Register for consultation by phone Or online
Upon registration, apply online consultation 5% discount: choose services

Vilnius
+370 5 205 26 06
+370 659 57933
Klaipėda
+370 46 344343
+370 595 7976

Contact dermatitis

Contact dermatitis is a skin inflammation caused by a substance that comes into contact with the skin, thus inducing an irritating or allergic reaction. Depending on the type of reaction, contact dermatitis is divided into two types - allergic and irritating. Contact dermatitis is usually an occupational skin disease (85-95 % of all skin diseases related to a certain type of job), particularly common among hairdressers and manicurists. It is assumed that the overall incidence of contact dermatitis in the population varies from 2 to 6 %.

How does contact dermatitis appear?
If dermatitis is allergic – the immune system takes part in a rash development. Every time when the immune system faces an allergen, it thinks that it is under attack and begins to defend itself, i.e. to produce antibodies that lead to the manifestation of the symptoms. During the first contact a rash doesn’t appear because a man becomes sensitized and at that time memory cells are produced; next time when he/she faces the same allergen, the skin is ready to defend.

As a rule, allergic reactions can be caused by: leather (chemicals are used to process, paint and prepare leather), nickel (metal that is part of jewelry, buttons, or belt buckles), latex, hair dye or other remedies for hair formation, fragrance and Peru balsam, which is in soaps, shampoos, perfumes and other cosmetic products. It is also added to some medication that is rubbed on the skin.

If dermatitis is irritating, the immune system is not involved in rash appearance. A rash occurs because of a direct influence of an irritant on the skin. Irritating dermatitis can be caused by water (long-term effect), acids or alkali, detergents, organic solvents etc. One of the examples could be burns.

What are the effects of contact dermatitis?
Both irritating and allergic contact dermatitis have similar symptoms. After the contact with irritating or allergenic substance, the skin swells, itches and becomes both red and soggy. In addition to that, there is the probability of blisters, sores or crusts appearance. Due to continual scratching, the skin may thicken and flake. As a rule, the symptoms disappear in 1-3 weeks after stopping the contact with the substance. The differences are not significant - irritation usually occurs in less than 12 hours after the contact with the irritating substance. A rash appears only in the place where the contact with the substance has been made. Allergic reactions occur later than irritating ones, in 12-72 hours (except for initial sensitization, the duration of which is usually 7-10 days). Unlike irritating dermatitis, the rash that is caused by allergic dermatitis can spread to other skin areas that haven’t yet had the direct contact with the allergen.

How is contact dermatitis diagnosed?
Contact dermatitis is diagnosed after examination of the skin and questioning about the appearance of a rash. In order to distinguish whether or not it is an allergic dermatitis and what substance might have caused it, allergy samples are collected. Usually, patch tests are conducted, i.e. samples to detect delayed allergic reactions, which can take several days to develop. Paper patches with most common allergens are placed on the patient’s back for 48 hours. Then they are removed and evaluated after 48, 72 and 96 hours. Irritated skin at the patch site may indicate an allergy.

How is contact dermatitis treated?
The symptoms appear owing to the contact with the irritating substance, that is why, the basic principles of treatment would be to remove a certain substance and treat manifested inflammation of the skin. It is very important to ensure the structural integrity of the skin, moisturize it and protect from other irritating substances. Steroid creams may be prescribed for the first few days. These substances reduce not only inflammation, but also redness and itching. If the rash becomes widespread during allergic contact dermatitis, antihistamines may be given to treat it. In cases of complication, a physician can prescribe oral corticosteroids.

Our advantages
  • Experienced specialists who work in university hospitals.
  • You can choose the most convenient time when the procedures should be performed.
  • We avoid the conveyor effect (we dedicate as much time as it is needed). This way better acquaintance with the problem and more effective treatment are expected.