Clinical Reference / Therapeutic Strategies / Allergic Contact Dermatitis

Allergic Contact Dermatitis

Key Points

  • Contact dermatitis is a common condition that affects all ages. It can have either an irritant or an allergic origin.
  • Identifying allergens that underlie a contact dermatitis can be difficult. Potential allergens arise from the environment, ranging from plant-derived chemicals, preservatives, fragrances, or chemicals used in the processing of products and fabrics. A careful history, including occupational and intermittent exposures (i.e., hobbies and cosmetic practices), is critical.
  • Treatment necessitates avoidance of the allergen and usually requires topical corticosteroids to reduce inflammation.
  • Allergen testing, such as a “use” test or standardized patch testing, can be very helpful in identifying potential contactants.
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