Contact dermatitis is a common skin condition that occurs from exposure to a substance that irritates the skin. The effects are represented by redness and inflammation. This may be caused by certain soaps, deodorants, jewelry or even some plants.
The most infamous form of the condition stems from contact with Poison Ivy. Poison Ivy is a plant that secretes oil, which upon contact with the skin causes irritation leaving behind a rash. Although the rash is extremely uncomfortable, itching or scratching the infected area will cause the condition to worsen. Not only will the inflammation further increase, but it may also lead to scarring and darkening of the skin (post inflammatory hyperpigmentation). Within the first few days of contraction, the treatment methods tend to be more effective and efficient. For periods beyond that time, such as a week or two, options may include a topical steroid.
The most successful treatment options when dealing with any form of contact dermatitis include identifying what causes the reaction, avoiding it (if possible), and taking the corrective steps and it should improve within a few weeks. Although this condition can become quite serious it is not life-threatening, nor contagious. If you believe you may be experiencing contact dermatitis call our office immediately.