Occupational and contact dermatitis represents a broad spectrum of common diseases that involve a sensitivity to small molecular compounds in our environment. The identification of causative agents presents a great challenge to practicing physicians.
Workplace, household and cosmetic exposure are often due to direct irritation of the skin (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 causative factors, preventing onset and optimizing treatment of symptoms are readily available from UConn faculty.
The appropriate management of elusive forms of dermatitis 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, please feel free to contact us for an appointment and full evaluation.