since it is a generalized term for a type of skin irritation caused by contact with a foreign object (such as metal jewelry). Fortunately, this skin reaction tends to be mild, although it is still important to recognize the signs and symptoms. Since anyone can experience this condition at some point in their life, it will be helpful to understand as much as possible of the condition in advance.

What is contact dermatitis?

Contact dermatitis It is a rash that occurs when the skin enters contact with a strange substance, often one that is mistakenly identified as dangerous. [1] This reaction to a irritating or allergen usually occurs within a few hours or days of exposure. The rash may last two to four weeks. You may not have a rash the first time your skin touches an allergen. But that touch sensitizes your skin, and you could react the next time you get in touch with her.

The types

In the case of contact dermatitis, there are two types:

Allergic contact dermatitis This occurs when the body's immune system responds to exposure to a substance, which classifies it as an allergen. This is not a allergy that comes from birth Someone will be previously exposed to the substance and the immune system. becomes Hypersensitized to it. [2] In the future, when the immune system detects that substance, it will react with an allergic response. Irritant contact dermatitis This condition affects mainly the skin of the hands when they are exposed to certain irritants for a prolonged period of time. This variety is largely dependent about the irritant itself; If the chemical or substance is strong enough, it can cause a quick and immediate response, although some irritants require repeated exposure to start causing a reaction. [3] The body is not necessarily "allergic" to this substance, but it irritates the skin and causes inflammation.

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When you experience any of the forms of contact dermatitis, the body will react as it always does to a foreign substance: activate the immune system to neutralize the potential allergen, chemical or pathogen, resulting in the release of histamines, as well as the blood flow and inflammation in that area of ​​the skin. While this is a good sign that the immune system is working, the foreign substance is often harmless and the symptoms of this condition can be quite visible.

The symptoms

The main symptom of contact dermatitis is a red rash at the site of contact. From there, the symptoms may worsen, and some people experience small, elevated blisters that occasionally leak fluid. The sensations of itching and burning are not uncommon, especially when it comes to irritating contact dermatitis. [4]

Symptoms of allergic contact dermatitis tend to be more immediate, while irritants may take longer (either over time or due to repeated exposure) to generate symptoms of irritant contact dermatitis. Also, if you are reacting to an allergen, it can affect a larger section of the skin than the area that came in contact with the allergen.

Some types of dermatitis will last longer than others, from a few hours to a month, depending on the severity, the substance and your approach to treatment.


The causes of contact dermatitis differ between the two types, but generally include hard metals, additives, plants, certain types of water, acids, detergents, and preservatives, among others.

The common triggers for irritant contact dermatitis are:

Soap, solvents, detergents, bleach Soils, dust Too much acid and alkaline substances Mustard Plants Anemone Acid battery Acid to spray Water (especially if your hands are cracked and the water is hard) fruits (shells, juice, etc.)

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The common triggers for allergic contact dermatitis are:

Perfumes, hair dyes, others. Cosmetic products Chromate, nickel, cobalt Some elements of jewelry Skin Rubber ointments Daffodils Chrysanthemums Latex gloves Poison ivy Poison sumac

Is contact dermatitis contagious?

Although some claim that contact dermatitis can be transmitted from one person to another, it can not be transferred. Each occurrence is specific to The sensitivities of each person. and unique immune system. [5] Contagious the conditions are based on a pathogen or infectious microbe, and that is not the cause of contact dermatitis.

When people claim that they have contracted contact dermatitis from a partner or child, it may be a case in which sensitivities They are present in both individuals, but there is no recorded evidence of contagious dermatitis rashes in any way.

Contact dermatitis on the face and hands

As mentioned above, the most common sites for contact dermatitis are the hands and face; This is mainly because our hands are a part of the body that easily comes into contact with the most potential allergens, chemicals and irritants. Also, unconsciously we touch our faces dozens, if not hundreds of times a day, including the areas near our mucus. membranes (for example, eyes, mouth, nose). In the case of irritant contact dermatitis, it is possible to transfer an irritant from the hands to the face very easily.

In the case of serious facial contact dermatitis, especially in the eyes, mouth or nose, it is best to speak with a doctor to identify the specific allergen. The skin on the face is more sensitive than the hands and the reactions will tend to be more severe and will appear more quickly.

Contact dermatitis: types, causes and symptoms, reference:

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