A condition that causes stinging, redness, burning, flaking, or scaling after coming into contact with something, often a makeup or skin-care product. The reaction can be related to either an irritant or an allergy. Contact dermatitis is a type of acute or chronic inflammation of the skin caused by exposure to chemical or physical agents. Symptoms of contact dermatitis can include itchy or dry skin, a red rash, bumps, blisters, or swelling. These rashes are not contagious or life-threatening, but can be very uncomfortable. Contact dermatitis results from either exposure to allergens (allergic contact dermatitis), or irritants (irritant contact dermatitis). Allergic contact dermatitis involves a delayed type of hypersensitivity and previous exposure to an allergen to produce a reaction. Irritant contact dermatitis is the most common type and represents 80% of all cases. It is caused by prolonged exposure to irritants, leading to direct injury of the epidermal cells of the skin, which activates an immune response, resulting in an inflammatory cutaneous reaction. Phototoxic dermatitis occurs when the allergen or irritant is activated by sunlight. Diagnosis of allergic contact dermatitis can often be supported by patch testing.
Subscribe to our e-mails
Receive the latest news in skin care routines and innovations delivered to your Inbox.