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Contact Dermatitis

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jul 7, 2024.

What is contact dermatitis?

Contact dermatitis is a skin rash. It develops when you touch something that irritates your skin or causes an allergic reaction.

What causes contact dermatitis?

The following items are common irritants or allergens that can cause contact dermatitis:

What are the signs and symptoms of contact dermatitis?

How is contact dermatitis diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider can diagnose your rash by looking at it. He or she will ask when your signs and symptoms started. Tell him or her how long they last and what triggers them. He or she may ask if you have been exposed to any new chemicals, products, or topical medicines.

How is contact dermatitis treated?

The best treatment is to remove whatever irritant or allergen causes your rash. You may also need medicines to decrease itching and swelling. They will be given as a topical medicine to apply to your rash or as a pill.

Treatment options

The following list of medications are related to or used in the treatment of this condition.

How can I manage contact dermatitis?

Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:

When should I call my doctor?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.