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Contact Dermatitis Can Be Irritating, Especially When the Cause is a Mystery
Date:3/4/2010

Contact dermatitis is characterized by a rash that can occur anywhere on the body (most commonly the hands and face) and is caused by something that comes into contact with the skin, leading to an allergic reaction. Irritated skin becomes dry and chapped and eventually red, scaly and inflamed. In many cases, these types of skin rashes require evaluation and treatment by a dermatologist who can determine the source of the rash and recommend the best treatment.

"In our everyday lives, we come into contact with a host of different substances and environmental elements that can have an adverse effect on our skin," said Dr. Fowler. "Sometimes when we have an allergic reaction to something, we might not be able to determine the source of the problem or it could take several days from the point of contact for a reaction to occur on our skin, which makes tracing the source extremely difficult."

Metals

Perhaps the most common form of contact dermatitis is metal allergy, with nickel being the most prevalent of all metal allergens. Dr. Fowler explained that almost every metal contains some amount of nickel, with costume jewelry and cell phones among the leading causes of allergic reactions.


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SOURCE American Academy of Dermatology
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