Contact Dermatitis

What Is Contact Dermatitis?

Contact dermatitis is a condition that causes redness, sores, and inflammation of the skin when it comes in direct contact with a substance. This condition falls under two main categories: irritant and allergic. Some substances irritate the skin in almost all people, while other people have an innate true allergy to certain chemicals. The skin could display bumps, blistering, warmth, and tenderness. Some cases even display scales, crusts, and flakes.

Who gets it?

Anyone could experience this condition in their lifetime. Irritant dermatitis is the most common type. It is often caused by acidic and alkaline substances found in softeners, solvents, or chemical solutions. Typical reaction to exposure yields a burn-like symptom. Allergic contact dermatitis is caused by exposure to an allergen. These can include adhesives, antibiotics, fragrances, latex, certain plants, and more. Reactions can result in burning or pain.

Treatment Options

Treatment of irritant dermatitis generally begins with identifying the irritant and avoiding future exposure.  In cases where Dr. Sheehan suspects allergic contact dermatitis, he may recommend “patch testing” with the TRUE test series of allergens. From the results of patch testing we can identify what allergen may be causing the condition. We can then work with you to discuss moisturizers and lotions that can help reduce inflammation and help the skin repair itself.  Often Dr. Sheehan recommends topical steroids or other topical anti-inflammatory medications.  In severe cases, such as severe cases of “poison ivy,” Dr. Sheehan may prescribe corticosteroid pills.

How We Can Help

As a board certified dermatologist, Dr. Sheehan is a professional resource for advice and treatment. For more information, please contact Harmonie Medical today to set up an initial consultation with the doctor. We work with clients from Evans, Martinez, Augusta, Grovetown, Aiken, and North Augusta. We look forward to working with you.