What is contact dermatitis?
Also known as contact eczema, is inflammation of the skin caused by direct contact with something in the environment. This can be caused by one thing or a mixture of things especially when it comes to hand dermatitis. This is the most common cause of occupational skin conditions very common in cleaners, health care workers, food industry and hairdressers.
What does contact dermatitis look like?
It can have one or more of the following features:
Sore, red, painful, itchy, dry, cracks, blisters or thickening.
Treatment for contact dermatitis
The best treatment is to avoid contact with any irritants or allergic substances.
Protect the skin by wearing gloves, regularly applying moisturisers and avoiding contact with soap. Often patients with this condition need to rethink their career path as some jobs make this condition much worse.
The rash can be treated with steroid ointments which may be needed along with regular moisturising.
If severe then phototherapy, steroid tablets or tablets that affect your immune system can be used eg methotrexate or ciclosporin.