Types of Dermatitis

What is Contact Dermatitis?

Contact Dermatitis

Contact dermatitis is a reaction that occurs as a result of skin contact with certain substances. 80% of these reactions are due to irritation (for example: hand washing as a result of dishwashing) and 20% are allergic reactions. The reaction does not occur immediately after contact. Symptoms that occur 1-3 days after exposure usually disappear after 1 week or more. The skin becomes red, itchy, inflamed and blistered. While the reaction is usually most severe at the contact site, it can also occur in other areas of the skin.

Who Happens?

It is easy to develop in people with a genetic predisposition. It is more likely to occur as a result of intense contact with poisonous wall ivy and oak, but can also occur as a result of short-term contact. Allergic contact dermatitis is more common in adults.

Which Substances Most Commonly Cause Allergic Contact Dermatitis?

Poison wall ivy and poison oak are the plants most responsible. Poison ivy can grow on the ground, as well as on vines and trees. A resin called urushiol in these plants causes reactions. This substance is used to make hand tools and some clothes.

Some other plants, metals, cosmetics, and some drugs are also responsible for the reactions. About 3000 chemicals can cause allergic dermatitis. People who use them continuously may develop contact dermatitis one day.

Which Metals Cause Contact Dermatitis?

Nickel, chromium, and mercury are the metals that most commonly cause contact dermatitis. Nickel is found in many jewellery, belt buckles, and wristwatches. It is also found in zippers, snaps, hooks and eyeglass frames on dresses. With the use of chromium with nickel, reactions to chromium-plated materials have begun to be seen in people who have a reaction to nickel.

Mercury in contact lens solutions also causes problems in some sensitive people. People who are sensitive to mercury should carefully read the labels on their contact lens solutions. However, many contact lens solutions do not contain mercury. Avoiding these metals is the most important treatment method. Stainless steel and 14 carat gold should be used instead of nickel. They contain very little nickel (there is very little nickel under 18 carat).

Can Cosmetics Cause Allergic Skin Reactions?

Many cosmetics, from hair dyes to nail polishes, can cause allergic contact dermatitis. Paraphenylenediamine found in hair dyes is the most common causative agent. Dyes used for clothes can also cause it. Perfumes, eyeshadows, nail polishes, lip paints, and sunscreens can do the same.

Using hypoallergenic products is one of the smartest ways. These products do not contain perfumes and dyes that may cause an allergic reaction. They can be found easily.

What Types of Drugs Cause Allergic Contact Dermatitis?

The most common cause is neomycin found in antibiotic creams. Penicillin, sulfa drugs, local anesthetics and preservatives in drugs are other responsible factors. Healthcare workers, especially physicians and dentists, are the people most at risk due to frequent contact with these substances.

Your allergist can advise you on the treatment of Contact Dermatitis with medications.

What is the Treatment of Allergic Contact Dermatitis?

After contact, the skin should be rubbed with soap and water.

Resin-containing products and clothing should be washed before reuse.

Antihistamines can be used to prevent itching. Allergic contact dermatitis does not leave scars unless the symptoms are infected or itchy too much.

Apply a wet cold compress (prepared by mixing 1 liter of water, 50 milliliters of vinegar) to the inflamed area where the bubbles have not burst. Calamine lotion prevents itching as well as provides drying.

The most effective treatment is cortisone. In mild reactions, creams with low cortisone content can be used. If there are moderate reactions, high-strength cortisone creams are used. Cortisone pills may be required for very severe reactions.

Allergy vaccine therapy is still in the experimental stage.

The best treatment is to avoid the causative agent.

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