Diseases Symptoms Drugs Injuries Surgeries Vitamins Pediatric Symptoms
  home         about us         support center         contact us         terms of service         site map


General Information

DEFINITION--Skin inflammation caused by contact with an irritating substance. Contact dermatitis is not contagious.

BODY PARTS INVOLVED--Skin, especially of the hands, feet and groin.

SEX OR AGE MOST AFFECTED--All ages, but most common in women.


  • Itching, pain or discomfort (sometimes).
  • Slight redness.
  • Cracks and fissures in the skin.
  • Bright red, weeping areas (severe cases).


    Contact with irritants, such as sprays, acids or solvents. The irritant removes the fatty layer of skin. This causes dehydration and shrinking of surface cells. Some irritants can cause a reaction in moments, while others may take hours or days. Irritants include:

  • Some metals in jewelry.
  • Certain topical medications.
  • Chemicals in some cosmetics.
  • Chemicals, soaps, detergents, bleaches, metal cleaners, paint removers, gasoline and others.


  • Constant exposure to hot water, detergents, or any irritant that changes the moisture content of skin.
  • Burns from hot water or sunburn.
  • Occupations or hobbies that bring you in contact with irritants.


  • Avoid contact with any irritant that has caused dermatitis in the past.
  • Wear protective gloves and other clothing for protection from irritants.

What To Expect


  • Your own observation of symptoms.
  • Medical history and physical exam by a doctor.


  • Self-care.
  • Doctor's treatment with medication.


  • Secondary bacterial infection.
  • More generalized skin eruption.

PROBABLE OUTCOME--Symptoms can be controlled with treatment and avoidance of the irritant. Recurrence is common, so treatment may be necessary for years.

How To Treat


Avoid the chemical or material causing the skin eruption. Use bath oil or glycerin-based soap instead of soap for bathing. Pat skin dry rather than rubbing it. Reduce water temperature to lukewarm for bathing or other uses. Use only cream, lotion or ointment prescribed for the condition. Other commercial products may aggravate the condition. Apply ointment or cream to hands 6 or 7 times a day. For other body parts, lubricate twice a day, especially after bathing. > Minimize the use of solvents, and wear heavy-duty, cotton-lined vinyl gloves to prevent contact with irritating substances such as: water; soap; detergent; metal scouring pads; scouring powder; paint; paint thinner; turpentine; and polish for cars,

    floors, shoes, furniture or metal. Dry the insides of gloves after use. Discard gloves if they develop a hole. Wear gloves when you peel or squeeze lemons, oranges, grapefruit, tomatoes or potatoes.

  • Wear leather or heavy-duty fabric gloves for housework or gardening.
  • Use a dishwasher (if available) to wash dishes or ask someone else to do it.
  • Remove rings before doing housework or washing hands.

MEDICATION--Your doctor may prescribe topical creams, ointments or lotions. These may include steroid preparations to reduce inflammation or lubricants to preserve moisture.

ACTIVITY--Resume your normal activities gradually as irritation subsides.

DIET--No special diet.

Call Your Doctor If

> Severe pain develops.

  • You develop fever.
  • Signs of infection (swelling, tenderness, redness, warmth) develop at the site of irritation.
  • Treatment does not relieve symptoms in 1 week.
Dserun mollit anim id est laborum. Lorem ipsum and sunt in culpa qui officias deserunt mollit. Excepteur plus sint occaecat the best cupidatat nonr proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum. September 24, 2004
read more


Excepteur plus sint occaecat the best cupidatat nonr proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit.
Support forums
Help desk
home       about us      affiliates     contact us       terms of service      

© 2005 All right reserved