Dermatitis and Rashes

Dermatitis is inflammation of the skin, and it can be chronic for some patients. It is often caused by an allergic reaction to an irritant or chemical.

It is characterized by dry, itchy pink or red rashes on the skin and may include swelling, blisters or sores. The skin may also appear dry and bumpy. The condition usually appears within 48 hours following exposure to an allergen, such as those listed below.

The condition can be uncomfortable but it is not usually life-threatening. However, if you have trouble breathing or swallowing, call 911 or go to an emergency room.

Common allergens include:

  • Poison ivy, poison oak and sumac
  • Animal dander
  • Bacteria and viruses
  • Chemicals
  • Dust
  • Drugs, such as antibiotics or topical medications
  • Foods (Examples: milk, chocolate, strawberries, wheat)
  • Fragrance, often found in perfumes and lotions
  • Pollen
  • Smoke
  • Rubber gloves
  • Hair dye
  • Glue

Surgical Dermatology Group offers treatments for dermatitis and rashes and may be able to assist in identifying what caused the allergic reaction.

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