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

/span>, Canada and some Scandinavian countries – although reports have been less frequent in the United States.

Testing, Testing: Common Allergens Put to the Test

In order to identify an allergen suspected of causing contact dermatitis, a dermatologist will use patch testing. This involves applying small concentrations of allergens to the skin on the arms or the back to see if a reaction occurs within three to five days. Once the allergen is confirmed, your dermatologist can provide recommendations for alternatives for that substance. For example, if you are allergic to nickel, your dermatologist may recommend having your jewelry plated in another non-irritating metal, such as platinum or sterling silver.

Treatments: Now and on the Horizon

The mainstay of treatment for contact dermatitis are topical corticosteroids, which are available over-the-counter and by prescription. In some cases, severe rashes may need to be treated with systemic corticosteroids (given orally or by injection), antibiotics, or other anti-inflammatory and immunologic agents. D
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SOURCE American Academy of Dermatology
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