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How To Treat Contact Dermatitis with Waters Edge Dermatology

A contact dermatitis can be a little bit of a mystery because people come in contact with so much throughout their daily lives. Contact dermatitis is a delayed hypersensitivity reaction to an allergen that you are coming into contact with, generally on a daily basis. There’s acute and chronic contact dermatitis. Acute contact dermatitis can be an isolated incident. A small rash, a little blistering of the skin, treated with a topical cortisone. It may never happen again to that patient if they never come in contact with that particular allergen again.

Chronic contact dermatitis, on the other hand, is a chronic irritation of the skin from the allergen. It results in thickening of the skin and sometimes scaling. It can really start to affect people’s daily lives and their activities. Essentially, when you come in contact with something, you may not necessarily have a reaction that day. However, a cascade occurs in the body to sensitize to that specific allergen, and later when you come in contact with that allergen, then you may exhibit symptoms. Contact dermatitis and certain rashes on the skin can mimic one another.

It could be a multitude of things, so it’s important to have your dermatologist take a look to see the clinical symptoms to see whether a biopsy is appropriate or a patch test is appropriate to determine the problem. Patch testing consists of placing lots of allergens on the back, generally on a Monday. 48 hours later, the patches are removed. At this point you may see irritant dermatitis but you won’t see a true allergic reaction. On Friday, the final reading is done for the patch test and at that point we determine exactly what they’re allergic to,.

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