Contact dermatitis occurs when your skin reacts to a particular substance.
This can be either:
Irritant contact dermatitis may be caused by frequent exposure to a weak irritant, such as soap or detergent.It may also develop if you've been in contact with a stronger irritant for a short while.
You're at an increased risk of irritant contact dermatitis if you also have atopic eczema , which is the most common form of eczema.
Common irritants include:
If you already have irritant contact dermatitis symptoms, they can be made worse by heat, cold, friction (rubbing against the irritant) and low humidity (dry air).
You may be more at risk of irritant contact dermatitis if you work with irritants as part of your job, or if your job involves a lot of wet work.
If you develop the condition because of a substance you work with, it may bereferred to asoccupational irritant dermatitis.
This type of dermatitis is more common in certain occupations, including:
The first time you come into contact with an allergen,your body becomes sensitised to it, but doesn't react to it. It's only when you're exposed to the substance again that your immune system reactsand causes the skin to become red and itchy.
Allergens that commonlycause allergic contact dermatitis include:
Read about contact dermatitis, a type of eczema that causes inflammation of the skin when you come into contact with a particular substance
Read about the symptoms of contact dermatitis, which include red, inflamed (swollen), blistered, dry, thickened and cracked skin
Read about the causes of contact dermatitis. Contact dermatitis occurs when your skin reacts to a particular substance.
Read about diagnosing contact dermatitis. Your GP can usually diagnose contact dermatitis from the appearance of your skin and by asking about your symptoms.
Read about treating contact dermatitis. Treatment can help most people manage their contact dermatitis, and some people may find their symptoms clear up entirely