What is contact dermatitis?
Contact dermatitis is a condition resulting from the direct contact of an allergen or irritant with the surface of the skin. A reaction will typically appear 48-96 hours after contact. This type of reaction can develop at any time in life.
The skin becomes red, itchy and inflamed, and will frequently blister. Poison ivy is the most common cause, but other plants, metals (such as nickel), cosmetics and medications can also cause a reaction.
Allergic contact dermatitis can be treated by scrubbing the skin with soap and water after exposure to the allergen and using prescribed antihistamine and cortisone medications, depending on severity. Avoidance of the irritant is the key to prevention.