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Contact Dermatitis: Classifications and Management

Abstract

Contact dermatitis (CD) is a common inflammatory skin disease caused by exposure to contact allergens and irritants. It is also the most common reason of occupational dermatitis and contributes greatly to hand dermatitis and facial dermatitis. Besides the two major forms of contact dermatitis: allergic contact dermatitis and irritant contact dermatitis, other subtypes of CD have been recognized including immediate skin reactions, photoinduced contact dermatitis, systemic contact dermatitis, and non-eczematous contact dermatitis. CD is a great imitator which can mimic many kinds of skin diseases, such as atopic dermatitis, lichen planus, and angioedema. For the diagnosis of CD, a complete medical history, including occupational history, is very important. It can give a clue of CD and provide a list of suspected substances. Besides the well-known diagnostic test, patch testing, there are many other diagnostic tests can be used to help diagnosis of CD and identify the causative allergens, including photopatch test, skin tests for detecting of immediate contact reactions, serum allergen-specific IgE test, and qualitative and quantitative testing of allergen in the suspected materials patients exposed to and challenge test. Before the treatment, the suspected irritants or allergens should be avoided completely. This includes both the removal of the patient from the environment that contains those substances and the promotion of the metabolism and expulsion of the allergens that have been absorbed by the body. In addition, it is also important to restore the skin barrier and reduce skin inflammation through multiple treatments, such as emollients, topical corticosteroids, and antihistamines, as well as systemic corticosteroids and immunosuppressants. Early and appropriate treatments are important to prevent further deterioration and persistence of the skin condition.

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Li, Y., Li, L. Contact Dermatitis: Classifications and Management. Clinic Rev Allerg Immunol 61, 245–281 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12016-021-08875-0

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