Our Services / Contact Dermatitis

Contact Dermatitis

Contact Dermatitis services offered in Columbia, MD

Contact dermatitis is an uncomfortable, irritating skin condition, and finding its root cause can play a role in managing and treating your symptoms. Dermatology & Advanced Skin Care in Columbia, Maryland, led by an expert team of board-certified dermatologists, provides effective treatment for contact dermatitis. Call for an appointment today or use the online scheduling tool at any time.

Contact Dermatitis Q & A

What is contact dermatitis?

Contact dermatitis is a skin condition characterized by inflammation that occurs when your skin comes into direct contact with a substance that triggers an allergic reaction or irritates your skin. It can manifest as an immediate reaction (irritant contact dermatitis) or a delayed immune response (allergic contact dermatitis) upon exposure to a particular substance.

What causes contact dermatitis?

Various substances can cause contact dermatitis, including:

  • Certain metals like nickel, cosmetics, fragrances, and latex
  • Plants like poison ivy or poison oak
  • Cleaning products
  • Chemicals
  • Certain medications

These substances can either directly irritate the skin or trigger an allergic reaction in susceptible individuals, leading to redness, itching, swelling, and sometimes blistering or oozing.

What are the symptoms of contact dermatitis?

Symptoms of contact dermatitis often appear at the site of contact with the irritant or allergen. Initial signs include redness, itching, or a burning sensation in the affected area. 

In allergic contact dermatitis, the reaction might develop hours to days after exposure and usually presents as a rash with bumps, blisters, and sometimes oozing or crusting. Irritant contact dermatitis can occur immediately upon exposure, causing similar symptoms but often less severe.

How is contact dermatitis treated?

Treatment for contact dermatitis involves identifying and avoiding the trigger substance. Be sure to wash the affected area with mild soap and water to remove traces of the irritant or allergen.

To alleviate itching and inflammation, apply cool compresses or use over-the-counter hydrocortisone creams or anti-itch lotions. For severe cases, your provider might prescribe corticosteroid creams or oral corticosteroids to reduce inflammation and relieve symptoms. 

In instances of blistering or oozing, it's essential to keep the area clean and dry to prevent infection.

How is contact dermatitis managed?

To manage symptoms effectively, you should avoid further contact with the triggering substance. Protective measures like wearing gloves or using barrier creams can prevent future exposure. If an allergic reaction is suspected, your dermatologist can provide a patch test to help identify specific allergens to avoid in the future.

In cases of severe or persistent contact dermatitis, seek your Dermatology & Advanced Skin Care provider’s medical advice. They can provide appropriate treatment, including prescription medications or further evaluation to determine specific triggers, ensuring proper management and prevention of recurrent episodes of contact dermatitis.

If you have symptoms of contact dermatitis, call or book an appointment online today.