Pathophysiology of Allergic and Irritant Contact Dermatitis

  • Audrey Nosbaum
  • Jean-François Nicolas
  • Jean-Marie Lachapelle


Contact dermatitis comprises two main groups: irritant (ICD) and allergic (ACD) contact dermatitis. It presents as acute, subacute, or chronic eczema. Although it is possible to differentiate ICD from ACD on clinical ground, both diseases can have very similar clinical, histological, and molecular presentations.

The mechanisms at the origin of the eczema are different in the two types of dermatitis, at least as far as the initiation stages of the skin inflammation are concerned. ICD is a nonspecific inflammatory dermatosis, mainly due to the toxicity of chemicals on the skin cells which triggers inflammation by activation of the skin innate immune system.


Innate Immunity Skin Inflammation Contact Dermatitis Skin Irritation Innate Immune Cell 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Audrey Nosbaum
    • 1
  • Jean-François Nicolas
    • 1
  • Jean-Marie Lachapelle
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Allergy and Clinical ImmunologyUniversity Hospital Lyon-SudPierre-Bénite, CedexFrance
  2. 2.Department of Dermatology, CatholicUniversity of LouvainBrusselsBelgium

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