Contact dermatitis is a common skin condition that can cause an itchy, red rash. It is usually caused by contact with an irritant or allergen, and can be treated by avoiding the source of the reaction. Atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema, is a chronic condition that can last for months or even years. While there is no cure for eczema, there are treatments and ways to control it to minimize outbreaks.
In this article, we'll explore the different types of dermatitis, how to identify and avoid the causes of contact dermatitis, and how to manage atopic dermatitis. Contact dermatitis is a type of skin inflammation that occurs when the skin comes into contact with an irritant or allergen. It is the most common type of dermatitis, accounting for 80% of all cases. Symptoms of contact dermatitis include redness, itching, and burning. If you suspect you have contact dermatitis, it's important to identify and avoid the source of your reaction.
In most cases, the rash will go away in two to four weeks if the irritant or allergen is avoided. Atopic dermatitis is a chronic condition that can last for months or even years. It typically develops in early childhood and in a small number of cases resolves spontaneously on its own. For everyone else, eczema is often a lifelong skin condition. While scientists have not yet found a cure, there are treatments and ways to control eczema to minimize outbreaks.
Elidel (pimecrolimus) and Protopic (tacrolimus) are topical immunomodulators approved to treat atopic dermatitis. Allergic contact dermatitis occurs when the skin develops an allergic reaction after being exposed to a foreign substance. To diagnose allergic contact dermatitis, a series of tests called patch tests can be used to identify the underlying cause. If you feel so uncomfortable that you can't sleep or continue your daily life, call your health care provider to help you with treatment. The main way to prevent contact dermatitis is to identify irritants or allergens that cause the skin to become a rash and avoid those substances. Most cases of contact dermatitis will go away in about three weeks. Atopic dermatitis can occur anywhere on the human body, but this condition usually appears on the arms, legs, or cheeks.
Each person will experience outbreaks of atopic dermatitis for different lengths and with varying frequencies. With irritant dermatitis, symptoms are usually limited to skin that made direct contact with the irritant, while allergic contact dermatitis may begin with a small patch or patches and spread to cover a wider area. Whether eczema goes away depends on a variety of factors, including the time of diagnosis and the type of dermatitis you live with. In most cases of contact dermatitis, once the irritant or allergen has been identified and avoided, the rash resolves within two to four weeks without further treatment.