Dermatitis is a general term that describes an inflammation of the skin. Dermatitis can have many causes and occurs in many forms.
Contact dermatitis is a type of eczema triggered by contact with a particular substance.
Contact dermatitis causes the skin to become red, blistered, dry and cracked.
This reaction usually occurs within a few hours or days of exposure to an irritant or allergen.
Symptoms can affect any part of the body, but most commonly affect the hands and face.
Contact dermatitis can be caused by:
- An irritant – a substance that directly damages the outer layer of skin
- An allergen – a substance that causes the immune system to respond in a way that affects the skin
Contact dermatitis is most commonly caused by irritants such as soaps and detergents, solvents or regular contact with water.