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Most people experience the unpleasant itching of contact dermatitis at least once in their lifetime.
While most people do not experience a major allergic reaction, the effects of contact dermatitis can be unpleasant until they subside.
When a person's skin comes into contact with an irritating substance, they may develop an itchy or burning rash. This reaction is known as contact dermatitis.
Types of contact dermatitis
contact dermatitis from Urushiol
Urushiol is an oil found in poison ivy that may cause an allergic reaction leading to allergic contact dermatitis.
While contact dermatitis can seem like it develops out of nowhere, there are several common types:
Irritant contact dermatitis is the most common type of contact dermatitis. It happens when the skin touches an irritating chemical, experiences too much friction, or makes contact with heat.
Allergic contact dermatitis is caused by an allergic reaction or by the immune system overreacting to a substance or chemical. Contact urticaria, also known as hives, is a less common type of allergic contact dermatitis that occurs immediately after exposure to an allergen.
Occupational contact dermatitis occurs in certain professions where the workers may come into repeated, frequent exposure to irritants or allergens, such as rubber, latex, or chemicals. These people include healthcare workers, hairdressers, and food servers among many others.
Photocontact dermatitis occurs after a person comes into contact with an irritant or allergen and the area of contact subsequently receives sun exposure that causes a reaction.
In all of these cases, an itchy or burning rash appears either immediately or within a few days. It is important that people treat the rash and know what triggered it in order to avoid contact dermatitis in the future.