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Contact dermatitis

Definition

Contact Dermatitis (CD) is an allergic eczema consequent to the immune system’s re-exposure to a given contact allergen.

Symptoms


  • erythematous, scaly lesions, sometimes oozing
  • pruritus, itching
  • thickening of the skin (lichenization)
  • skin dehydration
  • frequent excoriations (scratching marks)

 

Etiology (cause)

Once sensitization has taken place, re-exposure induces an allergic inflammation, with release of inflammatory mediators and attraction of inflammatory cells.We can establish which agent is in cause by practicing “skin patch-tests“.Whenever possible, removal of the allergen allows healing.Contact dermatitis (CD) is a common complication of Atopic Dermatitis (AD). Indeed once the skin barrier is injured, allergens enter more easily into contact with the immune system.The allergens most frequently responsible are: metals (nickel, cobalt), perfumes, cosmetics and latex. Implications can be important at the professional level.

Treatment

 1) Allergen avoidance. For some professions, this may require retraining (hairdressers, etc.)

2) Skin rehydration and application of corticosteroid based on symptoms

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