Allergic Contact Dermatitis

Contact dermatitis is a reaction that appears when the skin comes in contact with an irritant or an allergen. Symptoms can include a rash, blisters, itching and burning.

Soaps, laundry detergents, fabric softeners, shampoos — or even excessive exposure to water — can all cause contact dermatitis. Other items that can cause a reaction are metals (such as nickel, a component of stainless steel and other alloys used to make costume jewelry), adhesives, nail polish, topical medications, plants and latex gloves.

Do you develop red, itchy bumps around your ankles hours after hiking through the woods? Did a rash appear on your neck after you wore a new necklace? Has your face broken out in hives during an afternoon at the beach?

Poison ivy, jewelry made of certain metals (especially nickel or gold) and sunscreen all can cause contact dermatitis — a skin condition that results from exposure to something to which you’re either sensitive or allergic.

Other common irritants or allergens include:

  • Fragrant soaps
  • Rubber
  • Certain deodorants
  • Bleach
  • Hand sanitizers