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Irritant Contact Dermatitis

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Contact dermatitis accounts for 95% of occupational skin disorders. Irritant contact dermatitis (ICD) is often caused by cumulative exposure to weak irritants, accounting for 80% of all cases of contact dermatitis. ICD can co-exist with atopic dermatitis (AD) and allergic contact dermatitis (ACD). Patients with AD and ACD may have a lower inflammatory threshold for developing ICD. Therefore, it needs to be distinguished from lesions of AD and ACD. ICD Patients report stinging and burning in excess of pruritus. Pruritus is classically reported by patients with AD and ACD. ICD lesions are typically well-demarcated unlike AD and ACD. ICD is diagnosed by exclusion. Patients undergo testing to rule out type I and type IV hypersensitivity. Negative results suggest a diagnosis of ICD. Management consists of irritant identification and avoidance with regular emollient use. Although ICD is more common in certain occupations, genetics and environment play significant roles in its development.

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Correspondence to Sonia N. Bains.

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Conflict of Interest

Sonia Bains is currently a Speaker for Pfizer 090117. Luz Fonacier received research and educational grants from Winthrop University Hospital, Genentech, Baxter, Pfizer, and Regeneron. She is also a Treasurer of the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (2015–2018) and a member of the American Board of Allergy and Immunology (ABAI) (2016–present). Pembroke Nash declares no conflict of interest.

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Bains, S.N., Nash, P. & Fonacier, L. Irritant Contact Dermatitis. Clinic Rev Allerg Immunol 56, 99–109 (2019).

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