Contact dermatitis can lead to the following complications, especially when itching and irritation are severe or become persistent:

  • Neurodermatitis (lichen simplex chronicus). This skin condition is characterized by chronic itching and scaling. It starts with a patch of itchy skin similar to the patches that occur in contact dermatitis, but scratching makes the area even itchier, so you keep scratching. Eventually you may scratch simply out of habit. This cycle of chronic itching and scratching can cause the affected skin to become discolored, thick and leathery.
  • Bacterial or fungal skin infection. Severe itching and prolonged scratching may encourage moistness and oozing, creating a hospitable environment for bacteria or fungi.
Jul. 30, 2011