Contact dermatitis is a condition that develops when the body’s immune system reacts to a substance that comes into contact with the skin. It primarily develops as a rash, and usually after the skin has been in repeated contact with the trigger substance.
One very common trigger is nickel, which is found in earrings, belt buckles, the buttons on jeans and many bits of metal that are used in garments. Alternatively, it could be perfume, rubber or hair dye that causes the problem. The most important step is to find out what is causing the rash or the symptoms in order to be able to treat them effectively.
There are two types of conditions: Allergic Contact Dermatitis (ACD), which is the most common kind, and Irritant Contact Dermatitis (ICD).
The most common allergens include:
- Some plants
- Hair chemical
People with a tendency for asthma, eczema and hay fever develop irritant contact dermatitis more easily than others, and this tendency does run in families.