The contact dermatitis or eczema is an inflammatory skin reaction caused by an external agent in contact with skin. In Allergology , we understand four types of dermatitis: allergic, irritative, phototoxic and photoallergic.
Allergic contact dermatitis occurs as a result of a specific skin response to a substance (allergen) to which has previously been sensitized through a mechanism of delayed hypersensitivity type IV. Its appearance occurs in susceptible people, is not predictable, never occurs on the first contact and can affect all the skin.
Symptoms and treatment of contact dermatitis
Symptoms vary according to the stage of contact dermatitis be manifested from the redness, edema and small vesicles to the chronic phases, with dry skin, thickened, lichenified, etc.. Frequently, often itchy lesions.
The ideal treatment for contact dermatitis is to avoid friction with the causal agent. To do a proper diagnosis is necessary by a detailed medical history and a patch or patch tests.
Patients who are more prone to suffer are those who express some other skin disease that alters the skin barrier as atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, etc.. Depending on the allergen, some professions or hobbies are more likely to suffer such as para-phenylenediamine element in hairdressing, potassium dichromate construction workers, health workers in rubber, nickel sulfate by use of jewelery and so on.
The basis of symptomatic treatment are antihistamines to reduce itching, and sometimes topical corticosteroids and systemic antibiotics in case of superinfection.