Occupational & Contact Dermatitis

Occupational and contact dermatitis refers to a broad spectrum of common diseases that involve sensitivity to molecules in our environment. Identifying which molecules presents a great challenge for doctors. The sensitivity can be attributed to either irritant dermatitis or allergic contact dermatitis.

Irritant Dermatitis

Workplace, household, and cosmetic exposure are often the cause of skin irritation (irritant contact dermatitis) as opposed to a specific allergic reaction. Common forms of irritant dermatitis include "dishpan hands" and solvent exposure. Treatment generally involves protective measures and sensible skin care.

Allergic Contact Dermatitis

Allergic contact dermatitis is less common than irritant contact dermatitis. People can become allergic at any time to numerous common and less common chemicals in our environment. Examples include nickels (found in most jewelry) and perfumes. Allergy patch testing is available to patients with possible allergic contact dermatitis, and innovative therapeutic regimens aimed at isolating the cause, preventing the onset, and treating symptoms are readily available.

The appropriate management of forms of dermatitis that are difficult to diagnose requires physicians with a great deal of training and experience in this field. The health care team at the Department of Dermatology treats hundreds of patients per year with this often-chronic condition and is well-equipped to handle patients with difficult forms of dermatitis.

If you are suffering from an acute or chronic form of dermatitis, contact us for an appointment and full evaluation.

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