Contact Dermatitis

Contact Dermatitis

Contact Dermatitis: A Common Condition

Contact Dermatitis: It is not always necessary to visit a dermatologist about an occurrence of contact dermatitis.  However, it’s important to have conditions diagnosed properly, so you can get relief. The dermatologists at MetroDerm, P.C.  in Atlanta, GA, can help you if you suffer from contact dermatitis. The symptoms of the condition occur when a rash appears after an allergen touches the skin. If the rash appears immediately, it’s easy to tell what is causing the condition.  However, the rash can appear sometime after contact.  When that happens, it’s difficult to tell what sparked the reaction.


The skin becomes red, sore, or inflamed after direct contact with a substance.

Common Causes

Almost everyone experiences contact dermatitis. Because everyone is different, the causes of contact dermatitis vary.  There are chemical irritants which more commonly cause reactions:

  • Poison ivy
  • Nickel in earring posts
  • Makeup
  • Jewelry
  • Latex gloves

 Irritation Can Cause Contact Dermatitis

Irritation due to repeated exposure or rubbing is common. The skin is sensitive and shows signs of rash or redness with interaction to chemicals or rubbing. There are mild and strong irritants and reactions. A diagnosis of contact dermatitis can result from any of the following irritations:

  • Diaper rash-wetness, skin ph imbalance, and friction
  • Acid burn-battery acid, fiberglass
  • Constant contact with water-dishwater, cleaning products

Constant lip-licking friction irritant dermatitis is the most common form.

Irritant Dermatitis is the Most Common

Contact with acids, alkaline materials such as soaps and detergents, fabric softeners, solvents, or other chemicals can cause problems. The reaction most often looks like a burn. It is not caused by an allergy but rather the skin’s reaction to an irritating substance.

  • Pesticides or weed killers
  • Rubber gloves
  • Shampoos
  • Cement
  • Hair dyes
  • Long-term exposure to wet diapers

On-The-Job Hazards Cause Dermatitis

Beauticians, nurses, bartenders, and others who spend lots of time with wet hands get this. It often starts with dry, cracked hands. In time, the skin on their hands may begin to sting and burn. The skin becomes very tender. Sometimes, the skin itches and bleeds. The dermatologists at MetroDerm, P.C. can make a number of suggestions to help you avoid this problem and treat it when the condition appears.  It’s best to catch it in the early stages.

Allergies Can Cause Dermatitis

Allergic contact dermatitis occurs when your skin comes in contact with a substance that causes you to have an allergic reaction.

These are common allergens:

  • Adhesives, including those used for false eyelashes or toupees
  • Antibiotics, such as neomycin rubbed on the surface of the skin
  • Balsam of Peru (used in many personal products and cosmetics, as well as in many foods and drinks)
  • Fabrics and clothing
  • Fragrances in perfumes, cosmetics, soaps, and moisturizers
  • Nail polish, hair dyes, and permanent wave solutions
  • Nickel or other metals (found in jewelry, watch straps, metal zips, bra hooks, buttons, pocketknives, lipstick holders, and powder compacts)
  • Poison ivy, poison oak, poison sumac, and other plants
  • Rubber or latex gloves or shoes

If you have a rash that does not clear within a week or two, you should see a dermatologist at MetroDerm, P.C. Treatment is important to prevent the contact dermatitis from worsening and to help your skin heal.

Contact dermatitis is common, but you should know there is help for the irritating itch or burn caused by this condition.  If you think you may have contact dermatitis, please call our office to schedule an appointment. MetroDerm, P.C. treats patients from the surrounding areas of Atlanta, GA, such as Alpharetta, Milton, Roswell, Stone Mountain, Woodstock, and Johns Creek.