Contact dermatitis is a rash that develops when a person comes in contact with a substance to which they are allergic or with a substance that directly irritates the skin. Whether contact dermatitis is from an allergen or irritant, the skin will itch, may blister or burn, or present as a raised red rash. Irritant contact dermatitis can be painful as well. Common triggers include poison ivy; latex; topical medications; nickel; and soaps, shampoos, lotions, perfumes and cosmetics with fragrance. It may be advisable to arrange for patch testing to identify the patient’s specific triggers. Once identified, contact with the triggers must be avoided long term to clear up the dermatitis and prevent its recurrence.
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