Contact dermatitis image
Previous Next 3 of 12 Contact dermatitis

Contact with an irritant or allergen causes this form of dermatitis. Irritant contact dermatitis (A) usually produces a dry, scaly, non-itchy rash. Exposure to chemicals, such as cleaning products or industrial chemicals, causes this condition. The irritant will cause a rash on anyone exposed to it, but some people's skin may be more easily affected. Areas with thinner skin, such as the eyelids, are more likely to react. The severity of a reaction may vary with duration of exposure and the amount of irritant.

Allergic contact dermatitis (B) produces a very itchy, red rash with bumps and sometimes blisters. Common allergy-causing agents (allergens) include latex rubber, nickel and poison ivy. Allergic contact dermatitis develops after your initial exposure to the allergen.

Avoiding the irritant or allergen allows the rash to heal, and medications may improve symptoms.