Contact eczema: symptoms, causes and treatments

Redness, localized swelling more or less extensive, oozing vesicles then forming crusts, accompanied by pruritus (itching) often fierce. These symptoms describe contact eczema.

Contact eczema: what is it?

The contact dermatitis is an inflammatory skin disease which is triggered when an allergen has been in contact with the skin . This allergic reaction can appear in the absence of a familial atopic site , unlike atopic eczema . Indeed, the occurrence of this type of eczema comes from sensitization of the skin to an substance (this can last from a few days to a few years). And on new contact with this substance, the body that identifies it and the symptoms of contact eczema appear.

Symptoms of contact eczema

Contact eczema flares are manifested by:

The appearance of red and dry patches, responsible for severe itching The occurrence on these plaques of vesicles filled with clear fluid. These vesicles rupture and ooze spontaneously or under the effect of scratching, linked to the associated severe itching
The formation of scabs which, by disappearing, give way to normal skin without scars.
These red patches first appear on the skin that has come into contact with the allergen (bracelet, trouser button, shoes, clothing, dye, etc.) then diffuse from the point of contact which can sometimes extend over the whole body.

Note: on the eyelids, face or genitals, eczema is accompanied by edema (swelling and redness) of the tissues. In the palms of the hands or the soles of the feet, the vesicles are more difficult to rupture and the itching is more intense.

Finally, if skin contact with the allergen is not interrupted, contact eczema becomes chronic . In this case, it is characterized


Cracked, squared and often darker skin .
Thick, very cracked skin on the hands and feet .

Contact eczema: the causes

Our everyday objects, costume jewelry, cell phones, keys, clothes, shoes, cosmetics, deodorants, soaps, shampoos, dyes, paints, glues, metals … are full of nickel, chromium, formaldehyde, cobalt and other components which are just as many allergens from potential contacts .

But, there are families of particularly allergenic products , such as:

Metal compounds : chromium, mercury and nickel. Contact dermatitis of professional origins is also numerous among masons, cement workers, metallurgists and laboratory workers.
The chemical components of clothing : tanning products, rubber elastics, glues, dyes, small metal parts, etc.
Cleaning products : detergents, fabric softeners, detergents, strong soaps and sometimes the water itself. Wearing gloves and sweating worsen skin reactions in these cases.
Certain pharmaceutical products used locally : antibiotic ointments, antihistamines, local anesthetics. These allergies are common.
The scents (especially bergamot) and cosmetics : various creams, varnishes, lacquers, Cleansing wipes, shampoos. You should also be careful with deodorant sprays, the effects of which may be masked by hair growth.
Some plants such as ragweed, sumac are responsible for contact allergies.
The latex finally has some formidable effects, especially in medical settings.

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