Allergic Contact Dermatitis and Disability

Inflammation of your skin is the simple definition of what dermatitis is. It is well to remember, however, that while the definition of dermatitis may be simple, the term is used for a wide range of conditions.

Contact dermatitis is one of the many types of this disorder. Contact dermatitis is an irritation of your skin or a localized rash that results from contact with, a reaction to or exposure to irritants or allergens.

Contact dermatitis is characterized by a red, itchy rash. While contact dermatitis is not life-threatening or contagious, it can be extremely unpleasant, irritating and uncomfortable.

There are three common kinds of contact dermatitis. They are irritant contact dermatitis, overtreatment contact dermatitis and allergic contact dermatitis.

Irritant contact dermatitis is the most common type of contact dermatitis. Irritant contact dermatitis is marked by inflammation of your skin that is usually manifested by erythema, scaling and mild edema.

Overtreatment contact dermatitis is the least common form of this disorder. This type of contact dermatitis comes from being treated for some other form of skin condition, and the treatment that you are given leads to the irritation.

Allergic contact dermatitis is the second most common form of contact dermatitis. Allergic contact dermatitis is a form of contact dermatitis that results from exposure to some type of material or substance that you have become allergic to or extra sensitive to.

There are many different materials or substances that can lead to allergic contact dermatitis. These substances or materials are known as allergens. For many people, these materials or substances pose no problems. However, after your skin has become allergic or sensitive to the allergen, any type of exposure will result in a rash.

While determining the cause of irritant contact dermatitis is very difficult, it is easier to find the cause of allergic contact dermatitis. This is because a tiny amount of substances that people are known to be allergic to can be placed on your skin to see what you have an allergic reaction to. Some of the possible allergens that may cause your allergic contact dermatitis are:

  • Poison ivy
  • Poison oak
  • Nickel or other metals
  • Dyes
  • Rubber or latex
  • Perfumes and fragrances
  • Clothing and fabrics
  • Cosmetics
  • Detergents
  • Solvents
  • Adhesives.

The signs and symptoms that are produced by allergic contact dermatitis may vary in their nature and severity. They can be tenacious and continue after your exposure to the allergen has stopped. The signs and symptoms of allergic contact dermatitis can even become systemic. Possible signs and symptoms include:

  • A severe, red rash
  • The affected of your skin may feel hot or tight to the touch
  • Dry, red patches that may look as if they were a burn
  • Pain or tenderness in the affected area of your skin
  • A pink or red rash or skin lesion that occurs at the affected area of your skin that may become raw, thickened, scaly, crusted, drain or ooze
  • Itching that may be severe and intense at the affected area of your skin.
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